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How to Increase Stamina for Running? 7 Tips That Will Keep You Going
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How to Increase Stamina for Running? 7 Tips That Will Keep You Going

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 19
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10 min

Today, we discuss vital methods that increase your running stamina. We will also provide answers to several questions on this topic. So get comfortable and join us as we stride to the finish line.

how to increase stamina for running

There is always a new challenge for runners to undertake, whether that involves running further or faster. For this, they need stamina and endurance to rise to the challenge.

If you are new to running or have been running for some time and still find eclipsing your current running threshold challenging, you probably lack the stamina and endurance to power you through a run.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to building stamina. On a surface level, an increase in stamina stems from training consistently, which means going on not less than 3–5 runs every week.

However, what exactly goes into building stamina and endurance? Before we jump into today’s topic, we must define both concepts to understand them better.

When talking about stamina, we refer to the mental and physical ability that enables a person to sustain any form of physical activity – in this case, running – at full power. Sprinting is one great example that implores the use of stamina.

On the other hand, endurance refers to one’s ability to sustain any form of physical activity for an extended period. Endurance involves the combination of muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.

Muscular endurance encompasses your musculoskeletal system and its functionality, while cardiovascular endurance focuses on the performance of your cardiovascular system.

Overall, both concepts – endurance and stamina – are time-based, which entails sustaining the activity over long periods.

How Long Does It Take to Build Stamina?

The generally accepted benchmark for developing running stamina is between 2 to 4 weeks. However, the type and intensity of your training will determine how long you see significant changes.

7 Tips to Increase Endurance for Running

If you have not been able to exceed your running limits and are wondering how to increase your running endurance, endurance training is for you.

In that regard, we have prepared 7 tips for you to implement throughout your running journey to increase your running stamina and endurance.

Some of these tips may sound like a no-brainer, but upon closer inspection, you find that you do not employ them in your running routine. Nevertheless, implementing these changes will undoubtedly help you build endurance.

#1 Stay consistent

Consistent training stands as a valuable asset when it comes to bettering your running performance. In addition, training on a regular running schedule rather than opting for extreme fitness regimens puts your body in a position to adapt to more workload.

Your training plan needs to account for an increase in running volume and running time. In addition, you should partake in more tough workout sessions.

You can strengthen your muscles, amplify your aerobic capacity (which details how much oxygen your muscles utilize), and increase running speed by training consistently.

Overall, factoring safety into your training plans and making room for recovery runs and rest periods is vital. Running utilizes a set of muscle groups, and you could easily overwork these muscles while trying to increase endurance.

Subjecting yourself to running overload will develop sore muscles, ultimately increasing your risk of injury.

Therefore, you will need a workout tool that allows you to function efficiently while making your workout consistent.

That tool is Joggo’s all-in-one training app. By answering a simple quiz, you unlock a personalized training plan that caters to the needs of both beginner and experienced runners.

Yes, the Joggo app provides runners with an interactive training program that features diverse running workouts, meal plans, and training schedules, coupled with bi-weekly routine adjustments to balance your strengths and weaknesses.

You also get numerous running tips on injury prevention, form correction, and running economy. Coupled with a progress tracker, you can train consistently to achieve your goals.

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#2 Try different types of running exercises

Regarding building endurance, alternating between different running exercises helps in several ways. For starters, it helps create a well-rounded workout routine. Furthermore, it helps eliminate the boredom factor associated with performing only one exercise style.

Some of the running variations that can help you boost your running stamina and endurance include:

Long runs

In order to sustain a run over long distances, you actually have to run for longer distances. This includes 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and marathon races.

Yes, long runs help by providing an increased production of capillaries and mitochondria in your muscle cells. This leads to an increase in your aerobic capacity and glycogen storing capability, which translates to improving running economy, fat loss, stamina, and endurance.

However, the goal with long runs settles on completing the run instead of finishing fast. More experienced runners employ this in full and half-marathon training.

Instead, use a slow and sustainable pace to end your run instead of finishing off in a sprint. With time, you could increase your running speed over significant distances.

Tempo runs

Tempo runs are short-distance sprint interval training that involves alternating between explosive movements and average pace over the entire length of the run. Tempo runs typically last between 20–30 minutes, and they rank between 6 and 10 on the difficulty scale.

These runs help promote lactic acid-free blood flow while conditioning your body to increase running stamina.

Hill climbs

Hill climbs are great for building the muscles in your quad, calves, and hamstrings while increasing your aerobic capacity. These factors help increase running stamina and endurance and enhance your ability to run faster on horizontal routes.

Furthermore, the limited leg motion used during hill climbs and other inclined runs helps you avoid injury.

Interval runs

Interval runs are runs characterized by sections of speedy, hard bursts followed by short recovery sessions.

In general, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) helps in improving running stamina by improving your VO2 max. A 2013 study retrospectively showed that sprint interval training improved VO2 max directly translated to increased endurance.

Doing any type of interval workout increases your lung capacity, strengthens your heart, and allows your muscles to handle lactic acid efficiently. These three things account for a significant increase in your stamina and endurance levels.

Progression runs

With progression runs, you gradually increase your pace over time, teaching your body to maintain form despite fatigue setting in. Runners start at their natural pace for the first half of the race. Then, during the second half, they switch gears and run at a faster pace.

This combination gradually expands their running volume, allowing them to cover more distance and cut down on total running time.

#3 Do not forget strength exercises

The National Strength and Conditioning Association states that runners can improve their running economy by participating in strength training exercises weekly. Aside from that, it also helps with injury prevention.

A great way to do some strength exercises in record time is by hitting the gym. Lifting weights, resistance band training, and body weight exercises are great for building lower and upper body muscles.

Aside from that, runners must also incorporate plyometrics into their training program. By adding explosive exercises into your running routine, they are able to train their cardiovascular system to utilize less oxygen while also building muscle strength.

#4 Practice other cross-exercises

As much as runners simply want to run to the end of their goals, improving overall fitness should be a trademark practice. That is why we advocate for runners to partake in weekly cross-training exercises.

With cross-exercises being an excellent form of cardio, the resulting effect leads to an increase in endurance, stamina, and total body strength. Moreover, you are able to bypass the stress that comes with overworking the same muscles when running.

An excellent way to go about this exercise is cycling. Cycling and running are pretty similar, as they work on lower body muscles. You can also alternate the intensity of both exercises at will, fitting them into your daily routine with relative ease.

However, you certainly need Cycling.Diet to take things to the next level. Cycling.Diet offers a comprehensive workout app that allows users to train at the highest level.

The app provides personalized exercises, meal plans, and nutrition tips based on cycling data obtained through a mandatory quiz. These tools help users reach their ultimate fitness goal, whether it involves trying to lose weight, maintain weight, improve mental health, or build muscles.

Other great examples of cross-training include elliptical training, dancing, Tabata workouts, and swimming.

#5 Slowly increase running mileage

An excellent strategy to increase your running mileage is to follow the 10% rule. The rule delineates that each successive run sees a mileage increase of 10%, and this is especially true if you are a beginner runner.

Putting this into perspective, the rule dictates that if you were to go on a one-mile run, your next running mileage would be 1.1 miles. Conversely, if you were to go on a 10-mile run, your next run would be 11 miles.

Nonetheless, the 10% rule permits certain flexibility with your mileage increment, primarily to allow your body to adjust. As such, you can spread out your increment in weekly intervals.

#6 Pick a correct running pace

The best approach is to settle for a conversational pace; a faster running pace will result in extreme fatigue and exhaustion, lasting much longer than anticipated.

Likewise, you should not be afraid to add walks to your running routine. Walking, like running, has many benefits, including increasing lung capacity, burning extra calories, and increasing running stamina since you get to stay on your feet for prolonged periods.

7 Balance your diet

Exercising calls for eating healthy in order to boost performance and efficiency. A section in the Sports Medicine 2019 journal attests to the influence of proper nutrition on athletic performance, conditioning, and recovery.

As such, your dietary focus should jump from processed foods to foods that contain the necessary nutrients that fuel you and promote healthy living.

With carbs being your primary energy source, stick to complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grains, brown rice, and oatmeal, as opposed to white bread, white rice, sugary cereal, and other forms of refined carbs.

Similarly, when it comes to your protein and fat consumption, you should prioritize lean protein and healthy fats (unsaturated fats) instead of fatty protein and unhealthy fats (saturated fats).

At the very least would be water consumption. The battle to build running endurance is taxing. Drinking lots of water before, during, and after your endurance training will replenish lost body fluids, improve muscle function, and curb overheating.

FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions concerning building stamina and endurance.

Will running a mile a day increase stamina?

Yes, going on a one-mile daily run serves as a good base to develop running stamina and endurance, especially if you are a beginner runner. On the other hand, trained athletes need to do more to increase their running stamina.

How many miles should I run to increase endurance?

You need to take into account your current fitness level when determining your supposed running mileage. It holds for everyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner. However, long-distance runs, such as a 10-mile run, would undoubtedly increase your endurance.

How to build stamina without running?

Another way to build endurance and stamina is by doing strength and cross-training exercises. Rowing, cycling, swimming, and aquabiking are excellent cross-training exercises to help build stamina.

Is it possible to increase stamina in a week?

It is possible to surpass your limit in a week. However, your new threshold might not be enough to see you completing more intense running exercises. You need to be consistent when trying to improve stamina and endurance; it certainly will take a significant amount of time.

Is it safe to run every day?

Yes, it is entirely safe to go on daily runs. You can even go as far as running 4 miles every single day.

A Word From Our Coach

If you are beginning to fear slipping on your running shoes because you are unable to surpass your current limits, a routine change might just do the trick.

Take time to warm up and cool down before and after your run. Squat jumps, push-ups, jumping jacks, arm circles, shoulder rotations, ankle rotations, and neck rotations help prevent injury and prepare you for your run.

Overall, get yourself a personal trainer or running coach, prioritize proper posture and running form, make dietary adjustments, get a full night’s rest, and most importantly, listen to your body.

Exercising should never be a bother, nor should your goals, so do not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and switch things up.

Conclusion

We have provided you with facts about increasing your stamina and endurance. However, you cannot improve without actually going out on runs. Set attainable goals for yourself, be consistent with your training, and you will definitely see results in no time.

If you still have doubts or lack motivation, get a running buddy. But, overall, do not forget to have fun while running. After all, physical and mental well-being go hand-in-hand.

Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified Yoga Instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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