Build Stamina for Running: Things to Know
Aside from injury, many experienced and non-experienced runners often find common ground in a singular issue that holds them back from reaching their athletic peak: Stamina.
Or a lack of it, to be precise.
Countless budding runners always set off on a training session full of hope end excitement about the run to come, only to be stopped dead in their tracks as the gas tank hits the dreaded ‘zero.’
The sad truth is, if any runner worth their salt wants to complete a race, or at the very least run well in their own time, they must first build stamina for running.
At The Running Bee Foundation, many of the athletes who attend our events build stamina for running through a rigorous training regimen well before race day. So we have a pretty good grasp on exactly what it takes.
With this in mind, here are our top tips to help you build stamina for running:
Any runner will tell you: A regular training routine is the key to your ongoing success as a runner and will undoubtedly benefit your health and wellbeing like nothing else.
But, when you need to build stamina for running, you focus should be more directed towards consistency than regularity.
The ability to continue running at pace for longer periods of time and at greater speeds (which requires a solid amount of stamina) is pertly developed in training by running at a consistent pace.
Forcing your body’s biology to adapt and improve itself thanks to a continuous spending of energy will gradually build the stamina you’re looking for.
Whereas if you run at one pace for a couple of minutes, then slow things down for the next two (and back and forth) you aren’t giving your body chance to get used to the difference between the two paces.
This will ultimately result in almost no stamina increase or, at the very least, a gradual increase but not quick enough to notice desirable results.
So keep your pace consistent in training and train as regularly as your body will allow. But don’t overdo it! Speaking of which…
Speed in Bursts
This is especially helpful if you’re looking to increase your capacity for speed as well as build stamina for running.
Long distance running is usually the end goal for most runners during their training for a race. But did you know sprinting in shorter bursts in the middle of your run is a great was to acclimatise your body to pick up the pace when you need it most?
When we spontaneously break out into a sprint when running or jogging, our bodies begin working harder to keep up. This includes producing more sweat, taking in more oxygen and funnelling reserves of energy to the parts of the body doing the most work.
The more you do this, the easier your body will find it when you do finally return to your regular pace.
This might sound in complete contrast to the previous point, but you should still stay consistent with your usual pace and only employ this technique on occasion. Never forget the consistency!
It’s an essential part of not only running but our lives in general. Yet, when many of us engage in exercise we always seem to forget to breathe!
This is a sure-fire way to lose some serious energy fast!
Without the right intake of oxygen our organs and muscles can’t possibly be expected to perform to their best, or even at fifty percent.
Clearly this means you’ve absolutely no chance at retaining stamina, let alone building it.
While your mind may be preoccupied with other things, you absolutely must remember to continue breathing at an appropriate rate relevant to your run.
Quick, short breaths are generally unfavourable as they don’t allow much oxygen into the lungs and therefore the rest of the body.
Mid to deep sized breaths during running are ideal to ensure a proper flow of oxygen in the blood and to keep you going when times get tough.
And try to keep a regular rhythm to your breathing. This will assist your body in regulating the oxygen properly.
Sleep & Diet
Two ingredients of a healthy, happy lifestyle are also key ingredients in building stamina.
Complementing a good training routine with a healthy diet will not only help you in losing weight and gaining muscle, but all of the “good stuff” you’re putting into your body will assist the natural processes that help you build and maintain stamina.
Then, of course, there’s sleep – the body’s recharging mode.
Nothing can prepare you better for the day ahead – training or otherwise – than a good night’s sleep.
Being wide awake for a training session or race gives you and your body the best chance of getting from start to finish fatigue and injury free. If you end up running in a dazed and tired state, you’ll be putting yourself and potentially other runners at risk.
This can lead to accidental trips and can even contribute to poor vision and dehydration.
So get to bed at a decent time and relax! You’ve got a big day of training tomorrow!
Running in a Group
While many runners enjoy going solo, there are running groups all over the world that preach the benefits of running together as a unit, every day.
The most obvious point being the boost in confidence and encouragement you receive from your friends running around you.
But did you know this can actually have an effect on your overall stamina as well?
Studies have shown that when running in a group, people are far more likely to push through any tiredness and fatigue to keep up with the rest of the pack.
This could be for any number of reasons: A desire not to be embarrassed, to feel like a real member of the team, or just to win.
Whatever the individual reason is, there’s no doubt you’ll be far more likely to keep on running if you have a group running beside you.
At The Running Bee Foundation, our amazing running events give you the chance to improve your stamina, your personal best and give back to the community at the same time.
We also offer grants to worthwhile community causes looking to tackle health, wellbeing and childhood obesity.
If you’d like to apply for a grant to help those in need…