How to progress in endurance: the keys to success
Improving endurance is a physical and mental challenge.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with motivation and determination, but to progress physically and improve endurance, there are universal and essential methods.
Lou Dolez, professional cyclist and Ile de France champion in the 2km pursuit, tells how she worked on her endurance to surpass herself in her discipline:
Lou Dolez. 2020. Nicolas Vaucouleur ©
“In my discipline, track cycling, it has been essential for me to improve my endurance. To achieve this, I followed specific training: land work. I also built my muscle strength in the weight room to progress physically. Taking in carbs during my long road cycling workouts also allowed me to be more energetic. In addition to carbohydrates, I have also incorporated amino acids and proteins into my sports nutrition to improve my recovery. It really allowed me to grow in endurance in my discipline. "
As Lou Dolez explained, the 4 pillars of endurance progression are:
- suitable training to increase endurance
- strength training to increase strength
- appropriate nutrition to improve energy
- food supplementation to optimize recovery
Here are our tips to improve your endurance thanks to these 4 pillars:
Adapt your training
To improve your endurance, it is essential to carry out land work or “fundamental endurance work” upstream. This type of exercise involves training at low intensity, for a long time over long distances. This work makes it possible to gradually increase:
- Your VO2max (maximum oxygen uptake). This index measures the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use to convert it into a source of muscle energy. This translates into an ability to produce repeated movement more quickly at a constant exertion intensity.
- Your body's ability to efficiently supply muscles with oxygen through the bloodstream. By engaging your muscles and lungs, you promote the development of capillaries (small vessels) essential for the transport of oxygenated blood in the human body. Improving this function is very strategic in endurance, because it is oxygen that converts glycogen into energy that the muscles can use.
Improve your muscle strength
In endurance, the type of muscle that is used the most is the one containing "slow twitch" muscle fibers. To delay the onset of fatigue, you need to increase the resistance of these muscles to long-term exertion. Therefore, favor endurance and strength-type bodybuilding exercises. They will allow you to improve your performance without causing "troublesome" muscle mass gain.
Increase your energy reserves
To delay the fateful moment of depleting your glycogen stores, you need to increase your carbohydrate stores.
If the proper use of your glycogen store can be achieved by training and managing stress over the long term. The increase in carbohydrate reserves will depend on appropriate sports nutrition.
The day before your workout, be sure to include low glycemic index carbohydrates in your meal. On the day of training, eat your meal at least 3 hours before the exercise begining. Choose low glycemic index carbohydrates by adding mid glycemic index carbohydrates to save your glycogen stores before you start training.
Throughout the training, we recommend that you drink a carbohydrate drink to increase your physical resistance and prevent premature fatigue. Favor carbohydrates with a very short passage time in the stomach and rapid absorption for an immediate energy supply. High molecular weight carbohydrates like Cluster Dextrin help provide consistent energy throughout the workout. Cluster Dextrin is gradually absorbed by the body allowing a gradual release of insulin.
Optimize your recovery
After training, if you want to limit the destruction of your muscle fibers and promote their reconstruction, we recommend that you consume low glycemic index carbohydrates such as sweet potato, BCAAs (amino acids) as well as an assimilable protein. fast like native whey for example. This will allow your body to stop destroying your muscle tissue and recover better, which is crucial if you exercise frequently. You will be able to approach each training with better capacities and better feelings.