One run can change your day. Many runs can change your life.”
…..only if you do it right!
Even if you are one of the top-notch runners out there, that one part inside you wishes to run faster and longer and keep improving your game. Isn’t it?
Stamina, by far, is one of the most important factors in pacing your running. The physical endurance you have and the strength you put in to boost that endurance does define the credibility of your running performance.
It is not a cakewalk to fit up to a level of increased stamina for a 1000-1600 m marathon or more. Nor can it happen in a blink by any miracle. However, it’s worth it when you put in all your dedication, motivation, and commitment.
The initial phase always starts with a question- ‘ How to increase my stamina for running and when you get to know these pro tips and ways following after, it will all be about making the miles count!
Here’s how to increase stamina for running
To start with, you need to make an honest assessment of your current aerobic base and build on that. You have to keep in mind your utmost capacity and NOT delve into ‘too much’ too soon.
Note: Overtraining is a bad practice and can lead to many critical injuries.
5 Pro tips to increase your stamina
Consistency should be ‘consistent’.
Consistency is what matters the most. Even if you start with a basic average distance and speed, regular practice will eventually boost up your stamina and you can cross miles easily!
Training on a regular schedule teaches your body to adapt to the amount of work you’re putting in. Start off simple and keep increasing your pace, time, and distance week-by-week.
That way, your body will be well adapted to these gradual increase folds and will respond well. However, listen to your body. If you’re feeling sluggish, slow it down and adjust as needed.
Make sure you do not miss a day and if you do, make up for it further instead. There are no shortcuts as to how to increase your running speed and stamina. It’s just practice and honesty towards your next mile to achieve.
Focus on strength training
Resistance training includes prime exercises for improving running speed and stamina along with enhanced physical endurance.
According to a review of literature from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, practicing strength training at least 2-3 days a week works wonders for runners.
Aim for full-body workouts that target the major muscle groups. Perform 2 to 3 sets per exercise, 8 to 12 repetitions per set to set the pace.
Let the right diet rule
Food is fuel to your body. It plays a giant role in increasing and improving your stamina and fitness.
As much as you need the right diet to cope up with your health issues, you also need the same for maintaining your running stamina.
First of all, make sure you’re eating enough. Running directly means BURNING CALORIES. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you still need to consume enough calories to fuel your run.
‘Eating enough’ is inversely proportional to ‘eating anything and everything. Let’s say, with reference to your body capacity, a five-mile run burns around 500 calories. So, you might find it handy to grab a cheeseburger because you know you can easily get that 500 cal off by running.
But rather than keeping you balanced, it will just weigh you down and reduce your stamina because it contains unhealthy fat and a lot of carbs. So, making smart choices in terms of your food matters a lot.
Counting calories can be heartbreaking ( except the once-in-a-blue moon cheat days you get!) but all is well if you run well!
Incorporate lean meats, fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, and low-fat dairy in your diet. Do not eat all in one go.
Split your meals within the whole day taking into account portion size. Maintain proper hydration. It is the key component of maintaining strength and flexibility.
Practice tempo runs
Tempo runs are typically shorter distance runs but at a much quicker pace. This helps in increasing the endurance pace in particular and aids in stronger, fast running.
Keeping your runs short might be quite irritating at times but this is one of the best practices to indulge in high-intensity endurance activity and improve the quality of your running.
Recovery is must
The farther you run, the more you’re challenging yourself and therefore need to ensure your body is recovering between sessions.
A good recovery comes from following a good diet as already discussed, taking proper sleep, and most importantly, focusing on your hydration levels. This is the window point of every good recovery.
So, how does good hydration play a key role in increasing strength and stamina in terms of running?
Hydration and increased stamina: Know the connection
As we practice running long miles, we profusely sweat a lot which results in the potential loss of many important electrolytes and fluids from the body which can cause dehydration.
Dehydration in runners may lead to –
- Decreased coordination
- Muscle cramping
According to a study, even a small decrease in hydration status on a warm day can hamper a runner’s performance.
What are the adequate hydration rules for runners?
The general rule of thumb for fluid consumption during runs is: Take in 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes
During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), apart from water, sports, or energy drinks should also be a part of your hydration regime. These help in replenishing the lost minerals quicker.
Sweat rate for runners
To determine how much liquid to take during a run or race, you need to know your sweat rate, which can vary from 1 to 4 quarts per hour.
Weigh yourself nude before your training run, and then again after. You can have sips of water in between but make sure you keep track of that. One pound of weight loss equals 1 pint of water loss.
Calculate your sweat rate and use this to determine your fluid needs during a run or race. The common formula for calculating your sweat rate is-
Sweating rate = pre-exercise body weight – post-exercise body weight + fluid intake – urine volume/exercise time in hours
Best drinks for rehydration other than water
Plain water is not enough to compensate for all the sweat loss from your body and thus you can opt for some natural electrolyte drinks or sports drinks, in general, to fuel up yourself.
They also help in increasing stamina and provide energy to improve your running pace.
For more intense runs, you can go for these drinks-
- Coconut water
- Electrolyte infused water
- Flavored water
- Carbonated drinks
- Electrolyte-enriched smoothies
How to know if you are running well
If you are dicey about your running pace and want to know if you are running well, check out these markers.
You are doing it all right if-
- You can run at the same pace with less effort
- You can run longer than before
- You feel less tired
- You are not getting inured as frequently
- You are not grump post-run
- You are adapted to the flow
In sports, especially in running, your competition is not with others. It’s with yourself. Your prime goal should be running better than yesterday and improving your game at every step of your training.
With the right efforts, you can easily increase your stamina and running pace within a stipulated time period and come out with flying colors!