Are you a novice runner looking to complete the first mile or two? Or a running veteran who aims to hit a 10km or even a marathon?
Typically, every runner wants to run further, faster and longer. Whatever your skill level, these tips will help you to take your running to the next level.
When you think you’ve got nothing left in the tank, but you manage to keep going? That’s the beauty of Stamina. The strength and energy to sustain physical or mental effort for long periods of time.
Boosting your stamina is crucial if you want to run faster for longer. Before you begin working on it, you need to make an honest assessment of your current aerobic base and build on that. It might be a bit confronting, but you will only improve so don’t worry!
Remember, ‘too much too soon’ always stands. You don’t want to risk overtraining/an injury! Therefore, build it slow but steady.
7 ways to increase stamina
1. Be consistent
There are no shortcuts here. You will need to train on a regular schedule. This teaches your body to adapt to the amount of work you’re putting in.
Consistent training will build your aerobic base, increase your aerobic capacity (which is how much oxygen your muscles can use) and strengthen your muscles.
2. Just keep running
Each time, increase your run by 5 – 10 minutes (1 – 1.5 km). It might not sound like much but it begins to add up. Go slow, focus on covering the distance. Remember, speed follows endurance.
3. Tempo runs
These runs are typically a shorter distance, but at a much quicker pace. These runs train your body to clear lactic acid from the bloodstream quicker, which means you can run longer before fatigue and lactic acid builds up and slows you down.
It doesn’t mean you have to sprint like Usain Bolt, just get a pace that you feel you can maintain over the duration of the run. It will also make your easy running pace or planned race pace feel much easier.
To track your pace, download a running application or if you have a smart watch just keep tracking your speed.
4. Cross train
Many runners tend to just run, and neglect strength training! You need to give your bones and joints a break from the impact of running, it will help prevent overuse injuries.
5. Eat right!
The foods you put into your body play a giant role in fueling your stamina and endurance. If you aren’t eating healthy, nutritious foods, your body simply won’t have what it needs to increase run farther and increase stamina.
First of all, make sure you’re eating enough. You need to consume enough calories to fuel your run and your entire day.
You need to ensure your body is recovering between sessions. Good recovery comes from a good diet, stretching and sufficient sleep. Focusing on these will enable you to recover between sessions and go into each run feeling strong and able to complete it.
7. Mind game
Running often becomes a mental game. Prepare to feel uncomfortable. Set out with a good playlist, take a deep breath and let’s go!
Up for it?
As you work toward increasing your running stamina, it’s important to remember that seeing improvement takes time. Being consistent with your training, following a plan or showing up is a great place to start.