Last Updated: February 9th, 2021
Two months back I started to train running. As a beginner, to Increase my Running Stamina was and still is my biggest challenge. And I’m working on it…
However, I tried a couple of things that helped me to improve a lot.
I’m going to share them with you here…
How to Increase Running Stamina For Beginners?
When you are just starting out, you don’t know what you are up against. You don’t know what your body and mind are capable of. So, you have to do some experiments to get a better understanding of yourself. Though somethings will be unique to you, there are some universal tips that work. Start Slow, Rack up miles gradually, Cross-train, Nutrition and Discipline.
Let’s look into each of these ones…
1. Start Slow
First of all, begin with a very low level of expectation.
You are just starting out…
You will be nowhere near the performance of your friend who is training for years.
Once that expectation is set, begin slowly in your journey.
This is the most crucial part of building stamina.
If you try to run too fast, your energy will get expended too soon.
Also, in the beginning, the chances of injuries are high.
Firstly, because your body is not accustomed to the workout. Hence, your muscle memory is yet to form.
Secondly, you still need to work on your form and may end up hurt due to bad form.
The ideal will be to start walking.
For the first couple of weeks, walk for around 25 to 30 min, 3-4 times a week
Once you have nailed that, then you start by jogging.
The ideal way would be to use the Run/Walk method.
2. Rack up your mile gradually
Do you remember when you first started to talk?
Were you able to utter a full sentence at once?
OR, you were able to say just 1 or two words…
The later right?
So, why will running be any different?
It is a new skill that you are acquiring.
So, here also, you need to progress slowly…
Follow this simple rule…
Your first target is to run for 30 min at a conversational pace
What is conversational pace?
Let’s say you have gone for your run, with a friend of yours.
You people are meeting each other after a long time and have too much to catch up to.
But you cannot wait to get the running session over to talk
The reason being you will have to rush back home for your day job.
What do you do?
You decide to talk with her while running.
So, to achieve this, you have to run slowly or in such a way that you will be able to talk with your friend easily.
This is called a conversational pace.
Once, you have achieved this, you then can start increasing your mileage.
Remember to do this in such a way that you don’t end up injured.
Use the 10% rule…
Every week you should aim at improving your mileage, only by 10%. No more than that.
If you cannot do that, increase it by an amount which is comfortable for you.
The human body is a machine, it needs to recover.
So, my coach always makes me have a plateau week in between.
For 3 weeks, I increase my mileage.
However, in the 4th week, I keep the same mileage as my 3rd week.
I’ve observed that this helps me to perform better in my 5th week.
This may also be because my body gets sufficient time to recover.
When I first heard this word, it was in a restaurant, with my friend Nisha.
She is the fittest among us and has a tendency to showoff…
Anyways, I’m a beginner and in total awe of her figure and fitness level…
Her question…Are you doing cross-training?
Didn’t wanted to make her feel superior…So said Sure!!
How stupid of me… 😛
The next day I ran to my coach… and like a little girl asked…
Coach, Coach…What is Cross-Training?
And immediately felt relieved that I did not get one of those “How dumb one can be” stare…
He explained it in a very easy way…
Cross Training means training in two or more types of exercises to improve performance and fitness for your main exercise.
In my case, it is running.
As I’m doing Yoga, I’m already cross-training…
There are a lot of supporting exercises that you can include :
- Body weight exercises
- Strength Training
- Swimming and many more
Be sure to engage in at-least one of them
You have a Ferrari in your garage. Instead of Gasoline, you use water to run it…
What will happen?
It will either not start or the engine will breakdown completely.
It is the same with the human body.
It cannot perform properly if it doesn’t have proper fuel aka nutrition to run on.
Now don’t go all out and order some gooseberries from the North Pole in the name of nutrition.
I’m a firm believer of:
Eat Local, Think Global
Rujuta Dwekar, Nutrition and sports science expert
BTW, there is no moligoose berries in North Pole. I made that stuff up, but you get the point.
But why Eat Local?
Isn’t Japanese Matcha Tea or Indian Goose Berries extremely healthy?
But to reach you, they get processed and packed for transportation
In this process, they lose a lot and by lot, I mean most of their nutritional value.
So, by the time they reach you, they are nothing more than some fillers and doesn’t do much good to you.
Also, your genes are not made in such a way, to respond to such kinds of foods.
Hence, for nutrition follow this:
Rule of thumb:
If your Granny did not eat that food as a child, reduce or banish it from your diet
To build your stamina as a beginner runner, you have to train yourself relentlessly.
There is no way around this.
There is no royal road to success
Commit yourself to the routine, follow it with your whole heart and in no time you will see results.
At times you will feel like giving up, you will not know why you want to do it anymore.
Just close your eyes and visualize…a more fitter you running around, enjoying yourself with your kids.
Visualize anything that will work for you…
Also, when you are building a new habit, you have to accommodate it in your schedule.
So plan it accordingly, otherwise, it is easy to give up.
You can follow this simple routine that I followed to get started:
Monday: Walk for 10 min, Run for 10 min, Walk for 10 min
Tuesday: Do Yoga for 30 min (I love Yoga, You can do anything else as cross-training)
Wednesday: Walk for 10 min, Run for 10 min, Walk for 10 min
Thursday: Do Yoga for 30 min
Friday: Walk for 10 min, Run for 10 min, Walk for 10 min
Saturday: Meditation for 30 min
This plan was easy enough for me to follow and can help you as well.
NOTE: Please consult your doctor, before starting out on any new plan.
I know, how to increase running stamina for beginners is a mystery for you…
I hope that I could shed some light on this topic.
As always, I would want to know your best way to build stamina when you started…
So, how did you increase stamina for running as a beginner?
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
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