Childhood endurance sports

Synonyms in the broadest sense

Endurance sports, endurance, weight loss, childhood obesityFor a long time, endurance training was considered unsuitable for children, adolescents and women. The performance in endurance sports was based on an ideology of protection. Today we know that endurance training can be carried out without any problems at all ages and developmental stages, because the adaptation symptoms of the child’s organism can be compared with those of the adult.

The danger of physical underchallenge is much greater than overchallenge. Among the most common diseases in adulthood are overweight, back pain and cardiovascular diseases. These illnesses are often prepared and promoted in childhood by lack of exercise.

The child’s organism is much more adaptable than that of the adult, and existing deficits can be compensated for more quickly by sufficient strain. There are therefore many factors that speak for endurance training in childhood and adolescence. Endurance is defined as the resistance to physical and mental stress.

In addition, regular endurance training accelerates regeneration. In the literature on sports science, the endurance ability is summarised in a broad spectrum. Thus, not only the monotonous forest run counts as endurance, but also the ability to maintain speed loads (speed endurance) up to strength endurance, where the muscles have to withstand loads of more than 25 repetitions.

Since endurance performance depends on energetic factors, endurance is divided into short-term endurance (less than 15 seconds of exertion), medium-term endurance (between 15 seconds and 2 minutes) and long-term endurance I-IV. Each of these performance ranges requires a different energy supply, which also explains the physique of different endurance athletes. In childhood and adolescence, no early specialisation of endurance performance should take place. Endurance should take an elementary place in the basic physical training. The adaptation symptoms of endurance training in childhood are:

  • Economization of the cardiovascular system
  • Increase of the heart volume
  • Increase of the heart beat volume
  • Improved oxygen uptake

Training Methods

There are different methods to train endurance. The training methods always depend on the respective goal. The chosen exercises in turn depend on the chosen methods.

In the training practice between: Since no specialization should be made in a child-oriented endurance training, all methods can and should be considered. The exception is the repetition method, where the breaks are too long. Furthermore, long, intensive interval runs should be avoided.

For more information on the methods, please see Endurance

  • Continuous method (extensive, intensive and variable)
  • Interval method (extensive and intensive)
  • Repetition method
  • Competition Method

The goals in childhood endurance training are different from those in the adult sector. Whereas in adulthood the primary goals are fitness, health and weight loss in addition to sport-specific adaptations, childhood training is intentionally designed differently. Obese children will rarely strive for a pure endurance training with their personal goal of fat burning.

Children always want to combine sport with fun and games, so an endurance training should always be packed into a playful setting. In general, the coordinative aspect should be taken into account in endurance training as a child. However, the main focus is on the playful teaching of endurance for a targeted education in sports.