In endurance sports, the principles applied in training control also come from competitive sport. In this case, the amateur athlete can also benefit from certain fundamental principles of training planning in competitive sport. While in strength training, weight and the number of repetitions are valid elements for evaluating exertion, in endurance sports there is a more immediate measure of the level of exertion: heart rate.
The heart rate allows you to draw conclusions about the effect of training, even at rest. For this it is necessary to know the maximum frequency, a value that can be established by means of different tests in which the cardiovascular system is subjected to a maximum load. In any case, this is not recommended for the amateur athlete. Theoretically and roughly, the maximum heart rate can be determined by applying the following formula:”Maximum Heart Rate (MPR) = 220 minus age”.
According to this formula, the optimal pulse range from the point of view of the heart and circulatory system is between 70 and 80% of the maximum frequency and, for fat metabolism, between 60 and 70%. Endurance sports also differ in different working methods.
In the field of physical education, the following systems are distinguished: continuous performance method, interval-based performance method, repetition method and finally, competition method.
In amateur sports, the most commonly used method is continuous performance and, with some limitations, interval performance. In the methods of repetition and competition, similar loads are used to those used in competitions, with intensities ranging from high values to maximum values, which is why it is not advisable to use them in the case of an amateur athlete.
The continuous performance method is characterized by the application of an uninterrupted load during a long period of training. This method is used, more or less automatically, by most amateur athletes, and its results are valid as long as the load intensity is within the optimal pulse range for the age group.
In the interval performance method, a planned change is made between the load and idle phases. In the resting phases, complete recovery is not achieved. In today’s fitness clubs, this type of training can be carried out on resistance machines, using the so-called “pyramid system”. This method is particularly suitable as a complement to the resistance method for advanced endurance athletes. Athletes with a special interest in endurance based 80-90% of their training on the continuous performance method, so their choice is also advisable for amateur athletes.