What does general endurance training entail? And what is the best way of starting as a beginner? What are some suitable training methods and how do I prepare myself for my first competition?
These are some questions which we would like to answer with a description of various training methods, which guarantee an improvement in performance from your first running session to your first race.
With the endurance method you can improve your maximum oxygen intake. The more oxygen you take in, the more energy your body will have and therefore the longer you can run before your muscles get tired. This type of training is with long-lasting stress and constant intensity without any breaks.
A workout of 30 minutes (for beginners) will get you going and can comfortably reach 2 hours (for more experienced runners). The intensity, i.e. your running speed, should vary depending on your training goals – so whether you want to run a few kilometres or are preparing specially for a competition.
The interval method serves a similar purpose, but also benefits stamina, speed endurance and lactic acid tolerance. Training alternates between high-intensity and low-intensity phases. Your running pace in the high-intensity phase should depend on your fitness level.
The recovery phase (also known as "the rewarding phase") is selected in length, so that the body is just fit enough again to up the pace, but is not fully regenerated. This time can be controlled well by a heart rate monitor but is unique to each sportsman. 120 beats per minute is a general guideline.
The repetition method concentrates on competition/specific endurance by improving aerobic and anaerobic energy supply. This is the transition area, in which lactic acid builds up and depletes to balance each other out, that is to say the energy supply works only just above oxygen supply. Training is done in the short and medium-range with competitive intensity – assuming you have the appropriate full recovery (for example in jogging breaks).
Competition training is a mostly unique (and as the name suggests) specific training method, in which you train under racing conditions. In other words your training partner can serve as a competitor, and this provides technical and tactical tasks too (like the running tempo). The training distance should correspond to the racing distance (don’t allow much leeway either side).
The goal is to develop competition-specific relationships between all performance criteria and their racing characteristics. A comprehensive preparation for competition should ideally comprise all the methods to ensure the widest possible performance spectrum. On that note, I hope you enjoy your training! When is your next competition?