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If you’re looking for ways to increase your running endurance, you’ve come to the right place. We know you’re probably overwhelmed by the vast information that you can find online, so we have collected the most important ones that you can actually use whatever running program you might have.
Bear in mind that these tips will really help you increase your endurance cap, as long as you do them regularly and properly. If you’re in need of an instant endurance boost, like let’s say you’re preparing for an event or physical test in two weeks, we’ve also included some tips below.
Start and End it Right
We know this is basic, but some runners ignore the basics. Start your runs right by doing proper stretches. You might say you’re doing your stretches before you run. But the question is, are you doing it right? A good pre-run stretch should take at least 5 minutes. Don’t rush your stretch. Make sure to stretch the core running muscles like the quads, calves, thighs, and hamstrings.
After the stretch, you shouldn’t start running right away. You should give your body ample time to warm-up for the actual run. You can do this by walking briskly for 5-6 minutes.
The same principle applies when finishing your run. Give your body enough time to cool down before actually stopping. Walk briskly for around 5 minutes. Then, you can do some stretching again to prevent muscle soreness and spasms.
So how does this help build endurance? Simple. If you start and end your runs properly, it would surely lead to a better performance the next time you run. You’re preparing your muscles to perform better the next time you go on the track.
Integrate Interval Training
You probably have an idea what interval training is. It’s a proven way to increase endurance. Basically, it’s just a combination of sprinting, jogging, and walking. When you do your runs, you do sprints and jogs/walks alternately. You can do them for at least 20 minutes during your run. Even better if you can do it longer. The jogging/walking part is the recovery aspect of the training. Use this time to gather energy for the next sprint.
If you’re wondering how long the sprints and jogs should be before you switch between them, there’s actually no definite time. It depends on the capability of the person. Ideally though, the sprinting time is always longer than the jogging/walking time.
Eat and Drink Right
Before your runs, you should make sure that you don’t have an empty stomach. You should eat at least an hour before you run. The meal should be packed with protein, to give you enough energy.
After the run, you’d also want to eat within 30 minutes to maximize the window of recovery. To give you back the energy you just lost, eat a meal with 80% carbs and 20% protein.
When it comes to drinking, the basic rule is to continuously hydrate yourself before, during, and after the run.
Run Twice a Day
If you have time to do two runs a day, why not?
Doing two runs a day will certainly increase your endurance cap. For starters, you can do this twice a week. Slowly increasing the number of days as you progress will help build stamina quickly. Keep in mind allotting ample time for recovery between the two runs. Maybe 5-6 hours will do. Do make sure you have a healthy meal and drink lots of water during the recovery period.
The best way to start this is by lowering the duration of your first run to accommodate the second run later. Let’s say you’re regularly running at 30 minutes a day. What you can do is to cut that down to 20 minutes, while adding a 15 minute run later in the day. As you adjust to the routine and when you feel you can handle more, slowly and carefully increase the duration of both runs.
Instant Endurance Boost (2 weeks)
This is ideal if you feel that you suddenly need an endurance boost but don’t have the time. You probably need to pass a physical test, or there’s an upcoming tournament. Whatever the case is, this routine is not guaranteed to work for everyone, as we all have different fitness levels. There are many variables to consider if you’re looking for a sure-fire way to increase your endurance. But it wouldn’t hurt to try right?
Day 1: Long endurance run
How long really depends on the person. But to have an idea, you can try doubling the amount of your regular runs. Let’s say you regularly last for 20 minutes of running. Then your long run is 40 minutes.
Day 2: Recovery day – short run
This time, you’d need to give your body time to recover. A short run would be a third of the long run. This case, 14 minutes.
Days 3 -5: Regular run
This would involve 20-25 minutes of running at normal pace.
Day 6: Long endurance run
Push yourself to your longest run yet.
Day 7: Rest and don’t forget to load up on carbohydrates
Repeat this process for the second week. Always remember to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Stick to a healthy diet, and as I have said earlier, load up on carbs. Hopefully, you’ll be able to stretch out your endurance cap this way. Good luck!
The basic approach behind any endurance building routine is to take it gradually. Don’t make sudden increases in the duration or intensity of your runs. Just because you’re about to run a 25 mile marathon doesn’t mean you have to complete it right away. See first what you can do and slowly work on it. Consider how much time you still have before the event and draft the schedule on when to increase duration and intensity.
As you can see, increasing your running endurance is not that hard. You just have to follow these guidelines and you’re all set. Discipline and commitment to the program is the key. Keep yourself motivated and determined, and sooner or later you’ll be running distances that you could never imagine before.