Endurance training is athletic training which is designed to improve stamina, endurance, and overall performance. Athletes use it while they prepare for both long and short events, ranging from iron man events to sculling. People who are not athletes may utilize endurance training as a method to get fit. It is advisable to undertake such training under the advice of a coach or personal trainer.
As endurance training progresses, the body actually undergoes physiological changes. The training conditions the heart and lungs, slowing the heart rate, increasing oxygen exchange in the lungs, and upping cardiac output. People in endurance training also produce more red blood cells, and have elevated levels of some enzymes in their muscles. The bloodflow to skeletal muscle is increased, as is the capillarization in the muscle bed, meaning that the network of blood vessels is more extensive.
This form of training often relies on aerobic exercise and lots of hard cardiovascular exercise. Exercises vary from day to day, and can include a variety of activities. It may be paired with stretching regimens to keep the body toned and flexible, and to allow plenty of time to warm up and cool down so that the body is not injured.
A personal trainer or coach can help develop an endurance training program which is suited to a particular athlete and sport. The program will vary in intensity at various points to keep the athlete in condition without causing damage or injury. As the program proceeds, the athlete's body will be able to use energy more efficiently and to increase the delivery of usable energy to the muscles when it is needed.
Some of the changes associated with endurance training would be viewed as signs of ill health in people who are not in athletic training, which is something to be aware of. When visiting a doctor, an athlete in training should make sure that the doctor knows about the kind of training the athlete does, and that the athlete's resting heart rate is normally lower than that of the average population. Otherwise, a doctor may think that the athlete has an underlying muscle problem.
People who have been injured should not plunge back into an endurance training program, although it is worth noting that people in good physical condition often recover more quickly from injuries. A doctor should be consulted before resuming activity after an injury, and adjustments may need to be made to a training plan to accommodate healing.