T Nation

Cardio Endurance Workout

OK, here’s the deal. Right now I have a good 5 day per week resistance workout plan which I think is giving me good gains as I attempt to build some mass. However, I have noticed that recently my cardio endurance has been horribly poor. I want a good 15 min endurance routine I can do on a treadmill, elliptical or stairmill to do before each of my 5 resistance workouts. For the other 2 days of the week, I could use a good 45 min to 1 hour endurance routine. For these routines, I dont mean just running at one pace, speed, etc. I want a plan with intervals and the such. Does anyone know of a routine I can do like this? Are there any good articles/ books published on this increasing endurance topic? Thanks a ton!

If I remember correctly, all you need to maintain your VO2 max is one 40min run a week…

You need to focus on quality not duration/quantity.

If you’re going to dedicate your energies to endurance training before your lifting sessions, is it safe to assume that endurance training is your primary goal at this point?

If you know your best 400, 800, or 1600m times, we can set up a very, very specific interval training program for you to increase your maximal oxygen consumption and your oxygen consumption at lactate threshold.

correct, right now endurance training is my main focus in excercise!

by the way, all I know is that my best mile time recently is 7:30 and my best 5k recently is 31:30. Does that help? By the way, I am 16, 5’11", 140 lbs so this might help.

I am doing the samething. Bringing up my cardio perfomance. I have been doing a combination of 3+ mile runs (with lots of hills, including the hill of hell) and sprints. I have no way to measure my actual distance and speed, but I can tell all has improved. I do my runs and at the end I tack on a 100 -200 m sprints, balls out and the end. Then I’ll do a 2 mi run with 3-5 sets of long sprints, as far as I can go. This has helped my over all condtioning imensly. At first, all of my lifts went way down, but they rebounded and improved by the 2nd and 3rd weeks. I am very happy with the results. As soon as my co-worker lets me borrow his GPS system. I can report more accuratelty my performce, but I love the effects of the cadio conditoning. My whole body has improved, hell, I have even put on about 3 lbs. I can’t imagine how good I could be with a better diet. Between the cardio, and “The Bear” I am almost at my strongest overall. BTW, I am 31, so I do not have the bennefits of excessive hormones to help. Heck, at this age you’d expect me to spell better anyway.


Knowing your mile (i.e. 1600m) helps tremendously! I’ll be back later with some quality training methods that will help your endurance capabilities remarkably!

I can make custom progams on my treadmill so this suggestion might work. I am more looking for workouts of the specified time that I gave for each day. Thanks!

zig, for best results your going to have to take it out side. Treadmills, take a great deal off the ‘pushing-off’ factor. Since you don’t have to accelerate on the treadmill you don’t get the full benifit from running. Go outside, hit some hills.

Pat, I understand what you are saying. And maybe one of my off days I will go outside and run like you say. But, I really just want something I can do in the indoors at my gym…


I’m still pounding out some numbers, bro, but one book that you might find to be of benefit is Jack Daniel’s (no, not that Jack Daniel’s) Daniel’s Running Formula.

Now, before I go to providing you a customized program based on your one-mile time, let me ask you how serious you are about your endurance training. That is, are you planning on competing in a track event (i.e. 400, 800, 1 mile, 5K, 10K, etc)? If not, then we don’t need to be as discrete as we would if you were.

No, I’m not going to be doing any track events (maybe a 5k here or there as has been the tradition in my life.) I am a competitive swimmer but have kind of fallen out of shape in the past few years. Maybe this will help with that too…Basically, I just want to work on improving my endurance in general.

Timbo, take your time. Right now I’m just doing 15 minutes of stepper and 15 minutes of kayak before each workout. I do the “aerobic training” custom on each of these machines around level 13 (out of 20.)


Since endurance performance isn’t your cup of tea, I’m actually not going to write you a very specific program. I thought the opposite was the case.

For your 15 minute sessions, I would simply suggest going at a very uncomfortable pace the entire time. By that I mean you should be pushing yourself to about 90-95% of VO2max.

You told me that your best one-mile time was 7:30. I’m assuming this means that you could go absolutely no further than one mile after crossing the finish line. If this is not the case, then this is not your best one mile time.

So, for your 15-minute runs, I’d suggest something like a 7:45 to a 7:55 pace the entire time. On the days you have a longer period of time, I’d suggest intervals. Go at a 7:15 to 7:30 pace for two minutes then walk or jog for one to two minutes. Do about 10 sets of those for 20 total minutes at the higher intensity.

thanks Timbo!