What are the distinctive traits of an endurance athlete? What should you focus on in training?
Just like a sprinter, an endurance athlete – somebody who churns out long distances – is only seemingly easy to train, but, compared to sprinters, it is simpler to train them up to a reasonable performance level.
Do you prefer swimming “up-and-down” the pool performing long intervals without being disturbed, maintaining a constant pace and do you, in fact, struggle when it comes to stepping up a gear? Then it is likely you are a long-distance swimmer, but there is more to it than that.
An endurance athlete requires different psychological stimuli than a sprinter, due to the monotony of training sessions. A long-distance swimmer is “mentally tougher” in terms of ensuring physical pain and exhaustion and has a greater ability to go “beyond” their own limits.
It is extremely important for endurance swimmers to monitor their heart rate per minute to train at the right intensity. So how do you do that? At the end of a training session, placed two fingers on your neck alongside your windpipe and use some sort of watch to check your number of heartbeats in 10 seconds. Multiply this number by six and you have your heart rate per minute.
It is also advisable to use training aids like Hand Paddles, , a Pullkick (or Pullkick Pro) and Swim Keel, which will increase the intensity of your effort and, most significantly, make training less boring!
Of course, just like other athletes, it is advisable to do some stretching and warmup exercises using elastic bands and perform some injury-prevention drills on dry land before entering the water.
Are you sure endurance training is for you? Well then, enjoy your swim.