Endurance Training

Swimming: Endurance training as a leisure activity.

Swimming is not only fun, but also good for your body. Water sports are also great for endurance training. Swimming also promotes your muscles, your cardiovascular system and burns many calories. Read here some suggestions for your personal training program.

Strengthening the body while protecting the joints

In sports such as running or cycling, you primarily promote the leg muscles. But when you swim, you train your whole body. You will also use muscles that you do not use so often in your everyday life. You will also increase your stamina if you swim regularly, and you should stick to a training plan if possible. One advantage of swimming as a water sport is that you only feel a tenth of your weight in the water, as the fitness magazine “Fit for Fun” reports. This means that during endurance training you are more gentle on your joints than during other sports such as running.

Swimming: Training program for more stamina

As a beginner you start your endurance training with two units a week. The optimal rhythm is three to four units per week with a total of three to four hours of training, advises the Center for Sports Medicine in Berlin. Start slowly – you can also increase the pace later. You should calculate 180 minus age in years as the guideline value for the stress pulse. For the following training program, simply choose the swimming style that you know best.

For the beginning it is enough to swim five times over 100 meters each. It is best to take a break in between. After three to four weeks you may already have made noticeable progress and can increase your training a little. Now swim three times 200 meters, and if you increase your performance again after one month on the next three levels, always 100 meters more each time. Once you have reached the sixth level, try swimming four times 500 metres.

Endurance training for crawl style

If you only want to do your endurance training with the crawl style, the following training program is suitable: Sit down four lanes in an indoor swimming pool while swimming as the basic course and always take a 30-second break between each session. Depending on your fitness level, choose a 25 or 50 metre long lane. Crawl at a leisurely pace at first. You then complete the distance without having to hit your leg. Simply clamp a swimming board between your legs. Thus you increase above all the load of the arms.

After the next break, crawl at normal speed. Then release the arm pulls and put your hands on the swimming board. This is how you train your legs in particular. After the last break, crawl at normal speed, this time doing two half lanes of a crawl sprint. In the last session you crawl at a leisurely pace, just like at the beginning.

Health effects of endurance training

Physical load control

An effective cardiovascular training should last at least 20 minutes (30 – 45 minutes are optimal). This is a guideline. The training time depends on your physical condition and the intensity of the training.

In cardiovascular training, more than 1/6 of the entire body musculature must be used. This is always the case when arms or legs are in motion. For an optimal training it is therefore necessary to use as many muscle groups as possible.

Control the physical load during training by measuring the pulse rate. You measure your pulse independently with your index and middle finger on the neck artery or wrist. Measure 15 seconds and multiply the value by 4 = your pulse per minute. Alternatively, measure only 10 seconds and then multiply the determined value by 6.

Recommendations for pulse rate for endurance and strength endurance:

  • Formula men: 220 minus age = 100% intensity = maximum heart rate
  • Formula women: 226 minus age = 100% intensity = maximum heart rate
  • for general endurance training, the heart rate should be between 60% and 80% of the maximum heart rate when exercising.
  • Beginners start at the lower value
  • the data are valid for cardiovascular healthy persons

Example: For a 60 year old, this formula gives: 220 – 60 = 160 as the maximum heart rate. The load pulse during endurance training should therefore be between 96 (60% of the maximum heart rate) and 128 (80% of the maximum heart rate) per minute.

The continuous method is a good training method. It is particularly suitable for training long-term endurance and for basic endurance training. The interval method is also used for certain sports such as swimming.

For whom are which endurance sports suitable?

Aerobics is intensive cardiovascular training with many possibilities of load control. With varied crotch and arm combinations you train not only your endurance but also your coordination skills. If you do aerobics with an even average load without jumping and jumping, the training is also suitable for older people. The intensity of the load can be very well controlled by the choice of elements and the tempo of the music.

Swimming is one of the most effective endurance sports as it allows a whole body workout and uses the entire musculature of the back, arms, legs and buttocks. Swimming enables an effective endurance training with fun for every age group.

Running and walking are among the most popular endurance sports, as they burn many calories and require almost the entire musculature. However, when running, the load on the knee, hip and ankle joints is very high.

When walking, the load on the joints is much lower than when running and therefore it is better suited for people who are overweight. It can also be used as a starting point for later running training.

Cycling is a joint-friendly endurance sport for young and old as well as for overweight people. In direct comparison with running and swimming, however, cycling requires fewer muscle groups and therefore consumes less calories. However, when cycling you can control the load very well by the training length and the training intensity (speed, riding in hilly terrain).

Skating is very popular with teenagers and children due to the high fun factor. The motion sequence is identical to skating. In addition to endurance, skating promotes coordination, the sense of balance and the ability to react. Skating is also very suitable for overweight children and adults, as it is easier on the joints when skates sit well than, for example, running.

However, skating has a higher risk of injury (bone fractures, leg and arm twists) and should therefore only be done with the appropriate protective clothing.

Movement games can also be incorporated into endurance training.
This includes ball and team games (e.g. handball or volleyball) or game sports (e.g. tennis, table tennis, badminton, Indiaca).

Ball games and team games are particularly suitable for children who find pure endurance training with running or cycling too boring.