Athletes often spend hours in the gym, but neglect to train their cardiovascular system. While building and maintaining lean muscle mass is an essential component of the athlete’s physique, endurance training will help you play longer, harder, and stronger. Here are five tips to achieving greater endurance through cardiovascular training.
Keeping hydrated is essential for optimal performance. Proper hydration maintains your essential body fluids and assists in muscle repair. You should sip small amounts of water throughout your workout, and if you are engaging in regular sessions of intense training, trainers recommend drinking one gallon of water per day.
2.Fuel Up With Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates provide your muscles with enough energy to power through long workouts. Slow digesting carbs, such as oatmeal or whey, consumed 60 minutes before a workout will provide a consistent release of nutrients into the body, keeping you energized.
3.Engage in Sport Specific Activities
Your choice of cardiovascular exercise should be closely related to your sport. If you play soccer, then running is the best choice for you. Boxers will find jump rope training increases stamina and footwork. Baseball players should incorporate sprints into their workouts to emulate base running.
4.Mix HIIT and Low Intensity Training
High intensity interval training increases the heart’s capacity to pump blood through the body, and the higher the capacity the higher your endurance level. Low intensity training allows you to go longer and get stronger. For runners, HIIT involves alternating running a lap at a normal pace for one minute, then sprinting for thirty seconds. Low intensity training involves running at a slower than normal pace for longer periods of time.
Digesting carbs and proteins after a strenuous workout will assist in muscle recovery and decrease muscle soreness. Recovery days with little to no activity are also essential for any athletes training program. With proper recovery, your body will perform with increased endurance and intensity.