5 Smart Endurance Training Tricks To Increase Your Stamina With Less Pain
By: Dr. David Nelson, Ph D
1 June, 2017 by
5 Smart Endurance Training Tricks To Increase Your Stamina With Less Pain
Sun Chlorella USA

"I'm not sure I'm going to make it!"

Endurance athlete and host of the Esquire TV show, Boundless, Simon Donato was having doubts. Gritting his teeth, using his whole body to leverage the pedals, Simon navigated his bike up alpine slopes that could stall a car. His legs throbbed and a sense of utter exhaustion was slowly creeping into his body.

Simon was part way through the Salzkammergut Trophy bike race, Europe's marathon bike race through the Austrian Alps. One of the "old guys" in the race, he'd been falling farther and farther behind. And now he was worried he wouldn't make the final cutoff point at the end of the race. It didn't matter that he'd already paid gallons of sweat towards completing his goal as he pumped up hill after hill after hill. His body was begging him to quit and time was not on his side.

Whether it's your first 5K race . . . or an ultra-bikathon like the Salzkammergut, few experiences transform you mentally like pushing your body's endurance and coming out triumphant on the other side. And it doesn't just give you an emotional lift - of course it's a physical booster too.

But here's something most people don't know . . .

Completing this kind of challenge isn't just about sweat and muscle. It's about using your brain, too. Sure, you can try to simply push your way through. But while you have to work hard to complete this kind of endeavor, you want to work smart as well.

Put these 5 endurance training tactics to work, and you'll find you can conquer challenges sooner, faster and with less wear and tear than you ever thought you could!

Endurance Trick #1: Train Less 

While you may think that endurance is all about exercising for longer and longer periods, the science contradicts this. It turns out, cutting some of your exercise short to intense intervals not only increases your speed and power overall. But also your endurance.

In one 2009 study, twelve 10K runners tried shifting their training schedule to include more short and intense workouts. Half of these experienced runners achieved remarkable drops in their 10K times. [1]

When scientists looked deeper into the factors behind this improvement, they found the runners had lower levels of potassium build up in their muscle tissue. Their bodies had built more sodium and potassium pumps to help the muscle cells quickly get rid of excess potassium. The imbalance of ions created by a build-up of potassium during exercise is linked to muscles having a harder time responding. This change in delay in excessive potassium build-up may explain why the runners studied were able to perform better than they did before.

So if you're training for a 5K, don't just do your slow jogs every day. A couple mornings a week, do a few short 50 yard sprints with 1-2 minute rest breaks in between. And leave it at that.

This strategy of training less to do more can be further broken down into two other endurance training tactics . . .

Endurance Trick #2: Train For Power 

Even if you're going for the distance, you need powerful muscles that can only be built through resistance training. A good musculature helps you go for the long haul in multiple ways:

-It provides more cushioning to reduce the strain and pressure on joints

-It reduces injury by protecting your limbs with a built in set of armor

-And simply enough, a good set of muscles means each movement is that much more forceful. With longer strides and more powerful kicks you can get to your destination sooner.

When trainer Gerard Hautmann transformed British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe from a 4th place finisher to a champion, he placed enormous emphasis on her strength training. Before focusing on power training, she had some dismal performances. But by adding squats, plyometrics and other forms of resistance training to her program, she was able to break several world records in distance running and claim three World Championships in the half-marathon. [2]

In addition to emphasizing power, the training less strategy also taps into this next endurance trick . . .

Endurance Trick #3: Rest And Sleep 

You don't build muscles when you work out. When you exercise, you're only telling your body it needs more muscles.

Then when you rest, your body goes into building mode to fulfill that work order. When you rest, your body makes muscles. Three sleep activities contribute to this:

-Your body produces more, human growth hormone (HGH), the growth factor that's essential for muscle regeneration and growth.

-Your body makes proteins you can use to build muscles and organ tissue.

-Your immune system is most active when you sleep, allowing your body to repair tissue and fight infection that may interfere with muscle growth.

-If you don't get adequate rest but only push yourself, you'll strain your body rather than train it to be stronger.

Endurance Trick #4: Eat Cherries and Beets 

Want to take fiery inflammation out of your training schedule? Add these ruby red foods to your diet.

In 2010, for the grueling 100-mile-plus Oregon to Coast ultra-run, half of the runners drank tart cherry juice twice a day for a week leading up to the race. The runners who drank the cherry juice were surprised to find they had less muscle soreness and faster recovery times after the long ordeal was over. [3]

Research has shown that beets do a good job, too, in helping you perform better over the long haul. In one study, participants were able to cycle longer after drinking beet juice than they did when they drank a placebo drink. According to one beet juice researcher, beets seem to help the muscles use oxygen more efficiently. [4,5]

Endurance Trick #5: Supplement Strategically

When Soviet athletes swept the Seoul summer Olympics, winning more gold than any other country, they had a secret advantage no one else had. In fact, it was so secret it was a classified state secret . . .

It wasn't steroids . . . And it wasn't some high-tech anti-gravity space-based training routine.

No it was an herb that grew in the Siberian wilds called eleuthero.

Led by sports nutrition physician, Dr. Ben Tabachnik, Soviet coaches used eleuthero to increase their athletes' power and endurance under stressful conditions.

Eleuthero has more research behind it than any other herb. And a huge amount of this research focuses on how it helps with sports performance, particularly when athletes are under stress.

In one study, after 12 days of using eleuthero, cyclists experienced longer endurance, faster reflexes, better sleep patterns and quicker recovery times than cyclists who didn't take eleuthero! And 6 out of 10 of the eleuthero athletes won first place in their respective races! [6]

A 2010 study of recreational cyclists showed that eleuthero increased their endurance by over 20% and helped their body use energy stores more efficiently. [7]

Eleuthero is an adaptogenic herb which means it helps your body adapt to stress better. Specifically, eleuthero seems to help your body gear up when the pressure's on by strengthening your body's stress response. But unlike stimulants like caffeine, it helps you stay calm and focused as well. And when the stressful event is over, eleuthero helps your body return to balance more quickly and strengthens your body's repair process.

Ready To Push Yourself Further and Enjoy The Results? 

In the end, Simon completed his grueling alpine race, sneaking across the finish line with less than 1 minute before the cut off time. His anxious teammate grabbed him in a big hug and they celebrated their victory together. They had conquered their own doubts and confirmed they had the stamina they were counting on to reach this goal.

But you don't have to be an extreme endurance athlete like Simon to taste this thrill of victory. Building your endurance can mean shooting for a half marathon . . . Or extending your mile walk to two miles. There's no fixed point that marks the beginning of endurance training. What matters is that you're teaching your body to go farther and exercise longer than you had before. It's up to you to figure out where that mark lies. And then, step by step, work your way up to it.

And while a 100-mile ultra-marathon and 5K walk may seem worlds apart, some of the tactics to completing them successfully are the same. By using these strategic endurance-building ideas, you can push your body further without injury. By training smart, you can make sure you enjoy the sweet feeling of crossing the finish line and not the agony of defeat.

About Dr. David Nelson, Ph D 
David Nelson is a nutritional consultant, and has been involved in the field of nutritional studies for over 20 years. Dr. Nelson studied at San Diego University, Iowa State University, and Mankato State University. He currently specializes in the areas of Anti-aging, Sports Performance Nutrition, and Allergy. For the past 15 years, Dr. Nelson has been the Nutritionist at the Center for Advanced Medicine, and co-hosts the radio show ""Health Talk, A Second Opinion,"" with the other doctors from the Center. He is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.

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[1] Bangsbo J et al. Reduced volume and increased training intensity elevate muscle Na /K pump {alpha}2-subunit expression as well as short- and long-term work capacity in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, Oct 1, 2009 
[2] Greally, F. Paula Radcliffe's Journey From Disappointing Fourth To Dominant First. Runners World, June 1, 2004. Viewed 6/12/14 at http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runners/paula-radcliffes-journey-disappointing-fourth-dominant-first?page=single 
[3] Howatson G et al. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2009. 
[4] Baily SJ et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. J Appl Physiology. 2009 Oct;107(4):1144-55. Epub 2009 Aug 6. 
[5] Reynolds. G. Looking for Fitness In A Glass Of Juice? New York Times Wellness Blog, August, 8, 2012. Viewed 6/12/14 at http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/looking-for-fitness-in-a-glass-of-juice/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 
[6] R Brekhman, I.I. Eleutherococcus. Nauka Publishing House, 1968 

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