Endurance, Train For It


Matt 24:13       He that endures to the end will be saved.  How build endurance?


Michael Phelps:

Won 6 old, 2 bronze at 2004 Athens Olympics, 8 gold at 2008 Beijing.  Broke 7 world records, and in other race, broke the Olympic record. 23 years old.

His swim strokes are different than other swimmers.  Instead of going for fastest strokes, he goes for stronger, longer strokes to propel him forward.  Where other swimmers take 12 strokes, he might only take 8.  His wing span is 3 to 4 inches longer than his height.  His lactate count when swimming is about half the average completive swimmer.  Michael race tactics are simple, swim consistently with the same pace from start until finish.  He swims calmly, relaxed and focused which help him to block out the pain and fatigue.  He has strong mind power – an athletic mentality.  He is keenly competitive which drives him.

Works out 5 hours a day, seven days a week.  He started swimming 50 miles each week when he was 11, that’s 7 miles a day, 7 days a week.  He does weight training 3 times a week in 1 hour sessions.  Rides a stationary bike because running is too hazardous for his knees.

He eats between 8,000 to 12,000 calories a day.  Average person = 2,000

Michael Phelps will resume training in January for the 2012 summer Olympics in London.


We have a higher destiny than a gold metal

Rev 1:6            (NLT) He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father ….

Rev 5:8-10       Redeemed by the blood of Jesus who has made us kings and priest to our God to reign on earth

Rev 20:6          Those in the first resurrection shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign 1000 years

1 Pet 2:5, 9      We are living stones being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood



Lance Armstrong

Has started training after retiring.  His October 2008 schedule is 3 to 5.5 hrs endurance pacing with one day off

This is somewhat mild compared to the training program he will get back to in 2009 that he uses to prepare for the Tour de France.  That program was 365 days per year, 450 miles per week with 6 and 7 hour training rides.  He spends more time on a bike in training than anyone else.   

One of Armstrong competitive advantage is his oversized heart that can pump 9 gallons of blood per minute compared to t for the average person.  His lungs can absorb twice as much oxygen.  His muscles produce half as much lactic acid and expel it faster.  One writer noted that in the “mental” department, Lance Armstrong is 10 times stronger than other competitors.  He is a freak of commitment, not just a freak body.


1 Cor 9:24-27  Run race if only one prize.  Therefore discipline body and bring unto subjection

Gal 6:9             Don’t grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we don’t lose heart.

2 Thes 3:13      Don’t grow weary in doing good.

2 Tim 2:12        If we endure we shall also reign with Him.

2 Tim 4:3-5      Beware, time coming Christians will not endure sound doctrine, itching ears turn from truth.

Heb 10:32-36  Be confident.  Endure so that you may receive the promise.

Heb 12:1-4      Run with endurance the race that is set before us.  Do not be discouraged.


Tiger Woods

Most golfers didn’t use to do much training other than swing a club because they don’t have to run to play.  Tiger Woods workouts have been a closely guarded secret.  But he transformed himself from a skinny kid to a world class athlete so he could be the best golfer.  In 1996 he as 6’2” and 158 pounds.  He worked out at the gym as many as 6 days a week and has gained about 30 pounds of muscle in the 10 years after 1996.  He did endurance runs of 7 miles and speed runs of 3 miles.  When not competing, Woods spends 3 to 4 hours a day, 5 times a week in a gym doing high-intensity workouts.  Part of that is with physical therapy, manipulating his joints for the rigors he puts them through with his violent swinging of a gold club.  He likes to jog 3 to 4 miles almost always on grass.  He also does high-intensity weight lifting.  People say Tiger can bench press 300 lbs.

Tiger Woods does “deliberate practice”.  Just hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate.  Hitting an 8-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80% on the time, continually observing results and making adjustments, and doing that for hours every day – that’s deliberate practice.  Before knee surgery Tiger spent 60 to 80 hours a week hitting a gold ball in addition to his gym workouts.  After surgery he is still practicing 20 to 30 hours a week.  Now he uses a “visualization” technique to keep improving without so many hours of practice.

As mentioned with other great athletes Tiger’s major mental tool is his unrelenting mental discipline.


Phil 3:14           I press toward the goal for the prize of the call of God

Eph 6:10-13     Put on the whole armor of God. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.

2 Tim 2:3-7      Endure hardship as a good soldier.  Compete as an athlete according to the rules.  Farmers.

James 5:10-11  Follow the example of the prophets.  They endured and were patient in suffering.


Roger Federer

Practices tennis 3 to 4 hours a day.  He also spends lot of hours running and weight training.  Roger works on “core training”, not necessarily trying to build muscle mass.  Nevertheless, Federer’s training routine is considered to be one of the most grueling on tour.  Training in Dubai alone would get anyone in shape.  That added to the amount of time that Federer spends working on his endurance and strength makes for one rigorous workout.  One coach would have him run on the side of the court until exhausted and then immediately run back onto the court to play tennis.. Bad habits are hard to break with exhausted.  This is when the coach would go to work on perfecting his swing.

But again, the quality that distinguishes Roger from other tennis players is his mental strength.

Rafael Nadal

He also will not reveal his training program.  He does lift weights, focusing on muscle groups rather than individual muscles.  We also know after a match, even a long one, Rafael will go running.  He has been seen on the practice court for 10 hours on one day.  He also likes to play golf.  His three tips for success: 1. Love the competition.  2. Enjoy practicing tennis.  3. Enjoy the difficult moments.  When things are not going well, you should be happy because you are okay.  There are a lot of people in worse situations in the world.


2 Tim 4:7          I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith

Rom 12:1         present your bodies as a living sacrifice, another concept sacrifice of training

Rev 3:11          Jesus coming quickly.  Hold fast what you have that no takes your crown.

James 1:4,12,25           Let patience have its perfect work.  Endure temptation.  Continue in the law.


How build spiritual endurance?  Through trials.