Through our hugely popular and controversial series, “The Fittest Sport,” we recently discovered which sport boasts the fittest athletes on the planet. Now, we turn our attention to endurance sport and determine what “The Ultimate Endurance Sport” is all about.
But first, we will explain the difference between fitness and endurance. One of the most important factors in the difference between fitness and endurance is the role of an athlete’s brain and mindset.
While an athlete has to endure training session after training session to reach peak fitness, endurance itself is more like strength or the inability to give up.
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let’s take a closer look.
What is fitness?
strength. tolerance. patience. Flexibility. Power. Speed. coordination. Agility. balance. Accuracy.
These ten words describe the key characteristics of almost any activity you encounter, and so one’s ability in each describes fitness.
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We humans are usually very good in a couple, mediocre in most, and very little in some.
Some of these skills are improved through training and stimulating physical changes in your body. Others are developed through practice. Developing your nervous system to carry out tasks within your current physical capacity.
Finally, strength and speed are developed through a combination of both training and exercises.
Fitness can be broken down scientifically into an individual’s ability to function in three metabolic pathways: phosphocreatine, glycolytic and oxidative.
A metabolic pathway is just one method your body uses to generate ATP, the body’s currency of energy that is expended by your muscles. In each of these paths a person fits according to his ability.
The phosphocreatine pathway is for short, explosive ATP production. The glycolytic pathway provides energy during 30 seconds to 4 minutes of moderate-duration exercise.
The oxidative pathway is the ability to produce energy aerobically (from oxygen). This pathway provides small amounts of energy for a very long period.
Many people fit a single route, while the most qualified athletes will cover at least two, if not three, paths.
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What is endurance?
Endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to repeatedly exert force against resistance. Doing multiple repetitions of an exercise is a form of muscular endurance, such as running or swimming.
If your muscles have to contract in the same pattern more than once then you are using muscular endurance.
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Many factors contribute to muscular endurance, including strength, fiber type, training and diet.
A large, strong muscle can perform the same task under pressure more often than a weaker muscle.
If you can bench press 300 pounds you will be able to do more repetitions with 100 pounds than if your maximum bench weight was 200 pounds.
A larger muscle has more glycogen, the sugar you use for energy, so it will be able to sustain or work a series of contractions for longer periods.
Your muscle fibers that lack energy can fail to fatigue. Glycogen, or sugar, is essential for both peak and sustained muscular effort.
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In less scientific terms, when fitness has expended all your energy, stamina increases.
This motion highlights the key difference between fitness and endurance as it shows how the body nearly tolerates the aches and pains of muscle failure to power and tap through the body’s excess energy supply.
Training can promote muscular endurance, assuming you put in the extra effort. Don’t just lengthen existing training sessions; Do another workout on your next day off, but only train with 60 percent volume and 60 percent intensity.
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This will not only help you recover by increasing blood flow to your muscles but will also help boost endurance by increasing your tolerance for training volume.
Along with a proper diet, carefully calibrated training will help increase your muscular endurance for competitive sports or recreational activities.
What do experts say
Michael Wardian has won several titles including 3 consecutive US 50 km championships, US 100 km national championships and 6 national marathons, winning 3 in a row on 2 separate occasions.
It’s safe to say that this guy knows his stuff when it comes to fitness and endurance at an elite level.
“I think fitness is the ability to stay in shape to do whatever is put in front of you. You can use fitness to play with kids, walk the dog, run, and stay healthy.
Endurance is the ability to do all those things and any activity for hours or days without fumbling,” Mike said.
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In late 2016, Sophie Rooney became the first woman to run the full length of Scandinavia.
A former elite kayaker, Sophie knows a thing or two about both fitness and stamina.
“I think the difference between fitness and endurance is actually quite subtle. Personally, I look at endurance as a baseline that can be applied to anything and everything.
“Fitness is a relative thing. Fitness can mean different things to different people. A runner and a marathon runner will probably see fitness as completely different things. For example, at the moment I Certainly fit enough to enter long distance running – but if I tried to kayak sprint I would probably struggle to keep up!” he added.
Alex Kashefi became the first person to race across Europe when he arrived in Tarifa in southern Spain in early 2017.
Alex started running via the “Couch to 5k” app and has done an incredible job getting fit before enduring some excellent ultra-runs before.
“Fitness is metabolic whereas endurance is mindset. They are not mutually exclusive. I really don’t think any sport is an ultimate game. Running, climbing, swimming and other sports which completely depend on the human body are the ultimate sports. You can’t coast or freewheel in games like this,” Alex said.
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Keep an eye on the PledgeSports blog as we’ll be analyzing the top six endurance sports and their athletes over the next six weeks.
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