Want more staying power for your workouts or to go the distance when you run? Here’s what you need to do at the gym tonight!
Whether you’re planning to run a marathon, enter a cycle sportive or just want to hit your goals during your regular workouts, you need to put in the work to physically prepare your body and mind to make it to the finish line. But the good news is, it’s all about working smarter rather than harder. Here are some of the secrets PTs use with their clients for ultimate endurance.
Increase your strength
It can be hard to find the time and motivation for gym work when you’re clocking up the miles or training for an outdoor event, but it’s crucial for maintaining muscle mass and keeping your joints healthy. Increasing your overall strength will improve your performance and help you stay injury free. ‘Do hipdominant exercises to balance the stre on your knees, plus single-leg variation and core work [see Make Your Move, below],’ says PT Jean-Claude Vacassi founder of W10 Performance Gym.
Treat your body
Regular massages might sound lik a luxury but soft-tissue work keeps your tissues healthy so you can work at the top of your game. Can’ afford a regular sports massage? Invest in a foam roller. It won’t be a good at fascia fractioning (loosenin the casing around the muscles) as massage, but will still break down t adhesions you get by doing a lot of exercise. ‘It will also improve your circulation and reduce soreness, speeding up your recovery,’ says Vacassin.
To fuel your endurance, focus on eating plenty of protein and veg or plant-based foods which you can build on to suit your training needs. Whether you choose to fuel up with carbs or get more of your nutrition through dietary fats, eating adequate protein and a broad base of nutrients is key. Also, think about your overall energy balance – the right foods, in the right amounts, will keep you healthy, lean and fuelled. Now is not the time to be skipping meals or cutting calories! Take time to discover what works best for you.
Add some speed
Speed training is your secret weapon for boosting performance. ‘Add into your programme interval training (shorter, more intense periods), tempo training (lactate threshold training) and fartlek training (random bursts of increased effort) for big improvements and to keep your training interesting,’ says Vacassin.
Make your move
Not all exercises are equal when it comes to boosting endurance. If squats don’t already feature in your training sessions, add them in. An essential part of any athlete’s programme, they are one of the most useful exercises for building strength, power and muscle. ‘Squats also open up your hips, help your balance and single-leg stability and ward off muscle imbalances,’ says Vacassin.
Remember, a functionally fit body can perform well for longer, so incorporate moves that work your stabilising muscles. Vacassin’s final tip? ‘Try hip bridges which recruit your glutes without loading your lower back, and batwings, which are great for trunk stability and correcting your posture.’