Endurance training is an effective training program to make athletes tougher than the toughest in terms of quality of output in the face of complete fatigue. The body should be able to force that extra mile out, even when it is at the very end of its capacity. This is what makes winners and champions. This is what is obtained through long and arduous endurance training, something no athlete is ever complete without.


There are four types of endurance training and these are (1) Speed Endurance, (2) Anaerobic Endurance, (3) Aerobic Endurance and (4) Strength Endurance. A brief description of each of these follows:


Speed Endurance


This type of endurance is usually encouraged when you need to develop optimum muscle contraction speed. The best exercises used for this purpose are through repetition of the set in two ways:


  • Repetition of sets in number and less intensity

  • Lower repetition of numbers, but increase in intensity (85% and more) over distances that cover 60-120% of the distance earmarked for a race


Anaerobic Endurance


This type of endurance training would be based upon repetition of exercises focusing on high intensity and limited recovery periods. These endurances are categorized into the following sub-divisions:


  • Alactic short anaerobic which will usually last less than 25 seconds.

  • Lactic medium anaerobic which lasts 25-60 seconds.

  • Lactic and long anaerobic (includes aerobic) lasting 60-120 seconds.


The meaning of the word anaerobic is oxygenless or without oxygen. When applied to exercise, this term means the capacity of the body to go beyond the oxygen starvation level in the body. When exercises ask the maximum effort, usually the body asks for more oxygen than is supplied to it forcing it to use the reserve fuel stored in the body. However, when this is used, lactic acid is produced as a waste product. A time comes when there is too much lactic acid produced and no more reserve fuel in the body, then the body ceases to function in a painful manner. It will start moving only when the lactic acid has been removed and oxygen has reached the muscles in its stead. The production of lactic acid is scientifically known as the ‘lactic anaerobic energy pathway.’ This pathway is what we are talking about in anaerobic endurance – and this usually lasts for about four seconds at maximum exertion.


The anaerobic threshold is measured at the exact moment when muscles get lactic acid accumulated in them; this would be happening at when you reach about 85-90% of your maximum possible heart rate. The anaerobic threshold heart rate would be some 20 beats higher than that of the aerobic one.


Aerobic Endurance


The meaning of aerobic is with oxygen. These are exercises when the body works at levels that the body can feed oxygen for. There is no lactic acid produced here as waste; only carbon dioxide and water, which are removed from the body through breathing and sweat. As with anaerobic exercises, the aerobic ones too are divided into sub-divisions:


  • Lactic aerobic short endurance – that usually lasts 2-8 minutes

  • Aerobic medium endurance – that lasts for about 8-30 minutes

  • Aerobic long endurance – 30 minutes and more


This type of endurance is normally developed through interval and continuous running training. The continuous running would improve the capacity for oxygen intake, while the interval training is used to improve the capacity of the heart to pump at its hardest. The aerobic threshold is usually when the activation of the anaerobic energy pathway commences, which would normally be at 75% of your maximum heart rate beat. This threshold is 20 beats less than the anaerobic one.


Strength Endurance


In this type of exercise attention is given to the quality of the muscle contraction increasing the force of the muscles to contract. As with others, these exercises require intensive training. Some examples of strength training are, harness running, weight training, circuit training, hill running, etc.


For a newcomer into the arena of endurance training, one can use the help of a heart rate monitor to keep a track on the intensity and capacity of your body in the endurance training exercises. This could be an invaluable tool for those who are not guided by experts in the field. However, it is always advisable to have a personal trainer to monitor your progress.