Ask the Coaches: How do you Increase Endurance?

Question: How does one increase endurance? I feel like I start AMRAP’s (or even warm-ups) with a good amount of energy but then I get tired shortly thereafter. – Richard N

Coach Dave:

This is a subject that we could spend HOURS talking about and there are countless ideas, concepts, and methodologies used to help with. In fact, a few months ago, Coach Cody and I went to an Aerobic Capacity Certification that was 8 hours on a Saturday and the content felt crammed even in that amount of time.

But, to keep my answer short enough to keep people’s interest I’m going to give three pieces to think about. Read More…

Coach Justin:

Pacing, as Dave said, is key. Here’s a mental-game tip I was given that helps with the mental side of pacing.

There are always three “starts” to a workout. There’s when the clock starts. Read More…

Coach Preston:

Specificity is key to improving on any fitness goal. For metcons, it becomes difficult because CrossFit is very unspecific, but probably the one thing you can work on specifically for this goal is time domain. Endurance is still a general term. Endurance in a 20 min workout is different than endurance in a 60 min workout. If you want to get better in the 12-20 min amraps, you need to spend more time in that time domain and learn how to pace for that time domain. If you approach the beginning of a 20 min workout the same as a 7 min workout, you will burn out. I think any endurance work in the 12-20 min zone will benefit your endurance in that time domain, but the cost to your body will be different. Read More…

Coach Nick:

How to increase endurance is a question that has puzzled scientists since Galileo tried to run to the moon. Every year, new evidence emerges which suggests that running is harder and more boring than previously imagined. Then a tourist will write a book about a tribe of American Indians who ran to work in shitty sandals and running will be cool again. Then people will get infected with a thing called “finger toe shoes” and all of a sudden 1 in 4 Americans have their feet amputated (from diabetes… it’s totally unrelated). This has been the cycle of contradictory silliness that has made coaching people who want to run faster and farther more of an exercise in hypocrisy than an exercise in exercise.

I’m mostly kidding. The point is that endurance as a science has been evolving since 490 BC when a Greek soldier accidentally ran the first marathon and died. His lifeless body had barely settled on the steps of the Acropolis before smug guy in Oregon said, “Yeah, that was a PR but I’d like to see his splits” and took a sip of his nitro latte. Or the early 1900s when a Nobel Prize winner found that lactic acid is the fuel of muscles’ nightmares. Either way, just as scientists get closer to identifying the one thing that regulates all of the others in our bodies (with respect to our capacity to have and increase endurance) another element reveals itself as an equal or more important factor. I’ve been trying to keep up with the developments because I actually do like to run and I’ve found that increased aerobic capacity is positively correlated with (if not the cause of) increased happiness in my life.

If you want to stop reading here, these are the four takeaways: Read More…

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