Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Blog Archives - 2012
Are You Going the Distance?

What's your definition of endurance? Mine is not letting yourself quit when your body or even your own laziness beg you to. But really, endurance is just the ability to run farther, not faster, just farther, according to Runners World Magazine. Did you know that every one of us is born either fast or slow? Just like how we genetically get our fast or slow metabolisms. It's quite sad really, knowing that your intense speed workouts aren't benefiting you as much as you thought. I'm still trying to figure out whether I'm fast or slow...I like to say I'm on the fence on that one. You wanna know the best part about gaining endurance? Anyone can do it, it's not a matter of your genetic speeds, but just training your body to go the distance, in a surprisingly short amount of time.

But why is endurance so important? Even if you're a sprinter, you need to include endurance workouts to help you improve race times. Now I'm just going to assume (yeah, bad idea, I know) that ya'll are longish distance runners, not sprinters. But if you are, then by all means, keep on reading anyways! Endurance has always been known to increase muscular strength, helping out every muscle that is associated with any kind of running. It also helps strengthen your core. No, not your abs, but your heart, the real core. Not only does it strengthen muscles, but endurance running also strengthens the mind in crazy ways. We all know that pushing our endurance boundaries is a huge drag and certainly not easy, but it really pays off. It gives us that mental confidence and persistence when we force our mind and bodies to go longer than they want to. Endurance helps with efficiency. Aerobic efficiency, that is. I bet you didn't know that slower endurance running builds more capillaries in your muscles. Capillaries bring oxygen to your muscles--so you'll have extra pathways for your lungs to transport oxygen to your muscles. Since they'll be getting all that oxygen, your muscles won't become fatigued after a longer period of time. It will also help you recover from harder workouts so you're back on your feet in a jiffy.

The longer you run, the more calories you burn. You'll also burn more fat, lose more weight and keep it off/maintain your ideal weight a whole heck of a lot better. Here's a little tidbit--every mile you run burns approximately 100 calories, so keep that in mind next time! Long runs can teach you a bunch of things, like, for instance, handling stress! The run teaches you how to complete endless tasks that you would rather not do despite fatigue (mental or physical). You'll feel more productive and who knows, maybe you'll even start something you've been putting off for a while! I'm telling yah, those long runs do good things. Eric Zorn, who is a both a marathoner and Chicago Tribune columnist, claims that, "The lessons learned from endurance training can definitely be translated to your life beyond running." And that is SO true. Have I convinced you yet? I sure hope so, so please, get out there and put in some mileage! I'll be back with another post on endurance running: the basics.

Happy Trails!

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