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Endurance

Endurance is defined as the ability to maintain an effort of relative intensity over a prolonged period of time.

It is an essential muscular quality in sports such as athletics (3000 m, 5000 m, 10,000 m, marathon, etc.), cycling and swimming (over longer distances).

It also forms the basis of physical fitness and develops cardiac volume.

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Endurance: basic principles.

To build strong endurance, you need to build a solid foundation with the resources you have to start with. Not everyone has the same level of endurance to start with. On the other hand, endurance is a quality that can easily be improved.

If you want to improve your endurance, start by defining the area you enjoy: jogging, cycling...

Give yourself a minimum to start with: for example, 10 minutes jogging or, if you're really out of shape, 10 minutes walking alternating with jogging.

The principle is simple: with each outing, you increase the amount of time you work. For example, for the 2nd outing, 20 minutes of jogging. And so on, 30 minutes for the 3rd outing, 40 for the 4th.

It's important to train at least once a week and to maintain this discipline.

Training.

Endurance in training is defined in two ways:

Firstly, the ability to produce an effort over a longer period of time.

Secondly, the ability to produce a more intense effort over the same distance.

The body must therefore be able to eliminate the waste products from the effort as quickly as it produces them.

Apart from basic training, when your endurance level starts to develop, you need to consider a different type of training in order to progress. You can't increase your training time indefinitely.

With this in mind, you can use interval training. The principle remains the same: you increase the pace of your training over a set period of time and then you can start to increase the frequency or duration of these intervals.

In this case, it's very useful to use a heart rate monitor. It can tell you how quickly you can recover after an interval or the intensity of the effort in relation to your endurance level.

Nutrition specific to endurance efforts : proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins for endurance.

Endurance is a long-duration effort. Depending on the duration, it will be important to renew the energy available so that you can continue your effort without feeling drained.

In the long term, endurance is an aerobic effort, which means that the muscle uses as much oxygen as the heart and lungs can provide.

Aerobic exercise will increase the body's consumption of oxygen. As a result, your body will speed up your breathing and heart rate. This type of exercise will work the heart, lungs and circulatory system and help keep them healthy. This workout will enable us to improve our cardiorespiratory fitness.

Efforts lasting more than 20 minutes and of low intensity will draw their energy from fat, but if we increase the pace, we risk needing some fast sugars to keep us going. At QNT, we have Energy powder and carbo load to give you a boost of energy during a long-intensity effort. Energel Quick Boost also contains sugar and guarana.

As for the rest, don't forget that in endurance sport, you'll have to carry your excess body weight for a certain length of time. So it's better not to be too heavy, and therefore to avoid putting on weight throughout the year, if you want to stay in shape and achieve good results.

Limiting calories is a good thing, but the diet for endurance sports needs to be complete. Enough protein, because long distances tend to reduce your muscle mass, and even if you don't want to put on too much muscle either, you still need to keep your muscles strong, enduring and functional. Of course, you need slow carbohydrates such as rice, wholemeal bread or pasta, and fast sugars after training to help your body recover more quickly. In the 90 minutes after training, the sugars consumed will not be transformed into fat but will go into the cells to replenish internal sugar stocks and replace those that have just been consumed.

A balanced diet with 5 to 6 meals a day is therefore also ideal for endurance athletes. The number of calories will of course depend on the genetics of the needs according to body shape and the intensity of the effort.

On the eve of a competition, however, it's a good idea to increase your carbohydrate intake; lower your daily protein intake to 10%, increase your carbohydrate intake to 70% and your fat intake to 20%. On D-Day, increase your protein intake to 15%, lower your carbohydrate intake to 60% and increase your fat intake to 25% of your daily intake. This will ensure that your body has enough nutrients to last the distance.

But be careful! Water intake is very important in endurance. Whether during the year or during a competition, you need to hydrate regularly. Long-distance efforts require more water and, above all, longer than other efforts.

And don't forget that long-duration efforts involve chemical reactions over a fairly long period of time, so they also consume large quantities of trace elements, minerals and vitamins. A vitamin and mineral supplement is therefore essential to keep your body working properly and avoid exhaustion or other problems.

Mistakes to avoid.

It always seems better to train endurance before resistance.

Endurance develops cardiac volume. That's why endurance athletes have slow heartbeats, because with a large heart volume, the heart doesn't have to beat too often to supply the body with oxygen via the blood. Resistance, on the other hand, will increase the strength of the heart and build up its muscles so that it can beat more powerfully. The walls of the heart can therefore thicken. This can prevent the heart from growing in volume.

Set a plan and stick to it.

There's no point in trying to develop your endurance if you don't have a plan to follow. If you can't follow the decisions you've made, simply postponing it for a day won't be a problem. A week's postponement, on the other hand, becomes too long and often leads to continual procrastination and therefore little result.