Efficiency and endurance

by Jan 12, 2022Training0 comments

Efficiency and endurance

Efficiency and endurance. Two basic training terms that are often used interchangeably. Although both terms get locked into the general term “fitness”, understanding what they really are will give us a better understanding of how to select methods and measures to develop these abilities – that is, to be a better athlete.

Enduro to jedna z najbardziej wymagających wytrzymałościowo dyscyplin kolarskich.


Efficiency is the ability of the body to exert effort while developing the most efficient and economical responses of the body. Simply put, it refers to performing prolonged or intense work without signs of fatigue. It includes the overall physiological potential of the body. The measure of endurance is VO2max (maximum oxygen consumption in liters per minute).

Endurance, on the other hand, is the degree of utilization of the above potential taking into account character traits, willpower, tolerance to pain and fatigue. That is, how much your head and body can endure.  Sozanski defines endurance as the ability to work for a long time and at a certain intensity without reducing the effectiveness of the activity.

*Every author has a different definition, but all of them have a common denominator, which is the ability to resist fatigue and continue working without lowering its intensity.

Factors influencing endurance according to Ulatowski [1992]:

  • physiological – efficiency of aerobic and anaerobic energy sources, efficiency of the circulatory and respiratory systems
  • coordination – technique of movement, economization of movement
  • somatic – body dimensions and proportions, muscle to fat ratio, development of relevant muscle groups and their cross-section
  • mental – motivation, attitude, resistance to stress

In today’s sport, very high demands are placed on the athletes in terms of endurance capacity. Each sports competition requires a different kind of endurance. It depends on the specificity of the sport discipline. When creating a training program it is necessary to determine what kind of endurance prevails in the starting effort and what kind we want to develop. This will determine which methods and tools we will use.

Najdokładniejszym sposobem zbadania swojej wytrzymałości są badania wydolnościowe.

The key to endurance training is intensity, which is expressed as the speed of movement or heart rate level in a given training zone. It is extremely important to keep the right balance between intensity (%HRmax) and work volume (time, distance). Otherwise too high a training volume will lead to fatigue or overtraining. The training plan should take into account the athlete’s individual predispositions keeping in mind that volume is inversely proportional to intensity, i.e. high volume will be achieved by lowering the intensity [Klusiewicz 2015].

How to train endurance?

The task of training is to bring the athlete’s body to the optimal level of fatigue and to activate adaptive processes as a result of which supercompensation, i.e. energy recovery with a surplus, will occur.

The training methods used in the development of endurance differ in work intensity, duration, number of repetitions and the nature of rest breaks. Depending on the proportion of the mentioned elements we will shape a different type of endurance.

Methods of building endurance:

There are many methods of building endurance. Depending on our goal we can choose:

  1. Uninterrupted (continuous) method
  • a long-duration effort of uniform intensity, e.g. a 120 minute ride at a steady pace (e.g. Steady State Cardio)
  • a sustained effort with controlled variations in intensity (e.g., Fartlek)
  1. Interval method
  • A rest break allows the body to fully recover (repetition method)
  • The rest interval does not allow full recovery, e.g. the interval training method (a very hard but effective form of training). Depending on the ratio of work to rest we will develop aerobic (aerobic) or anaerobic (anaerobic) endurance. Additionally, the trainer can design the workout to shape different types of anaerobic endurance (power, capacity, etc.).
  • example of an anaerobic alactic unit that does not lead to lactic acid accumulation: 10×6 sec Max Effort / 3 min RI
  • example of a training unit that leads to lactic acid accumulation: 5×30 sec SUBmax Effort / 60 sec RI
  1. Control runs, competitions, tests
  • Essential for the development of special endurance, participation in competitions and tests transfers the skills acquired during training to the sporting requirements

No matter what kind of work we do it always ends in fatigue. Fatigue increases the longer we work.

The more resilient athlete you are, the more effective your work will be, and the shorter the recovery of the body after hard training to homeostasis (body balance) will be. It should be remembered, however, that each sport requires a different type of endurance and the choice of a different training method, and often a combination of several of them.

In the next articles we will develop the topic of endurance training in more detail. And if you are curious how to combine strength training with endurance training, I invite you to the podcast.

PS. Use the code “START” and receive 10% off your first month in the TFS Enduro or TFS Downhill program.


  1. J. Lenik S. Cieszkowski “Theory and methodology of sport” UR 2017
  2. Klusiewicz “Fundamentals of sports training theory and technology” AWF Warsaw 2015
  3. T. Ulatowski “Theory and methodology of sport” Warsaw 1979


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