Running is a great form of cardio- and it’s free! All you need is a pair of running shoes, a road, and motivation. The beauty in running is that it can be done anywhere (any city, or country), and at any time (lunch break, after work, during stressful time), and it can be as solitary or as social as you want.
At Health Fitness Revolution, we get a lot of questions about ways of increasing running endurance, so we’ve made a list of tips for easy, proven ways to increase running endurance:
- Make a Commitment: this is the most important tip we can give- NO EXCUSES! Do not quit your regimen, do not tell yourself you’ll do it tomorrow, do not tell yourself you’re too tired, and do not tell yourself you’re too busy.
- Set a Schedule: and stick to it! Not only will it help you accomplish your goal of increasing your stamina, but it will also give you an opportunity to gather metrics: do you maintain a steady pace? Are you able to run longer or faster (or both), or have you reached a plateau?
- Use Interval Training: Not only do short bursts of energy burn more calories, but this is the best way to train your body to improve it’s cardiovascular capacity. Note: Always warm-up before any sort of physical training.
- Steady Intervals: you need to train your body to get used to the hard intervals. Warm-up for 10 min, then run at high speed for one minute followed by two minutes of slow running or walking (Repeat these intervals 6-8 times). Do this for several weeks until you feel comfortable with the rest. Then lower your recovery/rest time by 30 seconds until you are running 50/50 burst (such as one minute burst followed by one minute rest).
- Pyramid Intervals: Using the same concept as steady intervals, start with short bursts of high intensity and then build up so that the longest period of high-intensity training is in the middle of your workout. Then, you gradually pull back to the shorter burst of intensity before completing your cool down.
- Variable Intervals: help you to mix up short and long high-intensity intervals in an unpredictable pattern, which more closely mimics the irregular bursts of speed that are part of sports such as tennis, soccer, or basketball.
- Treadmill Intervals: If you’re running indoors, use the treadmill’s interval setting in which the machine mixes up both the speed and the incline, presenting new and unpredictable challenges.
- Add weight-training: increases your running strength, which means that you use oxygen more efficiently during your runs.
- Go Swimming: Oftentimes, runners have under-developed upper bodies, so swimming is a great cardio alternative to mix into your training routine. Not only will you be using your torso muscles, but you’re still training your cardiovascular endurance- all while stretching out during a swim.
- Try Spin Class: as a cross-training method- pedaling on a high-tension exercise bike setting works your leg muscles even more than running uphill, without the impact on your joints.
- Run Slower but Longer: Once a week, run at 60% capacity for a longer distance. This will help you build up stamina.
- Run Fast at the End of the Run: If you’re training for a 5K, half-marathon, or marathon, push yourself hard for the last quarter of the run, right before cool-down. This helps mitigate end-of-race fatigue.
- Run on Changing Terrain: The variation stops your body from plateau-ing and keeps your from getting bored.
- Change Your Diet: Eat more frequent, small meals, cut out refined carbs and eat more vegetables and lean protein.