The Myths of Endurance Training Dispelled

Have you all every heard the quote “absence of disease is not health?” I recently heard a psychologist paraphrase that in a TED talk and it really left me thinking about health, fitness, and, of course, endurance training.

Webster’s dictionary defines endurance as:

The ability to withstand hardship or adversity; especially: the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.

CrossFit Endurance defines the program as:

An endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. This program only requires 6-8 hours per week to COMPETE at Ultra/Ironman distances.

So in-order to endure something like a marathon must someone train via long slow distances (10-12 hours a week) or would sustaining a regular schedule of high intensity activity suffice? We could certainly argue both but there is also a saying out there that says “time is money” and frankly my time is precious, so I personally prefer the 6-8 hour alternative.

How does it work?

Without getting too scientific on you and throwing down anaerobic vs aerobic or referencing phospho-creatine, I pose this question for all you runners out there. “Besides race day, at any point in your training did your legs ever seize up and feel as though they were going to stop functioning?”

Wild guess but I am going to go with, “No.”

Niki and Lindsey run in competition.

Niki and Lindsey run in competition.


That feeling on race day is lactic acid build up and generally happens around mile 21 of a full marathon or mile 10 of a half. Overcoming that feeling it is really what makes long distance races a massive accomplishment. The reason runners don’t get to this feeling in their training is because traditional programming doesn’t have you run more then 21 miles pre-race day.

Now I ask folks that have been coming to endurance class on Sundays, “When was the last time your legs felt like that?”

Yup, you guessed it… just last Sunday. You don’t need to spend 3 hours to get to that state, give me 10-90 minutes of your time and we will tick that box.

Those that train via the long slow distance methodology will argue that there is a mental preparedness which makes the 2 plus hour training runs vital which I couldnt agree more with. That it is just that, mental. Just kidding, in all honesty I do 100% agree races are largely a mental feat, not just mind over matter but also you are in your own head for the duration of the race, just you and your thoughts. I struggle in an hour long yoga class, me and my thoughts just don’t like hanging out that intimately. As such, I prefer to save our 1-on-1 time for my 10 minute morning meditation and the eventual race day. But I have good news when it comes to developing the mental strength of will and determination because that too can be achieved through endurance class. There is good reason that the workout ‘Death by 100m’ has its name, because you, in fact, think you are going to die.

Raffy and Cassie finding 1RM Ground-to-Overhead at OCCF.

Raffy and Cassie finding 1RM Ground-to-Overhead at OCCF.

All that being said, the intention of this post is not to lure you to my wicked ways. It is truly to diminish the 3 myths of endurance class:

1. If you are training for an endurance event, be it a 5k or ultramarathon, all relative to the athlete, long-slow distance training isn’t the only way to prepare.

2. For those of you that may think Endurance class on Sundays is a long-slow-distance run, it is not. Though on occasion we may toss a 10k into the hopper.

3. Despite the picture I may have haphazardly painted Endurance class is not just for the runner or race trainer. In alignment with FFOTB’s general physical preparedness philosophy, endurance class is scaleable across all athletes. It can improve your stamina for when you are chasing your kid, crushing a workout, running a marathon, or just ensure you are not exhausted after walking the dog.

Above and beyond everything keep doing your darm thing and continue to get moving everyday.

See you on Sunday!


Johanna Hudson


Tuesday’s Workout:

6 Pistols
12 KB Swings (2/1.5)

-Rest 2 min-

6 Deadlifts (275/185)
12 Over the Bar Burpees

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *