How to Increase Endurance in Running
Learning how to increase endurance in running might sound as simple and just running longer. Of course you will have to run longer. You become good at what you practice, so naturally you have to practice running farther. Increasing your running endurance is much more complex than simply running more often, it is also about finding the time, preventing injury and not becoming overwhelmed. Check out the following suggestions to increase your running endurance:
In order to learn how to increase enduring in running you will need the following items:
- Good running shoes
- A 400 meter track (optional)
- A running watch
- An iPod (optional)
- Slow down. You become good at what you practice. If you want to increase your endurance, you will need to run farther. If you are having trouble with the physical aspect of running farther, slow down. Start with slowing down at one minute per mile slower than what you normally run.
- Slowly increase your mileage. Most distance coaches will tell you that you should not increase your mileage more than ten percent each week. Additionally, your plan to increase should also include easier weeks where you decrease ten percent. For example, if you are currently running 30 miles per week and you want to increase to 40, try running 33 the first week (add two miles to your longest run and then one mile to another run). The second week do 36, and the third week do 39. But then on week four go back down to 36.
- Run faster. If you incorporate interval speed training into your endurance training, your long runs will seem much easier. Additionally, you will become faster at running longer distances. Tom Heinonen, legendary track and field coach and marathoner, suggests at least one track workout per week. If you don't have access to a 400 meter track, do a tempo run or break up the run into minutes (e.g. go hard for three minutes, jog for three minutes; go hard for two minutes; jog for two minutes).
- Strength train. Use light weights and do more repetitions rather than heavy weights and fewer reps. The National Institute of Health says that resistance training strengthens your muscles and improves balance and coordination (very important for running). You should know that your upper body is actually responsible for a lot of strength and balance when you are running, so don't neglect it!
- Break up your runs. If running for two hours (or however long you desire) is too much for you in one stretch, break it up. Many people who train for distance events find it unrealistic to take two hours out of their day at one time; instead, they run for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Distance runners are lean but strong. Being overweight puts a tremendous amount of strain on your body and it will make it more difficult to run efficiently. Conversely, being too thin will adversely affect your performance and your ability to build muscle.
- Make a running mix for your iPod. If you find it difficult to press on in your long runs because you get bored, there is no shame is running with an iPod. Many elite runners train with an iPod. Music can help distract you from the monotony of focusing on every painful step. Before you know it, an hour will have gone by!
- Rest. Your muscles have to recover and re-build themselves. If you don't allow them to rest occasionally, they are not going to get stronger. Additionally, you don't ever want to mentally feel like the running is too much for you, you will end up quitting running altogether. Jill Brown, a fitness professional and writer for the Huffington Post advises against over-training, as too much exercise can have the same effect on your body as being out of shape.