Running is a great form of cardio- and it’s free! All you need is a pair of running shoes, a path, and a bit of motivation. The beauty in running is that it can be done anywhere, at any time (lunch break, after work, before a 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 its 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: They 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 helps prevent your body from plateau-ing in progress and keeps your body from getting bored.
- Change Your Diet: Eat more frequently in small meals, cut out refined carbs and eat more vegetables and lean protein.