What Is Stamina?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, stamina is defined as “the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort.” In practise, this means that having good stamina allows you to:
- For longer distances, run faster.
- Increase your reps by lifting heavier weights.
- Take longer, more difficult hikes.
- Push through the discomfort, pain, and fatigue.
- Carry out daily activities with vigour.
The more stamina you have, the more efficient you will be at everything, both mentally and physically.
How to increase stamina for running:12 Tips
1. Start slow and tackle small steps
Even if you feel like you’re ready to increase your distance or speed, it’s a good idea to start slowly and aim for incremental improvements in your training program. This is especially true if you’re new to running on a regular basis.
Don’t increase your run distance to 6 miles if you’ve been running 5 miles on average. To avoid injury and burnout, increase in small increments, such as 1 mile per week.
Another important tip from Renaissance Periodization’s Alex Harrison, PhD, CSCS, USATF-3, USAT, USAW, is to always begin training from where you are, not where you wish you were. Progress should be made over a period of several weeks, allowing time for recovery while getting harder and harder.
2. Find a Running Partner
Have you ever had someone in your life push you to improve your skills? It could be sports, your job, your attitude, or your diet—basically anything.
You can also learn how to increase your running stamina with the help of a running buddy, especially if they are a more experienced runner than you. I used to try training with runners who were a little faster than me and would push me to go a little further than I would on my own when I was in college, and it did wonders for my running stamina!
3. Increase your strength training
If you aren’t already doing resistance training exercises, you should start.
According to a National Strength and Conditioning Association review of literature, performing strength training exercises at least 2 to 3 days per week can help improve the running economy.
Furthermore, increasing the strength of all of your muscles reduces your risk of injury. Strive for full-body workouts that focus on the major muscle groups. Perform 2–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions per set for each exercise.
4. Participate in Some Cross-Training
Cross-training isn’t your first choice if you’re a die-hard runner like me. When learning how to increase endurance, it’s tempting to focus solely on running, but this has a significant impact on your legs and entire body. Cross-training also has a lot of endurance-boosting benefits!
As long as it’s a cardiovascular activity, it’ll improve your stamina and endurance without putting too much strain on your legs.
5. Concentrate on running the economy.
The energy demand of running at a constant submaximal speed is reflected in the running economy. According to a 2015 review trusted Source, runners with good economies use less oxygen than runners with poor economies at the same steady-state speed.
As a result, Harrison suggests that if you want to become more economical at running a mile pace, you should run at or near a mile pace. One method is to alternate between running faster and slower, and then zero in on mile pace as the race approaches.
Harrison walks through a sample workout from the Renaissance Periodization beginner 5K plan that will help you improve your running economy while training for a faster mile time.
6. Tempo Run
It is important not only how far and how long you run to learn how to improve your stamina, but also the type of running workouts you do. Tempo runs are typically shorter in length but much faster in pace.
Running at a faster pace will make running at an easy “endurance” pace feel easier, making you a stronger, faster runner. If you’re anything like me as a runner, you’ll initially despise tempo runs but eventually come to appreciate the thrill of a shorter, more intense workout.
Warming up is out of the question. Exercises such as spot jumping and body rotations are essential for avoiding injury. Warm up and do some stretching exercises before you even consider running. Warming up prepares your body for jogging. It raises your body temperature, which helps improve blood flow to your muscles. Warming up improves muscular flexibility, reduces muscle soreness, and reduces the risk of injury. Warm up properly with activities like spot jogging, jumping jacks, side bends, ankle rotations, neck rotations, arm circles, shoulder rotations, and waist rotations.
8. Run uphill
You can apply all of the same training techniques for increasing stamina to your treadmill workouts if you are not working out indoors.
Having said that, Harrison does state that in order to increase stamina on the treadmill, the technique must be adjusted. “Due to the absorption of the running surface and belt motor, running gait (technique) tends to be ever so slightly more passive in certain phases on a treadmill,” he explains.
To mitigate this, he suggests increasing the incline to 1 or 2 percent and labeling it “flat” as a good starting point.
9. Concentrate on your breathing
Concentrating on your breathing while running can help you reduce stress, boost your energy, and improve your endurance.
When running becomes difficult, people tend to hold their breath or forget to increase their breathing rate. You must breathe more quickly as you run faster. Holding your breath can cause you to become fatigued during your workout sooner than you should.
Your breathing rate should increase from 15 times per minute while resting to 45-60 times per minute while running.
10. Slow and Steady
In your running routine, always aim to go slowly and make small gains. Even if you feel ready to increase your distance or speed, do so gradually to avoid injury and burnout.
This is especially important if you are new to running on a regular basis.
It’s a good idea to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week. It will protect you from injury and increase your long-term endurance.
11. Drink Plenty of Water
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before going on your run. “Poor hydration compromises numerous body systems, writes Andrew Moore, MS, NSCA-CSCS via email. “A lack of adequate fluid intake will either slow you down or force you to stop running prematurely.” Drink throughout the day prior to exercising, and rehydrate if it will last longer than 30 minutes.
12. Eat Healthily
Runners require nutrition. You won’t be able to build muscle endurance and stamina if you don’t include the major and required food groups in your diet.
Whole grains, starchy vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and nuts are all required. Also, stay away from energy drinks, packaged fruit and vegetable juices, fatty and sugary foods, and fried foods.
To see results, you must maintain a healthy heart. Consuming junk will have no effect. Instead, eating healthily will help you get there faster.