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Increasing Endurance Levels

Definition of the term endurance
      Endurance training is the act of exercising to increase stamina and endurance. The term "endurance training" generally refers to training an aerobic system as opposed an anaerobic system.

      The term endurance is a widely used. In fact it is often used interchangeably with terms like "aerobic", "anaerobic", "strength", "speed", and stamina.   

      Endurance is an important for many sports and not just distance events like running, swimming and cycling. The type and amount of endurance training changes to meet to the specific requirements of each sport,  Traditional strength and power based team and individual sports also require a solid aerobic base.

Factors that limit endurance
      There are multiple factors that limit endurance in sports which are based predominantly with the causes of fatigue. Fatigue is a complex issue and one that consists of both physical and psychological factors. Exercise scientists have identified several major causes of exhaustion and research has shown that they can all be manipulated to some extent with proper training:

       VO2 max or maximal oxygen uptake. Elite endurance athletes typically have a high VO2 max and seems to be genetically predetermined. Untrained athletes can improved their VO2 max levels by as much as 20%. A goal of any endurance training program is to help the athlete reach thier genetic upper limit for aerobic power.

      It is the lacate threshold which determines how what percentage of the 'aerobic' upper limit can actually be used. The exact  relationship between blood lactate accumulation and increasing exercise intensity is subject to debate. However, there is agreement on that training can have a favorable effect on lactate accumulation and when it occurs, which is associated with improving an athlete's endurance performance.

Exercise Economy
      Two athletes may have the same VO2 max expressed in ml/kg/min and they may have the same lactate threshold expressed as a percentage of their VO2 max. Yet what is far more relevant is the speed or workload at which the athlete is exercising when they reach these two markers. Athletes with a high exercise economy expend less energy (consume less oxygen) at any given workload. As such many researchers believe economy of exercise - be it stride length, swimming technique or body position on a bicycle - is an important contributor to endurance performance.

Substrate Utilization
      The oxidative energy system can utilize either fat or carbohydrate to produce energy. However, when exercise intensity is higher (>70% VO2 max), there is a greater reliance on carbohydrate than fat for fuel (8). If and when carbohydrate stores are depleted exercise intensity must reduce accordingly. With training, a greater percentage of fat is used as fuel at any given work rate. This has a sparing effect on carbohydrate allowing a higher intensity to be maintained for longer.

Muscle Fiber Characteristics
      Elite endurance athletes exhibit a high proportion of type I muscle fibers. Type I fibers have a high mitochondrial density and oxidative enzyme capacity which allows the majority of energy production to come from aerobic metabolism. While endurance training doesn't seem to change fiber types (i.e. type II fibers to type I), the metabolic characteristics of muscle fibers can be altered so that aerobic energy production becomes more efficient.

    Within skeletal muscle there are other adaptations elicited by aerobic endurance training.

Other Adaptations to Endurance Training
      Following suitable training, the body becomes better able to produce ATP via aerobic metabolism. The adaptations that occur improve oxygen delivery and oxygen utilization, increase the rate of aerobic energy production and the utilization of fat fuel and reduce disturbances in the acid-base balance. More specific adaptations are summarized in the table below:

Adaptations to Endurance Training
  

Respiratory
Enhanced O2 exchange in lungs
Improved blood flow through lungs
Decreased submaximal respiration rate
Decreased submaximal pulmonary ventilation
Cardiovascular               
Increased cardiac output
Musculoskeletal
Increased mitochondrial size and density


Typical Endurance Training Mistakes:

#1: Isolated exercises do not produce any significant results. One-muscle-at-a-time moves simply don't stimulate enough muscle fibers to build lean muscle or expend enough energy to maximize your calorie burn.  Your exercise program should involve multiple exercises that stimulate as many muscles and expend as much energy as possible and at the same time.
 
#2: Working out with high-end, expensive exercise machines may make the gym look "professional", but the machines alter the way your body naturally moves and restrict your range of motion. This severely limits activating all of your muscles fibers and can cause excessive strain on your joints, leading to nagging injuries down the road. It's critical to incorporate exercises that allow your body to move in a natural, full range of motion so you can speed up your metabolism and tone your entire physique. 

#3: Doing long cardio exercise sessions requires a lot of effort with unnecessary stress on your joints to get minimal results.

#4: Doing traditional crunches and sit-ups to enhance abs or any exercises that target your abs won't make your abs get any more defined and they definitely don't burn any fat. The key to getting sculpted abs is to burn off that stubborn belly fat while stimulating your six abdominal muscles at the same time.

#5: Repeating the same workout routines over and over is a surefire way to STOP getting results. If you want to continue making progress and keep seeing changes in your body, you've got to start switching things up. The body has the ability to adapt quickly and when it does,  you hit the a plateau and stop making progress.
 
#6: Doing long workouts  do NOT equate to better or faster results. If uour present exercise program at the gym isn't producing the changes you desire,  don't expect a different result doing more of the same thing!  Your body will respond better to quality rather than quantity.


Sports injury rehab - how to design sports injury rehab regimes based on sound training principles
         by Raphael Brandon

Raphael Brandon is a Strength & Conditioning and Running Coach, Consultant
and Presenter, Science & Medicine Team Leader. He is located in  London, United
Kingdom.
School of Sport. University of Stirling. Stirling. FK9 4LA Scotland. 

        "A new coaching model has the Head Coach leading a team of specialist coaches, therapists and sports scientists. For example, the head coach is accompanied by a secondary technical coach, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, a fitness trainer and a physiologist, with each performing their specified role, but communicating and working as a team.

         An elite sports trainer should be able to design workouts that cover all relevant fitness areas - strength, flexibility, agility, aerobic and anaerobic endurance and speed. These workouts must be both specific to the sport and suitable for the level of the athlete.

         A trainer should be able to assess fitness levels, understand physiological and biomechanical test data, liaise with physiotherapists regarding injury prevention and rehabilitation and also be able to pass on sound nutritional instruction."

       Source -  Sports-Specific Fitness Program

The Benefits of Speed, Agility, and Endurance Training for Young Athletes
by Traci Darwin

        Our youth are becoming increasingly involved in a more advanced level of competition with the hopes of obtaining their dreams of being the best at their chosen sport.  It takes discipline to complete endurance and agility building exercises; thus you create a more disciplined athlete.  Because speed, endurance, and agility are not sport specific, they have benefits in all athletic endeavors. 

       Teaching good nutritional habits can benefit the young athlete by preparing the body for physical exertion and aid in prevention and faster recovery from the least to most serious injuries.  From injury prevention to elite athlete status, youth training can be beneficial to recreational athletes as well as professional athletes, both male and female.

Endurance Training

Raphael Brandon explores the benefits of endurance training for young athletes.

      The science of developmental physiology can supply answers to certain important questions regarding the training of children.

         Should children perform adult-type endurance training in reduced quantities, or should they be performing a different type of training that is tailored to their physiology?  
Recommended Reading:

Developing A Training Plan

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

The Different Types of Endurance Training
Interval training, fartlek training, tempo runs... there are several distinct forms of endurance training - here they are with some sample plans...

VO2max - Your Aerobic Potential
Endurance training and VO2 max seem to inextricably linked. While maximal oxygen uptake is certainly not the be all and end all of endurance performance, understanding what it is and how it can be affected by training can help athletes better prepare themselves for competition...

Lactate Threshold - Tapping Your Aerobic Potential
Perhaps more indicative of success in endurance sports, an perhaps more trainable, is lactate threshold. Often a confusing subject for some coaches and athletes, from a practical point of view, improving lactate threshold is relatively straightforward...

How to Determine Your Anaerobic Threshold
There are several non-invasive tests used to determine the lactate and anaerobic threshold. What are they and which are the most reliable?

Lactate Threshold Training
Once you have determined your lactate threshold how can you improve it? While the experts debate even its existence, athletes can still benefit from delaying the onset of lactate accumulation...

Interval Training for Sport-Specific Endurance
Interval training is more demanding than continuous type training and brings about different adaptations. It may also be more suitable for multi-sprint sports such as hockey, rugby and soccer. However, even ultra-endurance athletes are finding that a reduction in volume in favor of some shorter, more intense interval training can improve performance...

How to Design a Fartlek Training Session for Your Sport
Fartlek may sound strange but it's a highly effective form of training. And with so many variations you need to make sure it's specific to your event...

Circuit Training For Endurance
Here are two tried and trusted circuits for long distance athletes...

Heart Rate Training for Endurance Events
Heart rate is a temperamental thing. Yet its practicality continues to make it a popular training aid. Learn how best to use your heart rate to improve your endurance training sessions...

Using Heart Rate Reserve to Calculate Target Heart Rate
How to use the Karvonen formula and the heart rate reserve method for a more accurate target heart rate zone...

Altitude Training
Unquestionably, acclimatization to altitude improves performance at high levels but can altitude training improve an athlete's performance at sea-level?

Lactate Tolerance Training
Lactate tolerance training will help you to recover more quickly from successive bursts of speed and power. It will increase your tolerance to lactic acid and allow you maintain a high work rate for longer.

References:

10 commandments of endurance training  The 10 commandments of endurance training. By Vic Brown; Published Dec. 28, 2010.

Endurance Training For Sport

Different Types of Endurance Training  Interval training, fartlek training, tempo runs... there are several distinct forms of endurance training - here they are with some sample plans.

VO2max - Your Aerobic Potential  Endurance training and VO2 max seem to inextricably linked. While maximal oxygen uptake is certainly not the be all and end all of endurance performance, understanding what it is and how it can be affected by training can help athletes better prepare themselves for competition.

Lactate Threshold - Tapping Your Aerobic Potential  Perhaps more indicative of success in endurance sports, an perhaps more trainable, is lactate threshold. Often a confusing subject for some coaches and athletes, from a practical point of view, improving lactate threshold is relatively straight
forward.

How to Determine Your Anaerobic Threshold There are several non-invasive tests used to determine the lactate and anaerobic threshold. What are they and which are the most reliable?

Lactate Threshold Training  Once you have determined your lactate threshold how can you improve it? While the experts debate even its existence, athletes can still benefit from delaying the onset of lactate accumulation.

How to Design a Fartlek Training Session for Your Sport  Fartlek may sound strange but it's a highly effective form of training. And with so many variations you need to make sure it's specific to your event.

Interval Training for Sport-Specific Endurance  Interval training is more demanding than continuous type training and brings about different adaptations. It may also be more suitable for multi-sprint sports such as hockey, rugby and soccer. However, even ultra-endurance athletes are finding that a reduction in volume in favor of some shorter, more intense interval training can improve performance.

Circuit Training For Endurance  Here are two tried and trusted circuits for long distance athletes.

13 Principles of Endurance Training for Young Athletes April 3, 2012 ... In page 104 he listed 13 principle to endurance training that seems to apply to not only young athletes but our general clients.

PDF Specificity of endurance, sprint and strength  Specificity of endurance, sprint and strength training on physical performance capacity in young athletes. K. HAKKINEN, Ph.Dt, A. MERO, Ph.D., H. KAUHANEN

Strength Training Recommendations for Young Athletes Strength Training Recommendations for Young Athletes. Because ... The effects of different resistance training protocols on muscular strength and endurance.

PDF Endurance Training and Elite Young Athletes - Karger Armstrong N, McManus AM (eds): The Elite Young Athlete. Med Sport Sci. Basel, Karger, 2011, vol 56, pp 59–83. Endurance Training and Elite Young Athletes

PDF Trainability of young athletes and overtraining - indicates that over- training is occurring in young athletes (30% prevalence), high- ...... pate in a 13-week endurance training programme (3 X 1 hour per week

Sports Information

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

  
Sports Training
PDF  USFS Stretching Training
PDF  Strength Training Exercises
PDF  Cool Down Exercises
PDF  Warm Up Exercises
PDF  Power Skating Classes
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan
Increasing Endurance
Training For Endurance
Flexibility of Youth Athletes
Athlete Flexibility Training
Developing Physical Coordination
Physical Agility
Core Body Stability
Core Body Control
Physical Conditioning

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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