Stamina or Endurance is the ability to keep low intensity effort for a long time. The problem is the lack of easily available energy for the muscles, and keep going on oxygen only, while enduring the effort in spite of the oxygen debt. Another aspect of long term endurance is the ability of the body to handle by-products of the effort.
Endurance is considered one of the basic components of physical fitness.
There are two types of endurance: Muscle endurance and Cardiovascular endurance.
This relates to the ability of a muscle to repeat the same movenment without fatigue. The muscle is required for low intensity effort, but for numerous reprtitions and/or a long time. Muscle endurance is highly related to oxygen absorbing efficiency of the muscles (form the blood) and channeling that energy to power the efoort.
Muscle endurance is important in all sports. In climbing, short and powerfull sport routes, however, require more power endurance and power than muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is more usefull on long multi pitch routes and technical aline climbs.
To improve muscle endurance you need to do long sets of low intensity moves. You might want to climb many easy routes per session. To simulate a long climb, you can climb continuously 30-50m sets (in the gym you can toprope or lead 4-5 easy routes in a row) and rest as little as possible between sets.
This endurance is the ability of the central body systems (heart, blood system, lungs and nerves) to support the continuing muscles effort.
Sustained effort requires constant supply of oxygen to the muscles, and the removal of waste generated within the muscles. Both are done by blood circulation. Improving cardiovascular endurance is really improving the breathing efficiency, as well as circukation. This will improve the ammount of oxygen trnfered to the blood, per time unit, and at the same time, the removal of waste materials excreted from the cells.
Cardiovascular enduranceis not very importat to sport climbers, but is a critical to alpine climbers and mountaineers. On single pitch routes it is almost irrelevant.
Cardiovascular training includes long, low intesity cross training sessions. hill walking, jogging, cycling and rope skipping are a few options. Everything the will increase your heart rate will do the trick. For mountainreering and especially high altitude mountaneering it is more efficient to have extremely long trainig sessions , cycling and step climbing for 3-5 hours, and after some time, even adding a heavy pack.
Contributions to this page were made by Mica Yaniv and others...