Training for endurance requires a very tough mind set. On completing an endurance event or training one will experience a real sense of accomplishment you don’t generally get anywhere else and if it is a group activity or sport you have a great connection with other people who have gone through it with you.
This is not dissimilar to military boot camps and training periods where they become more like family. On top of this there are many benefits you get from deciding to train and compete in an endurance sport, here are 6 reasons you should not be afraid to pursue it.
Benefits of Endurance Training
1. Feeling of Accomplishment
When you make it through a tough training session or do something that not many other people can do you feel an overwhelming sense of achievement. It’s tough and at times you will want to give up, but this feeling will make you want to do it all over again.
2. It Improves Mental Strength
Your mind will quit a thousand times before your body ever does. It builds character, being able to say I want to quit, but I won’t and forcing yourself to fight through the pain can make you a very hard person to beat in all other areas of your life too. You will gain an incredible will to be successful, whether that is winning or simply finishing is up to you.
3. It Is Great For Your Health
Your health has to be priority number one and being able to complete endurance training will put you very high on the health charts. This will mean less chance of developing illnesses and a longer life expectancy for you. Your cardiovascular system will be in excellent shape which will have a positive impact on your day to day life.
4. You Won’t Be Taking It Easy
I use to have a coach who told us we should train to swim the 400m individual medley (one of, if not the hardest event in swimming) simply because others weren’t willing to train for it. So if you are competing in endurance events whether that is age groups or open competition you will automatically have less people to beat than other sports because the process weeds out the weak. The commitment to training for such an event will discourage many others from even attempting it.
5. Change For The Better
Other people may be able to juggle going out on the weekends and hitting the gym the next day or playing some sport after work when they haven’t eaten a lot all day. If you are performing endurance sport you will not be able to do those things half-hearted. Being dehydrated from not drinking enough or being under fueled nutritionally from not eating enough will have a dramatic effect on your training and competition and so it will force you to be prepared, plan ahead and sacrifice. It will make you a much more dedicated person.
6. You Will Build Muscle
The assumption is that endurance requires the use of slow twitch muscle fibers, however according to recent studies your body will first recruit slow-twitch fibers and once they are fatigued it will recruit your fast twitch fibers to help. This is why soccer players build huge calf muscles and cyclists have quads big enough to rival some bodybuilders so if you are thinking that endurance sport will take all of your gains away then you need not worry. Not only will you gain muscle, but you will also get much stronger by building your muscular endurance by expanding on its ability to work hard for longer.
Whether you are in training to get bigger, leaner, stronger or more athletic, endurance sport can do that for you. There are so many varieties of endurance sports: cycling, running, triathlons, iron man events, obstacle courses, such as Tough Mudders and Spartan Races, and even open water swimming.
There is so much to try and you will improve in all other aspects of fitness if you commit to pushing yourself in one of these disciplines. It will also provide you with a challenge and challenges keep things interesting, there is nothing less motivating than the same boring stuff with the same results, if you find a passion for an endurance event you really can commit to it and find out your physical capabilities.