Play Video



Endurance training systems are very varied, but in general, we can talk about two large groups of basic systems, continuous training methods and fractionated training methods. The fundamental difference between the two is that, while in the first one the workout is carried out continuously without any type of pause or intermediate rest. In fractionated methods, the total work time is divided into shorter periods alternated with recovery periods in between, these recoveries can be complete or incomplete, active or passive.


Continuous training methods consists of making a prolonged effort continuously, without interruptions or pauses. It is used for the development of aerobic endurance and can be done in two ways:

At a constant speed, maintaining the same intensity, with a heart rate between 50-70% of the maximum capacity.
At a variable speed, changing continuously the pace of the heart rate.

The main continuous methods for the development of endurance are:

Continuous running (Finnish school): aims to improve aerobic endurance. It consists of running at a steady pace, with a moderate intensity on flat ground. The distance depends on the initial level of the subject. You should start with short distances and gradually increase to distances of between 10 and 20 km . Its objective is to maximize the absorption of oxygen and increase the metabolism of fats. The intensity of the effort must be constant, and the heart rate must be maintained between 140 and 150 bpm. It is usually used in the preparatory periods to prepare the body for the efforts of regular training.

Fartlek (Swedish school): consists of running races interspersed with continuous changes of pace and distance. Each distance is run at a preset pace; the sections of continuous running are considered rest periods and the acceleration sections are those of effort. It affects the improvement of aerobic and anaerobic capacity:

  • To improve aerobic capacity, work is done over 10-12 km, alternating long distances (1-2 km) with periods of greater intensity of 200-400 m.
  • To improve anaerobic capacity, long distances of 200-600 m are worked on alternated with more intense periods of 100-200 m and accelerations of 50-100 m.
  • The heart rate must be around 140 bpm in easy rhythms and 180 in intense rhythms.
  • The total volume of a training session is usually around 2-3 series of 3-4 km, with an active rest of 5 minutes between them.

Total training: it is a sum of continuous running, fartlek and strength exercises with your own body weight. It takes place in the natural environment, and different terrains, distances, rhythms and intensities alternate. Its objective is to improve the general physical condition, therefore, it is usually used in the first phases of training. An example would be:

  • 10 minutes of continuous running.
  • 4 series of 20 meters.
  • 10 minutes of continuous running.
  • 20 minutes of strength in pairs.
  • 5 minutes of continuous running.
  • 15 minutes of flexibility.
  • 10 minutes of continuous running.

Cuestas: it is a system of short races focused on improving both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. You usually work 2-3 times a week for 1-2 months. Targeting aerobic endurance:

  • Distance: over 100 meters.
  • Slope: small, 5-10 degrees.
  • Rate of rise: smooth.
  • Repetitions: 10-15.
  • Rest: descent to the exit, 30-45 seconds.
  • Targeting Anaerobic Endurance:
  • Distance: 20-60 meters.
  • Slope: medium, 15-20 degrees.
  • Rate of rise: strong.
  • Repetitions: 6-10.
  • Rest: until down to 140 ppm.

Polish race: it is a system based on continuous running with long work at a variable pace and chosen by the own person. An example of a great Polish race would be the following: warm-up, speed, pace and cool down. Example:

  • 10 minutes of continuous running.
  • 20 minutes of speed: 4-6 sets of 400-500 meters, at an easy pace, followed by 50
  • 100 meters of speed.
  • 10 minutes of continuous running.
  • 20-minute pace run: 4-5 sets of 150-600 meters at high pace, followed by stretches of 400-500 meters at easy pace.
  • 10 minutes of continuous running.
  • 10 minutes back to calm.


These systems began to be used in athletics at the end of the 19th century and is currently one of the most used in the different sports disciplines. Due to its multiple possibilities, it has given rise to numerous endurance training systems, since it allows a greater volume of training to be achieved at a faster pace with less fatigue.

It is characterized by dividing the total effort into several parts of submaximal intensity, which alternate with recovery breaks. For example, consider running three sets of ten minutes with a 5-minute break in between. The duration of the break is variable and during it you walk, stretch, etc. Within the fractionated methods we are going to talk about two large groups: the interval systems and the repetition method.


They are those in which the workout time is broken up and incomplete recovery periods are interspersed, that is, in which the subject does not fully recover. Among the interval systems, the best known is Interval-Training.

Interval-training: It is a method that alternates efforts and active pauses (walking, light jogging). The objective is to improve the efficiency of the organism in the work zone in which it passes from aerobic to anaerobic effort, what we call the aero-anaerobic threshold zone. That is, the moment when the body is no longer capable of supplying a sufficient amount of oxygen and therefore begins to produce and accumulate lactic acid. Characteristics of this method:

  • They must not exceed 180 bpm.
  • During the active pause, the heart rate drops to 120-130 bpm.
  • Race distances range from 60 to 400 meters.
  • Between 10 and 20 repetitions are performed.


As in the interval system, in the repetition system the efforts are also divided. The main difference is that in this case the recovery periods are complete. Within the repetition systems we are going to highlight two: circuit-training and repetition training.

Circuit-Training: It is the only endurance workout system that does not basically use running, since it was originally created as an alternative to develop endurance in small and closed places, due to climatic conditions. It generally combines endurance work with strength work. It consists of having a variable set of exercises (between 6 and 12) organized in a circuit. The exercises alternate the muscle groups, with short recovery periods between them. Up to 4 laps of the circuit are made, with a 1 to 3 minutes pause in between.

Repetition training: it is a training method aimed fundamentally at improving endurance in speed disciplines. It consists of performing series, whose running distances vary between 20 and 300 meters, at a maximum or sub-maximum speed, with a number of repetitions not very high and long enough breaks to allow a complete recovery between repetitions. Series can be done in various ways:

  • Exact: all repetitions are exactly the same.
  • Progressive: the same distance or duration is always performed, but with increasing intensity, without varying the recovery time.
  • Simulators: a distance similar to that of the competition is covered, divided into shorter series of variable distances.
  • Mixed: varies the distance and rest time.
  • Overload: the same distance is always covered and the intensity is increased in a sector of the race.
  • Broken: the distance is very short and is done at maximum speed.


Get your scores by email!