Increasing your running stamina can be challenging, but is well worth putting the extra effort in – especially since there are some great races coming up in the next few months!
Try some of these simple tips to gradually increase your running stamina.
#1 Train outdoors
Training outdoors can be significantly tougher than simply running indoors on a treadmill. This is for a number of reasons including the fact that the roads and paths outdoors will not be level in the same way a treadmill would be to run on. Outdoors you are contending with uneven surfaces and gradients alongside hills which make your run a lot more demanding.
Add to that wind and weather conditions such as rain or even the heat from the sun in the summer time and you have an environment that is tougher to train in than your typical air conditioned gym.
✓ It is also a lot tougher to manage your pace outdoors as you are not running at a fixed speed the way that you would be on a treadmill.
#2 Set small goals
Setting small goals mid run can help you get a little bit farther.
✓ Simple landmarks such as running to the next set of traffic lights can make a huge difference and help you get a little farther and keep your motivation levels high.
#3 Free weights
Include some free weight training to your routine. You will not just get stronger in the weights room but you will also be able to run for longer too.
✓ Stronger muscles will be able to take much more of a beating on the pavement than weak once, and the injury prevention is a bonus!
#4 Vary your training
Chopping and changing your training will help improve your fitness as your body needs to be constantly challenged so that it can adapt and perform better.
✓ Mix up your training by not only focusing on running the entire time, try adding in some bike work too.
#5 Interval training
Interval training is a great way to build up your stamina as it places extra pressure on your heart and lungs by pushing you outside of your comfort zone.
✓ As your body adapts, you will be able to run for longer.
#6 Focus on distance not speed
When you are working on increasing your mileage, don’t just place all your focus on your running time.
✓ It’s okay to slow your pace so that you can run farther and then reintroduce the emphasis on speed when you get your mileage up.
#7 Change your running route
Just as the treadmill can get a little boring, so can running the same route over and over again. Have a look online at your local area and plan out some new routes.
✓ The change in scenery may be enough to help you squeeze out a little more distance and prevent you giving up too early due to boredom.
#8 Run in a group
Many a personal record has been broken when running in a group as the support and camaraderie that you feel as a team may help you push beyond your own expectations.
✓ Time flies when you are having fun and the company may well be enough of a distraction to help you get that extra mile in on your run. Running at a conversational speed when you are trying to add to your mileage is also a great way to ensure you are not running at too fast a pace and gassing out too soon!
#9 Increase mileage 10% a week
This is extremely important – if your mileage increases too fast, you’re are looking for trouble. Increase it gradually and no more than 10% a week to ensure you avoid any unnecessary injuries.
✓ By increasing how are you run slowly, you will allow your joints and muscles to adapt to the extra stress that is put upon them by adding extra distance to your runs.
Take Home Message
Try some of these tips to help you to increase your running mileage. The main thing to remember is to be consistent and be patient with your training. Listen to how your body is feeing after training.
Don’t be afraid to scale back your distance for a few sessions if you need to. The bigger picture is the long term one and with careful planning and consistency you will hit your mileage goals in no time!