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How to Build Endurance When Training

Courtney Gordner looks at how to develop your endurance with aerobic and anaerobic training.

Endurance training brings multiple health benefits, making it worth it, including in your overall workout routine. Your workout should include both aerobic and anaerobic training, as each allows you to build endurance in different ways. The goal is to increase your VO2 max and lactate threshold, giving you the ability to perform at a high level for a lengthy period.

Getting Started

When you first begin endurance training, you will want to give yourself a solid aerobic base. You can accomplish this by slowly working your way up so that you can exercise for 30 continuous minutes. Once you can exercise for 30 minutes straight, you can increase the intensity of the exercise until you can do it at that level for 30 straight minutes.

You can also integrate interval training into your routine. During interval training, you will go hard for one or two minutes and then have an active rest period of one or two minutes. A basic example of interval training is alternating between sprints and jogging for 30 minutes.

Increasing Your Aerobic Capacity

Once you have a solid aerobic base, you can work on increasing your capacity. Schedule your workouts for two or three days per week and work on increasing the intensity of your workout. You can also begin exercising for longer periods.

When starting to increase your capacity, do not try to exercise for too long. A quick 10-minute workout can do you a great deal of good and provides a good starting point. Eventually, your workouts could end up lasting an hour or more, but the key is to ease yourself into them.

The workout should start at a pace that you find difficult to maintain. The goal is to push yourself hard right from the beginning to see if your body can keep up. Of course, you should slow down during longer sessions, since it will be impossible for your body to stay at that pace. It is important to try to push yourself hard the entire time.

Keep the pace steady and if you feel yourself slowing down, end the workout for the day. You must not lower your base of intensity since this will hinder your endurance going forward.

Working on Your VO2 max and Lactate Threshold

As was mentioned previously, interval training is important when improving your endurance. This style of training works well when increasing the amount of oxygen that your body can efficiently use and teaching your body to expel lactic acid.

Start with sprint sections where you sprint as hard as you can for 10 to 20 seconds and then walk for between 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat this process eight to 10 times once a week. The next time you do interval training during the week, you will sprint for between 45 seconds and one minute, followed by a rest period of the same length. Try to complete between 20 and 30 minutes of these intervals once per week as well.

Developing Your Plan

Everyone is different and, therefore, will move through these stages at different times. Even the top athletes in the world did not develop their endurance overnight, so be patient and allow your body to respond to the exercises before moving to the next step.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • GORDNER, C. (2013) How to Build Endurance When Training [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Courtney is a freelance writer who loves writing about everything from health fitness to recovery treatment.