Endurance is defined as the ability for a person to exert themselves over a long period of time.
Interestingly, this term can be used in either anaerobic or aerobic exercises, so the actual meaning of “long’ can vary from activity to activity.
It can be minutes for high intensity anaerobic exercise, hours or even days for lower intensity.
Interestingly training for endurance can compromise the ability to exert strength.
The body reacts to the needs of most endurance training by lightening the load, which for the body may mean losing some muscle. This can be offset by doing resistance training like weight lifting along with endurance training.
Basically endurance exercise or endurance training consists of performing low to medium intensity exercises for long periods of time. Exercises like jogging or running several miles are ideal.
The distance of the jog or run can vary considerably depending on the endurance goals of the individual or the demands of the particular sport.
Other methods of building endurance include riding a bicycle (stationary or otherwise), or swimming. Aerobic exercise can also build endurance.
Physical endurance is very different from other forms of physical stress in that it is not merely muscle fatigue and cardiovascular stress that force the effort to stop.
The need for sleep, the buildup of waste chemicals like lactic acid, the depletion of glycogen and the loss of other needed chemicals, physical injury, or even psychological failure can take a toll. These are all additional hurdles that the endurance athlete must conquer.