Endurance Training: The Functional Patterns Approach

Endurance Training: The Functional Patterns Approach


Endurance is often a misunderstood term. While many associate it with the ability to partake in long endurance workouts, true endurance is rooted in the body's capability to efficiently withstand stress over prolonged periods. Enter Functional Patterns, a methodology that prioritizes biomechanics and efficient movement over sheer stamina. In this article we will cover the misconception around endurance training, how you can train less while making getting more out of your workouts, and why shifting your focus with your training goals will give you endurance gains plus much more. 

The Misconception of Endurance Training

Endurance training is often equated to preparing the body for long tasks without fatigue. While stamina is crucial, the means to achieve it can sometimes lead to overtraining and reinforcement of poor mechanics. Just as a poorly maintained car consumes more fuel and runs inefficiently, a body with suboptimal biomechanics cannot truly be enduring.

Efficiency Leads to True Endurance

Endurance training

At the core of the Functional Patterns approach is the understanding that efficiency leads to improved endurance training. By refining our movement mechanics and ensuring that each motion is as efficient as possible, we naturally improve our stamina. It's not just about endurance workouts; it's about training smarter. Efficiency in movement and biomechanics is the cornerstone of genuine endurance. Take, for example, a runner with an inefficient gait. This runner might initially manage short distances, but as they embark on endurance running training, inefficiencies start taking a toll, leading to injuries. By emphasizing efficiency, we ensure the body operates at its optimum.

Functional Patterns: A Systems Approach

While traditional endurance training programs might target stamina in isolation, potentially reinforcing bad habits, Functional Patterns use a systems approach. It emphasizes: 

  1. Biomechanical Optimization: Before enhancing stamina, it's essential to refine the body's mechanics. This ensures that as endurance builds, it's built on a solid, efficient foundation. 
  2. Avoiding Overtraining: While regularity in training is important, quality trumps quantity. Overtraining, especially with poor mechanics, can be counterproductive. 
  3. Holistic Integration: Functional Patterns integrate strength endurance training, diverse endurance workouts, and specialized exercises to ensure a balanced and efficient development.

Endurance training

The Broader Benefits

Beyond athletic performance, an efficient endurance training approach, like Functional Patterns, offers broader health benefits. With optimized biomechanics and efficient training: 

  • Cardiovascular health improves. 
  • Metabolic efficiency gets a boost. 
  • Bone density increases. 
  • Mental well-being is enhanced through the release of endorphins. 

Endurance training program is not just about running farther or cycling longer. The broader benefits encompass physiological, psychological, and biomechanical improvements. For instance, consider a person with a postural dysfunction like anterior pelvic tilt, which is common among sedentary workers. Over time, this tilt can strain the lower back, leading to discomfort or even injury. Now, if this person decides to undertake an endurance training program without addressing this tilt, they might see initial gains. However, over the long haul, the dysfunction could lead to recurrent lower back issues, hampering their progress and reducing the longevity of their training. 

Endurance training

On the flip side, when we focus on fixing such dysfunctions before ramping up the endurance training exercises, we're essentially bulletproofing the body. This means the individual can not only endure longer training sessions but also remain injury-free for extended periods, showcasing tangible results like improved posture, reduced pain, and enhanced overall performance.

Age, Efficiency, and Endurance

Age might bring natural declines in stamina, but biomechanically sound endurance training exercises can mitigate these. Efficiency doesn't age the way raw stamina does. 


Endurance training is more than just a series of prolonged endurance workouts. Really understanding what is endurance training involves recognizing the significance of movement quality and efficiency. A poorly maintained vehicle struggles in performance, and similarly, a human body with poor mechanics will fall short in endurance training exercises. It's not only about cardiovascular strength; muscular endurance workouts and strength endurance training play pivotal roles too. The Functional Patterns approach emphasizes refining our biomechanics rather than just increasing workout duration. So, as you venture into workouts for endurance or even an endurance training program, remember that efficiency in every movement is the key to genuine endurance.

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