ENDURANCE

A Part of Everyday Life

Endurance is the equivalent of suffering to many athletes. Too many humans, in fact, enduring means to suffer through a task, job, or family crisis. No matter what, we all will face something we must endure. 

“A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.” -Mary Poppins

The Sugar of Athletes

Those that thrive in endurance sports are those that love it, and not necessarily the races. In fact, if you took a poll of elite multisport endurance athletes, you would most likely find that they prefer the long training over racing. Those “endurance” training events become enjoyable bites of “sugar.” They cleanse the arteries, they invigorate all of your bodies systems, they test your abilities, and what a wonderful feeling when all cylinders are firing, and your mind detaches from your body. 

Progression

Those are the words, a confirmed dyed in the wool sprinter. I swam the 50 free in HS and college. I faded in a 100, from lack of endurance. I never swam a 500 in practice until I had long retired from the elite level of the sport.  Now, one of my most favorite things in life is to go on long hour+ open water swims. In addition to swimming, I could say the same for running, or even cycling.

I love the feeling of my body carrying me far and wide over the countryside. Exploring a city, while knowing my body can endure and get me home.

Progress

That doesn’t happen all of a sudden one day. It is a gradual process, and I would be lying if I told you there weren’t a few stumbling blocks along the way to a nirvana like a 2 hour run. I have used my life lines many times to get rides home. Along those stumbling blocks, we learn how to better prepare ourself for that situation next time out, and we progress. We gain capillary expansion that will transport blood further and faster to more muscles in our bodies.

Adaptation

We learn to build up the oxygen powerhouses in our cells the mitochondria that feed off of aerobic exercise. Our bodies and minds adapt, and we become what we our ancestors learned many eons prior, that we must endure to survive. We must outlast the antelope in order to feed our families. Our DNA is still dialed in that way to become extremely efficient aerobic, endurance machines. It is empowering, and mind boggling, when you find that sweet spot of an aerobic threshold run, and your feet moving along at what used to be PR speed.

Technique is technical. 

Endurance can be where you find your “runners high.”