Last Updated: June 8th, 2020
Before I started running I was very sure I can run for long easily. But, the reality was quite different. My initial runs were not more than 2 min at a stretch…Really, running long seemed to be impossible during those days! It took some time and of course a lot of practice to improve my running. But before I share my tips with you, let’s find out what is running endurance.
What is running endurance?
Running endurance is your running potential. This means how much distance you can run at a stretch. However, this varies from runner to runner. You can definitely build up on your running endurance, however, without sufficient practice it may fade. You should focus to build your endurance up to 4 miles per running session.
Well, improving your endurance and maintaining it is achievable…
How can I increase my stamina and endurance?
This is the favorite question of every aspiring runner or new runners.
My friend, you have to accept the fact that running stamina and endurance cannot be achieved overnight.
You have to practice your running and I am sharing some tips below which may help you in your training and performance.
Consistent practice – Consistency is the name of the game. As I said earlier, running endurance cannot be achieved overnight. If you aim to build up your strength and stamina to run long you need to be consistent with your practice.
You may not be able to run your dream distance today, but following the running regime and sticking to your practice you will definitely be able to achieve it over a period of time.
Some little known tricks can help to build your endurance faster, but consistency is the key.
Consistent running boosts up your aerobic capacity and the lungs capacity. The increase in the amount of oxygen entering your body leads to better performances.
Running Plan – There can be two types of running plans depending on what you are training for.
Long Run – This plan is generally taken up by runners while preparing for a marathon. The longer the greater the stamina required. You need to extend your runs longer by extending your runs.
What I am trying to say here is that you must gradually increase your stretches. Since long runs are different from sprints, you need to focus on maintaining a steady speed.
If you run too fast, you cannot sustain it for long and besides, there are chances of injury.
Tempo run – There is a lot of misconception build around the word “tempo run”. Let us first see what a tempo run is.
This is also called as an anaerobic run or lactate threshold run. By lactate threshold run I mean is your body is able to clear the lactate deposits at the same rate as it is produced.
This prevents lactate deposits to accumulate which is why you feel draggy lethargic feet sensation. The tempo run speed is slightly less than you average 15k speed (as in a tempo run you take 20-25s more to complete the run).
You can reap more benefit from your tempo run when you are running for 15k or more as compared to 5K. The drag which is seen due to lactate deposit is more significant when you run long distance.
Exercise & Stretching – Exercises and stretching play an important role in boosting your endurance. Runners must include exercises like:
- Jumping Jacks
Some of these like Jumping jack and lunges are great warm-up exercise. The warm-up dilates the blood vessel and which can supply the blood to the muscles.
Squats and planks are great exercises for the lower body and core. The lower body plays a key role in running long.
After you finish off the run you must do some post-run stretching to release any tension in your muscles:
- Hip flexor stretch
- Hamstring stretch
- Calf stretch
- ITB stretch
- Lower-back stretch
- Buttock stretch
Diet – Runners must take their diet very seriously. They need good amount of carbs and protein to keep them going for long.
At the same time, they must be careful that they do not overload their plate. If you are running long, you must take sufficient carbs before the run.
Opt for complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oats, whole grain. Post-run for the immediate recovery, eat within 30 min after completing the run.
Eating within this window is the best period for your body to absorb the nutrients needed for recovery. After run opt for protein-rich food, fruits rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Shoes – You should use running shoes which are built for this purpose. If you use any other kind of shoes like training shoes or tennis shoes, you will end up getting injured.
Since you are planning to run long distances it is better to use a lightweight shoe. Otherwise, you may as well use a marathon running shoe.
I did some research when I started running and could find some lightweight marathon shoes which are really good. Take a look and you may also find something that suits your need.
Attitude – Keeping the right mindset makes your job half easy. You need to be positive and determined to run more than the previous day.
You can start by giving yourself small targets like – crossing the next tree or pole. Once you are able to achieve small targets, you can increase your benchmark. I am sure with consistent practice and a positive mindset you can achieve it.
Do squat help running endurance?
The squat is one of the most powerful lower body exercises.
It not only targets the lower body but also strengthens the core.
There are various variations of squat that are performed by athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and sports personnel.
You must be wondering why are squats so popular or rather essential.
Well, as far as running is concerned, you need to have strong feet which, in turn, build up your running stamina.
Increased Strength – Squats is a multi-muscle workout. It acts upon your quadriceps, hamstring, calves, abs, butts and lower back. The strength of the lower body muscle is what is required for running long.
Faster calorie burn – Squats is a quick way to burn calories. More calorie burn results in faster weight loss. If your body weight reduces your running duration increases.
Prevent injuries – Runners are prone to injuries like ligament tear, runner’s knee, IT Band syndrome. The variations of squat maintain the supportive tissues which mean less injury.
Apart from this it also works on the major joints – hips, knees, and ankles. It helps to maintain joint health and prevent joint injuries. Squats also build up the bone density and make you less prone to osteoporosis.
Flexibility – Squats is the only exercise which works on all muscles of your lower body at the same time. It improves the flexibility right from hips to ankles. The better flexibility makes you more swift and in turn, helps you run faster and longer.
Does walking help running endurance?
Many new runners may feel that you walk only if you cannot run.
In reality, this is not true.
Walking is an equally powerful exercise as running.
Running, however, makes you burn calorie faster and you need to walk more to burn the same amount of calorie.
Running for longer distance puts a lot of strain on your lower body muscle and makes the heart rate go faster.
Taking a short walking break while running reduces the strain on your muscles, relaxes the joints and also regulates the breathing.
This way you catch some breath and can run running farther.
Many running coaches advise that you should take a 30 – 60-sec walk break after running 1 mile.
This reduces the chance of muscle cramps and this technique is extremely useful if you are new to running.
How to increase stamina for running 1500m and 1600m?
1500 m – 1600 m is 1-mile run approx.
Apart from the above-mentioned points, you need to improve on your stride rate for such races.
Here is how you can do:
Increasing your cadence – Cadence is the number of steps/min. By increasing your steps you will be able to move faster.
You can calculate your cadence by setting your stop clock to 1 min. Now count how many times in a minute you place your right foot on the ground.
Let’s say your right foot touches the ground 80 times.
Your cadence is calculated as :
Number of times right foot touches the ground * 2, i.e.
80 * 2 = 160 steps/ min
- While running, incorporate a 20sec interval where you increase your strike rate by 5% (which is 168 spm).
- Run at 168 spm only for 20 sec and later you can decrease the speed.
- Repeat this for 3-4 times a week.
- Once you are comfortable with 20-sec interval, increase the interval to 35 sec in the second week.
- Repeat this until you are able to run 1 min at 168spm.
- Now, you can increase your stride rate by another 5%
- Repeat the above steps.
This is one technique for running faster.
The other technique is the metronome technique.
- Start with a bpm which is the same as your stride rate. Let’s say 160 bpm.
- Now try to increase the bpm by 5% and see to it that you are running on the beats.
- In this way, you can increase the bpm further ensuring you are stepping with the beats.
What is considered endurance running?
An endurance running is a long-distance continuous running for at least 3 km i.e. 1.8 miles
Endurance running helps you in multiple ways.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Increases endurance.
- Helps in building the muscles.
- Improves cardiovascular health.
- Increases the lungs capacity.
- Strengthens the heart.
- A good run gives a great feel and elevates mood naturally.