How to Train for Aerobic Endurance


There are a wide variety of approaches to training for aerobic performance. The optimal approach requires varying the duration and intensity of your workouts. Many people mistakenly train at the same moderate intensity during every session.

The most effective approach is to perform a large percentage of your training at low intensity, sometimes called long distance, slow training. This is combined with some moderate intensity training and some high intensity training such as sprint and interval training. The level of intensity and duration of training should be varied from week-to-week and month-to-month. This is called periodization.

SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes

The details of my training plan come from the excellent book, SERIOUS Training for Endurance Athletes, written by Rob Sleamaker and Ray Browning. S.E.R.I.O.U.S. is an acronym for the components of their training plan: Speed, Endurance, Race/Pace, Intervals, Overdistance, Uphill, and Strength. If you use this book, you might find these Microsoft Excel spreadsheets useful:


A common misunderstanding is to think that the more training the better. It is important to remember that training works by inducing injury to your body. The improvements to your body that allow better performance occur while you are resting and recovering from the training induced injury. Training too much can actually lead to decreased performance.