To run with endurance

What does the term ‘to run with endurance’ mean?

Physiologically a person can choose to run with endurance, or not to. If we want to run with endurance we need to understand where the energy to sustain that endurance comes from.

The human body has three ways or systems to provide energy for exercise.

The first way uses energy already within our body’s muscles. This energy is like a charged battery already present, requiring no processing, it is instant and has a high maximum power output. This is advantageous for powerful fast actions, however the trade-off is that it lasts only 10 -15 seconds. After this time we are depleted, showing signs of fatigue, slowing down and stopping for recovery.

The second way of providing energy involves quickly processing stored carbohydrates in muscles to recharge the muscle’s batteries to provide a fast supply of explosive energy which enables an extended period of high power output, but lasting only up to 30 seconds. There is a penalty for creating energy this way, and that is the increased production of the by-product lactic acid. Increasing acidity in the muscle interferes with the speed of contractions and creates discomfort in the athlete, again causing them to show signs of fatigue, slowing down and eventually stopping.

The duration and intensity of an activity determine which of the energy systems is predominantly going to be used by an athlete.

It is interesting that the two systems or methods of producing energy mentioned so far are reliant upon what a person already has present in their body. There is no outside influence, there is only reliance on self, and the capacity of the stored energy and carbohydrates within the muscles to work until they are depleted.

These two energy systems are called anaerobic energy systems. Their energy is derived in the absence of oxygen. They are both short lived, finite, and in the case of the second energy system mentioned they produce discomfort that may linger for days producing what is known as DOMS delayed onset muscle soreness).

There is a third option, an energy system that produces an endless supply of energy, without any fatigue producing by-products, or lingering soreness following its utilisation. It is the aerobic energy system. In comparison to the other two energy systems its yield is tremendous and its duration limitless. But it requires oxygen. We cannot produce our own oxygen and so we are reliant on a supply from outside ourselves. We have to have faith that the air we breathe contains oxygen, we can’t see it but we trust it is there. If we are to run with endurance, that is to have the ability to continue without undue fatigue, we need a continuous, reliable source of oxygen. If by our self-will we strive to exert ourselves beyond our limitations, we start using our anaerobic energy systems to the exclusion of the aerobic system and we soon fatigue and falter. 

In seeking a deeper relationship with God we must be prepared to run with endurance, being patient and measured, listening to the holy spirit, being led, and not falling into our own striving that excludes God’s will and leaves us depleted, fatigued and unfulfilled.


The interesting thing about running with endurance is that the more you do it, the better you get. Improving requires you to focus on a goal and commit to training. This persistence causes a long term adaptation and as a result your body physiologically processes oxygen better and becomes more efficient, enabling your body to perform for longer and at a higher intensity.

Spiritually running with endurance has the same effect.

Derek Prince talks about us being tested by tribulation and also by success, and how we must hold out or endure both tests.


Here are four of his suggestions concerning the biblical way to achieve endurance.


1.A Firm Commitment

The first one is that we make a wholehearted commitment to Jesus Christ without any reservations.


2.Focusing on the Eternal.

The second principle of endurance is demonstrated by Moses and found in   Hebrews 11:27,


 By faith he forsook Egypt, not

fearing the wrath of the king;

for he endured as seeing Him

who is invisible.


That is the essence of endurance: seeing Him who is invisible.


3. Not Giving Up.

In addition to the need for a firm commitment to the Lord and keeping our eyes on the unseen, there is a third principle:  if you fail, don’t give up. Remember that if you fall, you will not be utterly cast down

because the Lord has your hand.


4. An Eye on the Prize.

The fourth principle is: remember the prize-giving. Not all the issues of life are settled now. There are some things that remain for the future.


I invite you to now read Derek Prince’s Teaching letter titled ‘Enduring Under Trials’ located at the following address .