How aerobic exercise works and why it’s so important to your health and running performance

Aerobic training is often neglected by many athletes. This type of low-intensity training has many advantages. It is a valuable addition to any training plan. Aerobic training units are particularly important when preparing for long distances. This includes, for example, half marathon training or for even longer distances, such as a marathon.

I honestly have to admit that I don’t particularly enjoy aerobic exercise myself. It just doesn’t suit me to exercise at low intensity. With all my love for fast pace runs and crisp interval training I know how healthy and useful it is. That’s why I rarely skip it, especially when preparing for long runs.

In the following article I would like to bring you a little closer to aerobic training. I will explain what this type of training is all about, where the advantages and disadvantages lie and what you should pay attention to during aerobic training in order to really achieve the best possible training effect.

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What is aerobic exercise anyway?

Simply put, our body has two ways of generating energy when exercising: aerobic and anaerobic. In aerobic energy production, energy is obtained from carbohydrates and fats with the help of oxygen. With anaerobic energy production, energy production works without oxygen exclusively from carbohydrates.

Up to a certain training intensity, the body mainly uses the aerobic energy supply. Only after a certain intensity of exercise does the anaerobic energy generation step in to support it.

While aerobic energy generation can work very long-term, even at the highest level, as long as sufficient energy is available, anaerobic energy generation builds up debts in the form of metabolic waste products, which, at high intensity, lead to a short to medium-term loss of performance can.

During aerobic training you should be conscious hold back.

Aerobic training describes targeted training in a sufficiently low performance range, in which the energy supply to the muscles can primarily be ensured within the framework of aerobic energy supply.

Why you should have aerobic exercise on your plan

Aerobic training has many advantages that you should not be without.

Basically, aerobic endurance forms the basis for training the cardiovascular system. Training this system with targeted cardio training is always sensible from a health point of view, because it improves the supply of your body with oxygen and all possible micro and macronutrients.

Another advantage is that this type of training prepares tendons and joints very well and specifically for long runs. Even if you are just about to start jogging , you shouldn’t ignore that. Due to the moderate load, you can concentrate fully on the movement sequences and do not put additional strain on your musculoskeletal system with suboptimal movement sequences. For this reason, it is also particularly well suited to slowly start running again .

Another important advantage of aerobic training is that through this type of training your body learns to optimize the energy supply from fat. This is especially true for longer sessions. This will lower your heart rate and allow you to run faster with a lower heart rate. You will become faster in the area of ​​basic endurance, which also makes you faster overall, especially on longer distances.

Lose weight faster with aerobic exercise?

Aerobic weight loss training has its right to exist. However, the fact that the proportion of energy obtained from fat relative to the total calorie consumption is highest in this type of training after about 15 to 20 minutes is often misinterpreted.

So don’t expect too much if you want to lose weight by running. Basically, you should be realistic about how high the additional consumption of calories really is. Especially with basic endurance training, this is also lower than many think.

You should also not dwell too much on the proportion of direct energy production from fat. Ultimately, when it comes to reducing body fat, the decisive difference is how big your calorie deficit, achieved through training and your diet, is. If you’re short on time, short, intense workouts are just as effective. The so-called afterburn effect also plays an important role, which significantly increases your energy requirements for a few hours after an intense workout.

A strong argument in favor of aerobic exercise to increase the calorie deficit, however, is that the load is so light that you can practice it every day for a long period of time without any problems. With more intensive training units, your body needs more regeneration and you should take a day or two break between units.

What to look out for during aerobic training

Ultimately, the right training intensity for aerobic training can be determined based on your pulse. As a rule of thumb, they say that your heart rate should be below 70% of your maximum heart rate. For me, this means that I can roughly train up to a pulse of 150 beats per second. With you, this pulse can of course differ from mine, depending on your age and gender.

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How often you should train in the aerobic area

As already mentioned, aerobic basic endurance training is not absolutely necessary. However, if you want to benefit from its advantages, then you should complete at least one unit per week. This is especially true if you plan to run longer distances. This is where this way of training comes into its own.

As mentioned before, there is nothing against training in the aerobic area more often.

Disadvantages of aerobic training sessions

As with many things in life, aerobic exercise isn’t all good. Even if the disadvantages are manageable, you should be aware of them.

An effective aerobic training session takes a lot of time. You should take at least an hour for this. If you are training for a long run, longer depending on the length of the run. In contrast to other types of training, the time required is even clearer if you pursue the goal of burning as many calories as possible.

Aerobic basic endurance units are relatively boring for many trainees due to their low intensity and monotony. I have to force myself to train with such low intensity. In order not to get bored, I try not to complete these units alone.

If I can’t get my training partner or my training partner to run together, then I will provide other entertainment during the training. The right music for training or, even better, a good podcast or audio book is suitable for this. If you (like me) enjoy listening to books, I can recommend a subscription to Audible * .

If your goal is to be able to run faster , then aerobic exercise alone won’t get you anywhere. Interval training has a greater effect here. You shouldn’t do without aerobic training entirely. It basically forms the basis and becomes more important the longer the route to be covered.

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Your conclusion on aerobic training

Even if aerobic training is neither the most exciting and varied nor the most time-efficient type of training, it still has a right to exist. With the right music for training or a good podcast or audio book on your ears, you can get the most out of here even without a training partner.

I hope you have recognized the advantages after reading this article and can now decide for yourself whether and to what extent this type of training makes sense for your goals. If you can find the time for regular aerobic cardio training , I can only advise you to plan this in your training program.