As the days have become longer, so have our dreams of long rides, long distance training for the summer or for late summer events (fingers crossed). Endurance is the name for any event, ride, run that is performed over a long distance and may entail that an athlete take it to the limit of their endurance. You endure to the end, your limit.

Stamina though, is the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. You can see then why I prefer to train stamina rather than endurance.

This quote is from Matt Fitgerald, Triathlete magazine, and it echoes my sentiments and training methods;

“There’s little or nothing to be gained by performing more than three or four long swims, rides and runs per month, and little or nothing to be gained from doing more than a handful of sessions near the top end of the appropriate distance range for such workouts (eg multiple runs over 18 miles)…. The keys to getting the biggest return on your investment in long workouts are well-planned progressions and working very hard at the appropriate times.”

Matt Fitgerald

For the triathlete; Alternating a long bike with a brick moderate bike with long run one weekend, with a long run, long bike, moderate run the next will progress your stamina. Changing up the pace during those as you become more specific with your training is a great way to find your pace strategy for different distances of endurance.

Cyclists; since cycling is less physiologically hard or has less fatigue associated with it, given a robust base, the opportunity for back to back longer rides is available to build both endurance and stamina. Alternating a harder high intensity ride with a longer lower intensity ride produces the adaptations to endure and to prolong your ability to ride at effort.

There are a few platforms to monitor your chronic load day to day; your acute load on any given day, and your ramp up rate of volume week to week. Those of you already using Training Peaks may recognize the terminology; Strava Premium also uses a solid data base to confer Fitness and Freshness levels based on similar intensity over time with the use of heart rate and power.

To summarize, progressive endurance and specific stamina rides will condition you to experience rather than ‘endure’ your long distance goals. It would be my pleasure to coach you on how to do so, contact me;