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Endurance Training for Sports

"Endurance may be defined as "the capacity to perform repeated bouts of short duration high intensity exercise, interspersed at random with periods of lower intensity exercise and rest, over a prolonged period of time."

The type of endurance needed by most athletes to maintain a high level of performance for the duration of the game is not the same as the type of endurance needed to perform continuous exercise over a prolonged period of time.

"The exercise pattern seen in most team ball sports and racquet sports (such as hockey, basketball, volleyball, team handball, rugby, American football, tennis, squash and badminton) may be characterized as a type of high intensity intermittent exercise." "This is very different from the endurance training performed by endurance athletes...who are training to cover a set distance in the shortest possible time, e.g., cyclists, runners, swimmers etc." "The local muscle adaptations that are associated with training in the form of continuous long distance moderate intensity exercise are, for the most part, in conflict with the adaptations that are optimal to improve [sports] specific endurance capacity."

"Training for long periods of time with continuous exercise, where predominantly slow twotch fibres are recruited, will inevitably impair the 'explosive' performance of the muscle. For example, the ability to accelerate (which is of vital importance to the [athlete] will be impaired. Therefore, it is important that the local muscle adaptations which occur as a result of endurance training should not only optimally improve [sports] specific endurance but, just as important, shoujld not in anyway impair the potential to perform high intensity exercise."

So why is it that most endurance training for sports consists of going for a 3-5 mile run?

"The physiological adaptations that occur in endurance training may be divided into central (i.e., the oxygen transport system) adaptations and peripheral (or local muscle) adaptations. The combined effect of these adaptations is that more oxygen is delivered to and utilised by the active muscles.

You Can Be Fit provides the most advanced form of training techniques in Montgomery County (Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Olney, Kensington, Wheaton).