After achieving so much in the space of endurance running, multiple world record holder Zach Bitter likes how “training for endurance events often crosses over into other aspects of life and how important enjoying the process is to have a successful outcome at a race or for any health benefit targets”.
He said, “The process of sitting down, asking yourself what you want to prepare for and planning it out and executing the plan is such an important skill to develop for any project or life goal you might have in sight.
“I also often remind myself that there are so many options available in the fitness and exercise world that I might as well pick one that I will enjoy doing as much as possible. I think about this before I pick a race, since I think it is more rewarding to train specifically for the environment and intensity of the target event.”
With his wealth of experience, Zach has 5 tips on how to improve your endurance as you aim for longer distances in running, cycling or triathlon.
1) Be mindful of your own capabilities.
The first thing Zach suggests is to be mindful of where you are at and build from there. It is okay if you have little to no experience in the sport, but you should be mindful that a gradual consistent build is almost always required for long term success and sustainability.
2) Don’t parrot someone else’s programme.
Each of us is unique and hence should have our own training plan. This doesn’t mean you cannot learn from and train with others, but you should be aware that you may be starting from a different spot and have different strengths and weaknesses than someone else, so similar to the first tip, be mindful of where you are currently at.
3) Micro stressing is key.
Even the smallest of things can add up. The body requires a stress stimulus to get stronger. With that said, a little bit can go a long way. If you overreach on a single workout, it might feel great to take on a big training load, but if it causes you to require too much extra recovery, it can take a future workout off the training table.
4) More is not always better.
Be mindful of the intensity at which you spend most of your running time. It is okay, and often beneficial, to go out for a faster run. However, more is not always better. If you constantly run a bit too fast, it will make it less likely that you will progress past a certain point and can even leave you burnt out or injured.
Beginners should aim for approximately 80 percent of their running volume to be moderate to low intensity efforts to help develop a strong aerobic foundation.
5) Recovery is where you improve, not during a workout.
People often assume that the hard work they do on the track, roads, and/or trails is what ultimately makes them stronger. Although putting in the work is necessary for improvement, if you don’t allow the recovery process to take place you will not improve much, and can end up overworked or injured.
Once the hard work is done, be sure to give yourself enough time to absorb that training stimulus, so that your body gets stronger, faster, and more resilient for future sessions.
And we would like to add a sixth point of our own – to wear the right apparel like the new Zach Bitter Signature Series 1 collection which is made of our advanced fabric technology HYPERMESH that helps you stay cool so you can perform better. Shop this special collaboration here.