Whether you are a beginning runner or a seasoned marathoner, you are always looking to become better, faster, and stronger. You can incorporate some simple activities into your running routine to help increase your endurance for any kind of run.
Run more, run better. Sound too good to be true? As stated by Training Science, “race performance generally improved with increases in weekly mileage.” That doesn’t mean to run out and get in a quick 12 miles before breakfast. You should increase gradually and rotate through your maximum distances, depending on your current distance goal.
Slow vs. Fast
It’s easy to forget you have miles to go when you start out on your run. You feel great; your legs could go on forever. Then mile 4 hits and you want to call an Uber to take you home. To endure those long runs, take it slow in the beginning. Take a few miles to warm up. Now, you don’t have to take every run slow. Pushing yourself faster will also help your body with cardio endurance. So, trade it off. Long, slow runs and short, fast runs will help you get the most out of those miles.
Run for the hills! Nothing may challenge your body quite like a good hill. I’m not talking about a gentle incline either. Find one or two with a good slope that will take you about a minute to reach the top, and then walk back down. If it takes any longer to reach the summit, you may not want to use that hill. Build up from 1-2 repeats a week to between 5-8. Pete Magill, a contributing writer for Runner’s World, offers some words of caution when running hills: “Never do more than one or two hill sessions per week, and always conduct the workouts at the recommended volume and intensity.” You’ll certainly be thankful for these workouts when you start your next race and continue running past your competitors.
According to Active, strength will also play a role in building your endurance. Don’t ignore your weight training in lieu of more miles. It doesn’t have to be heavy weights. Plyometrics and body weight exercises will help make your leg muscles stronger and, in turn, able to run harder and longer. These kinds of exercises will give your legs explosive power, which will help with those hills I mentioned earlier.
Adding these simple activities to your weekly routine will help you increase your ability to run longer and faster. Whether your goal is racing or just simple enjoyment, anyone can benefit from increasing endurance and, in turn, enjoy the run for years to come.