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Beyond Basic Training - Preparing for Endurance Sports Competition

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Updated February 13, 2012

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Building Fitness for Endurance Sports Requires More Than Base Miles
Base training

Base training

Photo: John Howard / Getty Images

One of the simplest concepts in training for endurance sports, such as running or cycling, is that it's important to build a solid base of fitness before progressing to the next level of training. Most endurance athletes know the value of base miles that build endurance with long, slow, steady exercise sessions. They put in hours of easy miles of endurance training and start a basic weightlifting routine. They feel fit and ready for the next increase in training.

But what comes next?

This is often when athletes turn to their coaches or trainers for the answer. But what if you don't have a coach? Many recreational athletes become confused during this transition from basic training to competition level fitness. They often start doing too much too soon, or fail to add the intensity that will create real results.

So exactly what should you do after basic training?

This is the time to work on sports-specific skills, efficiency and power, without losing your endurance. Here are four important steps to build upon base fitness and get ready for competition.

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