6 Tips to Increase Your Running Stamina
For endurance runners, increasing their running stamina takes precedence in their training regime. It’s virtually impossible to get through a long distance run without endurance and just like any other sport, it takes time and commitment in order to reach the pinnacle of performance.
Many runners naturally progress to running longer distances as it breaks up their running regimen by adding variety. As a result of building their endurance during longer distance runs, they often experience that shorter runs become easier and faster.
Building stamina helps you fight off exhaustion and power through that extra mile, a crucial element when competing in endurance running events. Increasing your running stamina can only happen through dedicated and consistent training but there are a few tricks you can try to help you improve your level of endurance.
1. Have A Goal In Sight
Having both short term and long-term goals in mind make up a crucial part of staying motivated.
Training for a specific race or distance is a great way to set goals and will help you move forward. Having a set goal will encourage you to reach longer distances or achieve a certain running pace.
Remember that no goal is out of reach, even a long term distance goal is achievable if you break it down into smaller goals based on your current performance.
2. Start Gradually
The key to building your running stamina is to do it gradually. Some running experts suggest that beginners commit to a six week plan that relies on running every other day. The plan starts with just 5 minutes of running, adding one extra minute to each run during the first and second week.
By the time you start your third week you’ll be running for 12 minutes at which time you should add an extra two minutes to each run. During the fourth week tack on an extra three minutes and an extra four minutes to each run during week five and six.
By following this plan you will have gradually increased your running stamina from a paltry five minutes to 64 minutes. Be sure to start and end each run with a few minutes of brisk walking.
3. Decrease Your Speed
It might seem counter-intuitive at first but try and slow down your running pace on longer runs. A slower running speed allows you to conserve energy and will help you avoid running out of energy before you’ve reached your distance goal.
4. Introduce Inclines
Adding some incline to your running routine will help build your stamina. Instead of running exclusively on a flat surface, try gradually incorporating some hill running. Be sure to maintain a comfortable running pace so that you avoid burning out and slowly increase the distance of the hill segments. You can do this by adding a half-mile to one mile at a moderately steep incline to your regular runs, increasing the distance every few weeks.
5. Take a Break
Be sure to space out your long runs. Remember that the further you run, the more you’re challenging your body.
This means that you need to ensure that you give your body enough time to recover between sessions. Your muscles need adequate time to heal, especially after a long distance run so make sure to space out your long runs adequately.
Don’t overdo it, and take a break and enjoy watching TV for a while.
6. Eat for Endurance
To ensure that you have enough energy to sustain yourself through a long run, eat a pre-run meal that is high in complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grains and oatmeal.