6 ways to build Endurance

Discover your inner strength and how to keep going.

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Endurance, needed on every single journey in life, not just when racing ultras, Ironmans or other long, far and crazy challenges. We talk about endurance athletes, but how about other areas, where endurance is needed. How about journeys in life?

The challenges we choose and the ones we don’t.

How about enduring hardships, setbacks and curve balls – despite fatigue, stress or other adverse conditions?

I consider myself an endurance athlete. Ultras and Ironmans. Well, that’s where my mind is at the moment; regarding sports. But how about the road to those endurance goals? If you for a minute think an ultra race is hard, I’ll let you in on a secret. Training for an ultra is much harder than the actual race.

Running is the easy part.

Life in general. Your everyday. Your dreams. Your happiness, which I prefer to call contentment and inner peace. To arrive at these places we need to build endurance. It’s an inner strength that we need to discover and develop.

The only way to it, is through it.

Adversity, curve balls and setbacks – when fatigued. Something we experience when training for endurance races, but also something we experience being a parent, building a business or working in a project.

How do we endure? Is it something we can practice? Can we improve our ability?

Yes and yes. Being a parent, there is one thing I notice with my boys and their buddies – lack of endurance. How are these boys and girls going to manage what life will throw at them? Sooner or later and preferably never, but life WILL throw them challenges, where the only way through will be by enduring.

When training for 100k solo ultra I picked a word every week, that described where mind, body and soul was at. It took 13 weeks into a 24 week ultra training program to arrive at the word ENDURANCE.

How do we discover that inner strength and how do we keep on going despite fatigued? When we feel setbacks and hardships, does it have to be suffering and a struggle? 

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” -Haruki Murakami

6 things that help to build endurance

1. Determination

Determination is interesting. It’s easier to be determined if it’s something you really want, something you feel deeply passionate about. A purpose, a mission, a goal.Be determined about that goal and have a clear game plan. However, make room for the unexpected and be open to adaption without losing sight of the finish line. 

Great things take time.

2. Grit

Ugh! Yes, that’s grit. Pushing through. It may be boring, it may hurt a little and it may feel non rewarding in the moment. Hang in there! Despite boring, pain and no rewards it’s so true what they say:

Grit trumps talent.

3. Sisu

Sisu is a Finnish word that sums up stoic determination, bravery, guts, resilience, perseverance and hardiness – all in one word. It takes sisu to overcome fears. Guts! You have to trust floating in the unknown, not knowing and believe that anything and everything thrown your way – you will manage and be capable of.

Sisu begins where perseverance and grit end. 

4. Responsibility

You are responsible. Its as easy and complicated as that. For your choices, the work you put in, the work you don’t put in! For building your endurance.

You are a product of your decisions, not your circumstances.

5. Positivity

Always look for that silver lining. It doesn’t mean you need to be naive or not face reality. There is always, always something to be grateful for and there is always blue sky – somewhere. If just an inch, it’s there. Positive is powerful and is a big part in the role of endurance.

Keep looking up, that’s the secret of life. -Snoopy

6. Practice

You can practice endurance EVERYWHERE. With people, with tasks, with things. Try to think – just a little bit more, one more time, a little bit further. Pace yourself & breathe patience – without losing oopmh. Push through, push a little bit beyond your limit. Without overdoing. Endurance comes gradually. This is the key.

One more step. Then one more.

No matter your journey – in life or in sports, remember this:

Commitment is your vehicle, endurance is your fuel. 

Keep fueling. I know it may sound cliché and in many ways nothing new under the sun. But if you don’t endure, how will you manage the moment and give yourself the chance to be exactly where you want to be?

Endurance is not all about struggle and pain. It’s about hanging in there knowing it will get better, easier and most often with a reward – the feeling of “you are capable”. There is a lot of contentment in that.

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