It would be unfair to single out endurance athletes as gluttons for punishment. Despite our obvious love of the benefits of exercise, I think all serious amateur fitness seekers love the workout pain of some sort, its just that some are junkies for intensity and heavy lifting, others for lactic acid and sucking wind. With this mindset comes the tendency to fall into deep rabbit holes with our workout programs. In the strength training world, some folks add more and more to a program and exceed their body’s ability to recover. And often in the endurance world, one gets lost in the mix of building a bigger and bigger aerobic base, adding miles and miles.
Where the repercussions begin to differ is that with lifting, the full body nature of a halfway decently designed program is less likely to yield muscle imbalances. Whereas with endurance sports, a human body repetitively hammers out a smaller number of similar movements. This can lead to repetitive stress injuries, and injury. It becomes at times even more important for an endurance athlete to take a step back from their self punishment of choice, and devote blocks of training to a different activity. Much like the need for a strength athlete to utilize periodization, an endurance athlete needs blocks of training to even out other weaknesses. This will lead to a healthier pursuit of endurance, and decrease the likelihood of future injury.
What are some methods you can apply for your sport?
Cross Training for Cyclists
Cross Training for Runners