Best Endurance Sports

The Top TenXW


How is football number 2? You get a break every 8 seconds.

26 miles is long
104 football fields
i admire those people

No matter how strong muscles you micht have. Also is a mentale challenge every second and you can even be dehydrated before half way

V5 Comments

You'd be surprised how much wind swinging your arms through the air for 3 minutes actually takes out of you

Clearly the highest stamina sport out of the lot - it will make three minutes feel like hell on earth


I would say Ironman triathlon is definitely the most endurance sport and probably the reason just 0.001% of the population has completed it. It is continuous strength from beginning to end and can take 17 hours to complete. What other sport are you continuously doing for 17 hours straight with no breaks.

Marathon and Swimming are on the top ten, now add cycling, and the result? The MOST demanding endurance sport by far!

How does running a marathon require more endurance than competing in a triathlon when there is running a marathon, plus swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles in an Ironman?

No need to say that it's the most demanding event.

V6 Comments

Track and field above swimming... Really? That's just annoying.
Swimmers train the longest and train at high intensity. The reason these sports are higher than swimming is because unless you are a swimmer you don't know what it takes.

Soccer players you are delusional it is not demanding, you have an off season, you barely train and the training isn't hard. I did soccer and swimming up until I was 12 because by 12 if I wanted to keep up I had to do what the rest of the swimmers were doing at that age and swim 9 sessions a week 2-2and half hours a session and that has just increased since, we train 51 out of 52 weeks of the year everyday morning and night for hours at high intensity and do gym and other training with no rest. You miss a session you get kicked out of the squad, you turn up late you get punished.

Endurance wise no other sports train more.

Swimming is the hardest by far I hate when everyone says that its easy and everyone can swim but yeah maybe you can flop around like a retard and not go anywhere but try swimming for 4 hours a day every week just pounding your body until you vomit or just can't move anymore go on try it just try it for godsake!

I respectfully disagree, swimming should be number one! Try doing your sport at full compasity without breathing. At my usual practice, this is for a twelve year old, I do 30 miles total, waking up at 4:30 in the morning during the summer to do practice from 5:00 to 8:00 and then dryland 8:00 to 9:00 and now I do practices from 5:00 to 9:00, depending on the day times may vary. So for all those swimmers out there, swimming should be number one!

As a runner converted into triathlete, I found new respect into swimmers. Swimming practice is always the toughest workout of the day. I think swimming is a top 3, but triathlon is 100% number 1.

V10 Comments

You are sprinting for an hour non stop up and down a long field imagine having no subs while also you must quickly think and have good ball skills and coordination so for those of you who say soccers for pansies why don't you give it a try. not to mention all the phsycal contact in soccer

There are no breaks or stoppages in this extremely high pace game.
No timeouts
No huddling
No sleeping in right field
Absolutely no unfit athletes!

There are very rarely breaks in football. You are going to be running for nearly 45 minutes. The only rest you get is 15 minutes of halftime.

Body, hand, eye coordination and requires very heavy fitness. One 15 minute break during 90 minute games.

V10 Comments

Cycling IS the 2nd endurance sport, I mean soccer (football) you stand for most of it and its boring. In the cycling the PROs ride for sometimes over 6 hrs none stop sprinting, it's VERY HARD and definitely is one of the hardest sports! - PeggyPenguin

Dood there is no competition for cycling.
And really? Soccer?
You can stand in soccer the best thing you can do in cycling is stop pedaling.
For hours at a time you are either sitting on your gouch or out of the sattle pulling many watts.
If you are a competitive cyclist you could be riding up to 24 hrs a week or 772 km (480) a week and if your not riding then you ate recovering eating and stretching.
I'd like to see a soccer player ride 100 km (60m) averaging at least 30 km per hr (18 mph).
And I would love to take up a challengers kick a ball and run around a field.

Football? Are you kidding me? Really, American football--get out! Australian Rules football maybe but American football--go have a beer. Watch the Tour de France, 20 stages, 3497 km (2012) then see how many more tours these riders take on.

8Water Polo

On top of the fact that swimming is hard enough from lap to lap, you have to continue pass and shot on the move. Water Polo is one of the most enduring sports in which you are constantly on the move. While eggbeating you are swimming lap to lap and passing without any breaks! Can you imagine doing all of that with no stop? To make matters worse water polo is a very rough sport and involves a lot of contact including punching, kicking, and drowning.


You can be on that court for 2-3 hours, with barely any break. That pretty tough.

The Contenders


you need to run 48 minutes against the greatest atheletes who got 40 inch vertical leap and are 6 foot 7 on average

Every played basket ball it hard work and its tiring


This is incredibly underrated. Really I mean soccer, for endurance? And.. volleyball I mean come on guys. I have played almost every sport out there; soccer, LAX, I am also a long distance runner (this belongs on this list), and I can promise you this belongs in the top three. Have you ever anticipated something (like a 2k) with such fear that you wished that you would break a leg that day, only so that you didn't have to do it. Or you wished that you would pass out in a piece so that the pain would stop. Tell me oh soccer players, when is the last time that about 1/2 your team mates were crying in anticipation of a test. When is the last time you looked at a TEAM MATE and thought "i will do ANYTHING to get her spot." This being said I recognize that soccer IS hard, just not in the same mental endurance way that crew is. If there was a what sports require that most coordination, then soccer would win.

Most importantly though crew is addicting. The mental endurance it has given ...more

Nope... Have any of you ever felt like throwing up and kept pushing yourself until you did... Never stopping... And continuing on afterward... Rowing is pure hell of a sport but its addicting so there's no quitting. 5Ks are the worst... In the blistering heat... Your whole body aches... You feel like quitting but you have to much pride to let the rest of your boat down and your team... So you continue on and push yourself harder

I personally have rowed until my hands bled from blisters, thrown up while on a rowing machine (erg), but although it sounds all bad... I wouldn't trade it for the world... Because rowers have the BEST teammates!

I've done rowing before. Man is it hard work. Your arms get tired!

Rowing is all endurance.

V5 Comments

Field hockey is the most revolutionary sport in terms of speed and intensity. Rules are changed frequently just to speed the game up! Professional teams require around 22 on a yoyo test. Much higher than most other sports.


Should be #1. You are moving your body every second controlling that bike. If you are joy riding no. But if you're a profesional it's the toughest endurance race. 30+ minutes without a break. Can't slow down either cause you will get passed by someone who has better endurance. They are literally going 100% for 30+ minutes. Go watch a profesional motocross race and see what I mean.

You are always working your bike, good workout for the upper body.

Try holding onto something that just wants to kill you for 30+ mins while everyone around you is trying to do the same. Not to mention the crazy terrain you're travelling over at break neck speeds!
This sport is extremely difficult and not everyone can do it like soccer, NFL or swimming!

Have you every rode motocross

V4 Comments
17Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing has been proven a number of times to be THE MOST phisically and mentally challenging sport, your upper and lower body are working constantly, non stop

Non stop upper and lower body motion over snow

Cross country skiing has been proven a number of times to be the most cardio demanding sport their is.. Absolutely no unfit athletes, rock hard abs and training every day of the week not to mention racing at -20, sometimes for as long as 50km and the best in the world can do this in 1hr:30 and yes, that's 50km!

V4 Comments

Go and ask one of your buddies to wrestle for two minutes. Then see how winded you are afterward. Then, imagine doing that against someone who's better than you and won't quit til the whistle blows. Toughest sport I've ever done.

It is the overall most difficult contact sport because of all of the skill and strength you have to have. And even though a match is only 4 minutes and 30 seconds long it's still the longest time of your life.

I honestly think 30 seconds in wrestling can be more difficult than any other sport.

19Cross Country Running

This sport is by far more physically and mentally demanding than most sports above it. I am sure that if told anyone not running cross country to go run the 3-5 mi they would refuse and if they did try they would not make it the whole way without walking. Also xc is one of the most mentally demanding sports there is.

I do agree that this is hard but I mean 2 WORKOUTS A WEEK! Train harder if you want to succeed... no harsh feelings - PeggyPenguin

Case A: our sport is your sports punishment
Case B: it's all about endurance
Case C: run 70+ miles per week without an off season and come back and complain about your sport is harder. These are quality miles, not just a 15 minute jogging pace. I think that marathoners do deserve number 1, but this should be second. We do all the ab and arm conditioning as other sports, in addition to one or two running workouts a week.

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List StatsUpdated 30 Nov 2015

300 votes
27 listings
7 years, 283 days old

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1. Boxing
2. Marathon
3. Triathlon



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