7 Proven Methods for Increasing your Running Stamina
As runners, we are always looking for ways to run faster, for longer.
If you are tired of getting out of breath before hitting your running goal, it's time to tweak certain aspects of your training regime. Regardless of which stage you are at right now, you can still improve how fast and for how long you run, by having the right plan in place.
In this article, we will cover 7 proven methods to help you boost the effectiveness of your running performance by increasing both speed and endurance. Implement these methods and you will be on your way to achieving new PB's.
Sounds good? Let's do this.
1: Sprint Interval Training
Sprint interval training, involves alternating between running at top speed for short periods (30 seconds to 2 minutes) and jogging at a steady pace during recovery periods (1 to 3 minutes).
A sprint interval training session should last from between 20 and 45 minutes.
The short bursts of speed will help activate the fast-twitch muscle fibres that are needed for faster running.
A Research study conducted at the Unveristy of Zagreb , has proven that sprint training will help improve speed and explosive performance in athletes.
For beginners, sprint at top speed for 30 seconds and jog for 2-3 minutes.
For advanced runners, sprint for 1 to 2 minutes and jog for 1 minute.
2: Endurance Training
Although sprinting is a crucial component of running, all athletes need strong endurance to maintain top speed for a competitive edge over fellow athletes.
If you can only accelerate at high speed for short periods, yet slow down after a few sprints, you are unlikely to achieve a great finish time.
A 2013 research study concluded that you can increase your running economy by combining longer interval training with high-intensity training. This can generate a marked increase in VO2 max levels [maximum oxygen levels that can be utilised during maximal exercise] and further boosts your endurance performance.
The way to build endurance for greater distance coverage is to practice running further.
Avoid the mistake of attempting to run further while running at full pace and increase your distance progressively by 5-10% each week.
3: Tempo runs
Tempo runs are similar to interval training, the main difference being that you don't sprint as fast as in interval training.
Tempo runs challenge you to run beyond your normal speed for a steady period, not the quick burst of pace in interval training. Aim to breathe hard, rather than gasping for air.
The best way to put it is, tempo runs are "comfortably hard". You would be able to speak, but not in full sentences.
We recommend performing tempo runs for between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your current fitness levels, progressing steadily as the weeks go by.
This will help your muscles get past your lactate threshold, enhance your endurance, allowing you to run faster for longer.
4: Hill Training
Hill training works effectively by engaging more muscle fibres compared to running on flat ground, which enables a greater range of movement.
Running on hills helps strengthen your leg muscles, improving your cardiovascular fitness. This helps increase your running speed and endurance.
Whether you are running outside or on a treadmill, make sure to always include an incline option in your training session.
Running on flat ground will be a whole lot easier after you practice hill training.5: Breathing Techniques
Poor breathing technique is a common mistake that most beginners, even intermediate, runners make.
Most runners breathe in too much and too fast. This would bring in oxygen too quickly making it harder to get all the CO2 out of your lungs, result in shortness of breath.
Correct breathing incorporates both your nose and mouth, for both inhaling and exhaling, to get the maximum amount of oxygen to your muscles while running.
6: Strength Training
Sprinters and long-distance runners alike, need to have strong quadriceps, calves, glutes, and core.
These can be achieved by incorporating exercises such as squats, squat jumps, lunges, calves raise, leg presses, high knees, and the plank.
A strong core plays a pivotal role in helping you maintain balance while running at top speed, whilst reducing the risk of injury.
Besides lower body and core training, you can also incorporate upper body training into your routine as running is not all about legs. Your arms also dictate how fast you can accelerate at top speed.
7: Lose Weight through Nutrition
The lesser your weigh, the faster you can run. In fact, for every pound of weight lost, a typical runner can speed up by an average of 2 seconds per mile. This number can add up quickly, depending on the distance of your running event.
In addition to performing all the exercises above, nutrition is the key to losing weight.
You can't out-train a bad diet.
Base your diets on healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruits. Get your proteins from lean meat and fish, nuts, seeds, pulses or dairy. However, there has been a rise in the vegan-based diet.
Avoid processed food and foods which contain high sugar and salt weight cutting body fat.
Shed the fat!
And that's a wrap!
The methods outlined above will help you improve your running performance if you put in the work and strive to progress in every training sessions.
Here's a recap of the 7 methods to run faster for longer:
1. Sprint Interval Training
2. Endurance Training
3. Tempo Runs
4. Hill Training
5. Breathing Technique
6. Strength Training
7. Lose Weight
Over to You
Let us know your thoughts, in the comments below, on the 7 methods to run faster for longer? We would love to hear from you!