Endurance vs Work Capacity

Most people are familiar with the term “Endurance” when it comes to exercise and often conjure up images of skinny marathon runners or triathletes doing mammoth distances whilst enduring a lot of pain and discomfort. Endurance athletes can often stay at a constant pace for hour upon hour without tiring or slowing down. This kind of endurance is good to have for enduro riders as it enables us to ride all day and cover some long distances and some big hills. However, when it comes to a race stage you need a different type of fitness; this is where your capacity for workload comes in. It is your bodies ability to put out and sustain a high output of about 80-90% effort for 3+ minutes.

Both types of fitness are just as important as each other. If your endurance is lacking, then you will struggle to make it through the day but if your workload capacity is low then you will fade quickly on the race stages.

To train and improve your endurance, forget about doing it in the gym. There’s not many things more soul destroying than plodding away on a treadmill or bike for hours on end in an air-conditioned gym. Get outside and go for a ride. Make improving your endurance the focus of the ride by including some decent climbs and staying out for a few hours.

For your workload, this can be improved easily in the gym using interval training and circuit style training. Focus on full-body movements like burpees and Turkish getups, bodyweight movements such as push ups, lunges and chin ups along with high intensity cardio on a rower, Wattbike or Airdyne. The aim is to keep your heart rate high and take minimal rest to really get the most benefit and improvement. This style of training emulates an enduro race stage by increasing your bodies ability to handle a lot of high intensity work for extended periods of time whilst needing minimal recovery.

We post capacity workouts on our instagram page @enduro_fit along with others for your to try so check them out and give them a try!

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