Do you often dream of running and completing a marathon, but huff and puff and feel your heart pounding after running half a mile? Then, you need to work on your stamina and muscle endurance. It comes with practice and a few tricks. In this article, I have discussed 15 ways to improve your stamina for running. These will help you run longer distances by improving your lung capacity, muscle endurance, and muscle power. So, don’t wait – swipe up!
15 Tips To Improve Running Stamina
1. Warm Up
A great deal of your running form depends on whether or not you did warm exercises. Warm up is necessary, not an option. Give yourself a good 10 minutes to warm up the muscles so that they are ready to take on the challenge. Start by doing neck rotations, arm circles, shoulder rotations, waist rotations, side lunges, spot jogging, jumping jacks, and ankle rotations. You will immediately see a difference in your heart rate and muscle performance when you warm up properly.
2. Maintain Proper Posture
Maintaining proper posture will help you run better and for a longer duration. Plus, it will protect you from injury. Roll your shoulders back, look ahead, push your chest up, loosen your neck and arms, clench your fist, put your thumbs inside the hollow made by the four fingers and start running slowly. If you want to know more about it, go through this post on running tips.
3. Check Your Breathing Technique
Running is like meditating. Concentrate on your breathing, and it will become easier. I can say this from first-hand experience. Slow, steady, and continuous running is not easy for beginners. But when you concentrate on your breathing and match your running with it (and not the other way round), you will be able to run a longer distance. Inhale slowly from your nose, and calculate how many steps you are taking. Do the same when you exhale slowly. Try to maintain the breathing and keep your steps steady for a longer time.
4. Land Softly
When you start running, do not stomp your feet on the ground. It will only hurt your knees and make running difficult. Land softly by putting your heels first. Of course, you must wear shoes that will support your feet.
5. Interval Runs
This is a great way to build stamina. All you have to do is run and walk at equal intervals. This way, you will you able to cover long distances without feeling worn out. Plus, it will give you an idea of how long you can run continuously without feeling exhausted. And you will be able to set targets for the next week.
6. Slow, But Steady
When it comes to increasing your running time and endurance, you must be patient. Aim for increasing the distance by 10%. For example, if you cover a mile this week, you must try to run 10% more the next week. And by the end of the week, you must reach the target. Setting a target will keep you focused, and increasing the distance gradually will help increase your lung capacity.
7. Run On An Incline
It might sound tough, but did you know that the roads that we walk on are a little inclined? If you don’t believe me, practice running on a treadmill without an incline for a week and then run on the road. You will see that there are various factors that will prevent you from running with ease. And one of them is that the road is slightly inclined. Apart from that, running on an incline will also help build strength in your calves, quads, and hamstrings. This, in turn, will improve your endurance and the ability to run faster on a less inclined plane.
8. Listen To Music
Music can be a great source of motivation when it comes to running or working out in general. Rhythmic and motivational songs will keep you going and even make you forget about your leg pain. If you can match the running pace with the beats, even better!
9. Practice Running
It is true – practice makes a man or woman perfect. Practice running as many times a week as you can. The more you run, the more your body and mind will be accustomed to the energy burn, muscle wear and tear, and sweating.
10. HIIT It
In addition to hitting the road or the treadmill, you must incorporate HIIT into your workout routine. Interval training is a technique to improve your stamina, endurance, and speed. It involves alternating your running pace and style.
For example, sprint as fast as you can for 30 seconds, and then slow down and run at that speed for 2 minutes. Then, burst into a sprint. You can run on an inclined path too. Experiment with your own plan or search the web for set routines. You can also change a simple exercise like twisting into HIIT by twisting very fast for about 20 seconds. Try different methods to prep your body for the run.
11. Strength Training
Everyone needs to strength train. Strength training activities like lifting weights, resistance band exercises, lifting or moving objects, etc. will tone and build your muscles and make them stronger.
Another thing that must be a part of your training is plyometrics. All athletes train their cardiovascular system to improve their VO2 by incorporating explosive exercises in their workouts. Explosive exercises or plyometrics like burpees, squat jumps, jumping lunges, and froggy jumps not only improve VO2 but also burn lots of calories.
After you are done with running for the day, you must stretch or cool off. It is as important as warming up. Give your arms, palms, feet, calves, hamstrings, lower back, upper back, neck, and shoulders a good stretch. It will prevent your muscles from becoming stiff.
Runners need to eat. Yes, if you don’t include the major and required food groups in your diet, you will not be able to build muscle endurance and stamina. You must consume foods like beetroot, green leafy veggies, lean protein, healthy fats, and nuts. Also, AVOID energy drinks, protein bars, packaged fruit or vegetable juices, fatty and sugary foods, and fried foods. You need to keep your heart healthy to be able to see results. Consuming junk will not help. Instead, eating healthy will help you reach your goal quicker.
Yes, it is important to let your body rest so that the sore muscles get time to heal and repair themselves. You can’t run like a free tiger with a tired body. So, get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Also, do not go running every day. Mix it up with other kinds of workouts.
There are other things you should keep in mind like your running form, getting a good pair of training shoes, and hydrating yourself properly. These may not directly improve your stamina, but they do affect your running. If your shoes are not good, they can not only lead to injury but also interfere with how much, how long, and how well you are able to run. Similarly, a dehydrated body will prevent you from running long distances.
Follow these tips and set your training routine. They will surely help you get better at running, and very soon, you will be running without feeling half the stress you feel while running now. Cheers!
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