Whisky, scotch, wine.
What do they have in common?
They all get better with time. And guess what? The same applies with running endurance. Give it time (and hard work, of course) and you’ll be on a one-way road to success.
Here are some top tips for increasing your endurance:
Take baby steps
Since your body takes time to adjust and adapt to new strains, you shouldn’t leap into anything too major, too quickly.
Whether you’re increasing your endurance from a half marathon up to a full one, or building your endurance entirely from scratch, you MUST be patient.
First of all, take your baseline mileage – this is the amount of miles that you can run comfortably without strain or struggle. Next, you should try to add between 5% and 10% onto this distance each week. This universal method sees small increments, but they will translate into huge leaps in the long-run.
Note: there will be weeks where 10% will seem too much. When this is the case, just aim for something – anything – that will still mean progress. It could be as little as making it to the next lamppost along.
Remember, progress is progress - no matter how small.
Since running is such a high impact sport, it’s essential that you let your body recover.
When your feet are continually slammed against the concrete, you face the potential to damage muscles and tissues – particularly the knees and hips. While relative muscle damage will prompt your body to adapt and get stronger, too much damage will lead to injuries and hinder your progress completely.
So, be sure to incorporate rest into your training plan. Total rest days are absolutely KEY. Equally as important are recovery runs – runs of a much, much shorter distance. These should be done in between your intense runs, as they will allow the body to recover whilst simultaneously improving technique and stamina.
Track your runs
Many avid runners have fancy watches with built in GPS units.
Can’t afford one of those? iPhone/android apps make for a fantastic (and cheap) alternative.
There are countless apps available with GPS tracking services, calorie counters and timers. Most apps will have an area where you can input your running goals; whether those goals be speed related, distance related, or both.
Tracking each run will allow you to look back and compare and contrast your results – something that’s bound to be rewarding and motivational. Plus, knowing how many calories you’re burning is a huge motivator and is likely to keep you on track, diet wise.
Incorporate interval training
Many runners are aiming to increase their speed, covering more ground in less time. If this is this case, you should aim to add interval training into your training programme.
Interval training not only improves speed, but it also improves stamina and endurance. Why? Because it builds muscle strength and increases lung capacity.
Simply switch between intense 30 second sprints and steady 1 minute jog/walks to reap the benefits.
Warning: the sprints will be tough...but your legs and lungs will thank you later.
So there you have it.
Take baby steps and you’re pretty much guaranteed success. All that’s left to do is grab your trainers, download a running app and get going.
It’s your legs versus the ground…You’ve got this!