Workout of the Day

Real Endurance


Endurance generally conjures images of lean and long-limbed athletes running, cycling, or swimming continuously for hours on end. We think of triathlons, marathons, ultra-marathons, and other extraordinary long-distance challenges. This adaptation, the ability to continue moving without cessation for long durations, is one of our goals as practitioners of fitness. But there’s another type of endurance that we’re after, too. It’s the type that lasts for months, weeks, and decades, not hours or days.

Anyone can do something hard for a short duration. For example, if I were to stand on a busy street corner and offer to anyone who walks by a crisp $100 bill if they were willing to run in place for 60 seconds, I would likely get quite a few takers. I could probably up the ante 5 minutes, 10 minutes, maybe even 15, and still the majority of passersby would feel confident enough in their ability to move for this length of time and walk away with some cash.
But what if the time domain changed to hours, not minutes? This is where endurance comes into play. Yes, anyone can do something hard for a few minutes, but what about a few hours? Even with more cash on the line, my guess is that I’d hear “no” a lot more than “yes.”

In the same way, anyone can do something hard for a few days or even a few weeks. A stressful new job, long or difficult hours, time away from daily comforts, a challenging fitness program, etc. But after a short time, these endeavors begin to call on your endurance. The shine wears off, things become difficult or tiresome, progress slows, new challenges arise, and you’re ready to call it quits.

We’re interested in both kinds of endurance -- the kind measured in minutes and hours, as well as the kind measured in months and years. But both share something in common: they don’t just happen by accident. It takes some planning, some foresight, and a willingness to continue even when things inevitably do get difficult. Endurance takes commitment and it takes planning. There are no successful endurance athletes out there who start a race at full speed or enter into the race without some planning and pacing involved. Endurance athletes recognize the distance between the start and the finish line, and they operate accordingly.

Endurance athlete or not, we can learn a thing or two about the other type of endurance from our fellow runners, swimmers, cyclists, etc. When we enter into a new fitness program or career change or whatever else, we should understand the distance between the start and finish line, and understand the pacing involved therein. And if you’ve been around here long, you’ll know that we believe this fitness stuff to be a lifetime endeavor, not a short sprint, and that means there’s some considerable endurance involved. The question then becomes, are you doing the things now that will allow you to keep going down the road? Is your first or second mile preparing you for your 20th mile, or preventing you from even getting there?

- PS


  • “Frelen”

  • 5 rounds for time:

    • 800m row

    • 15 DB thrusters (45/35)

    • 15 pull-ups