How to increase running stamina for beginners is a question I get here often. Running is a great sport and there is a lot of things you can do to increase your stamina. The biggest question is what are your goals? Is it to run your first 5K? Are you interested in breaking the 4 hour marathon barrier? What is it that you are seeking to do in the sport?
These are just a few questions I often respond back with. The reason being is it gives me an indication of the drive each athlete has to make it to the next level. Stamina takes a great deal of patience to improve upon. I know. It took me from 1992 to 2007 to break the sub-2:20:00 marathon barrier.
I, like you, had to start somewhere and there is no easy formula. All I can share with you is that you have to be tenacious in your work ethic. In addition, you cannot lose enthusiasm no matter how long it takes for you to succeed. This is the dividing factor between beginners and elite athletes. Remember, elite athletes started where you are as well. The difference is longevity and consistent focus on working on your speed.
My Top Recommendations on How To Increase Stamina for Beginners
- Plan your Work and Work Your Plan
The most efficient way to increase stamina is to use leverage. Follow a training program designed by someone who has walked the walk and talked the talk. It takes a lot of the guesswork out the equation. The wondering of what needs to be done each day is no longer needed.
Invest in your self-improvement. Follow what the best runners do and simply duplicate their work habits. I have created training programs and courses here at rundreamachieve to help athletes set themselves up for success. How to increase running stamina for beginners is much like it for advanced athletes. You have to be willing to spend time running at a higher heart rate over a long period of time. That being said, if you are patient you will see magnificent results. It is all about being tenacious toward your goals.
Train at Paces Faster Than Than You Wish To Race At
2. Focus on running at faster paces than you are aiming to race at
For example, if you wish to break a 3:30 marathon you need to sustain 8 minute mile pace. So, it is very important to train at paces closer to 6 to 7:30 mile pace. The reason being is it teaches the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up in your blood stream. Lactic acid is the culprit as to why our muscle functioning shuts down as we try to race.
The goal with improving your stamina is to improve your lactate tolerance. Thus, you will be able to run more efficiently for longer periods of time. This is why the best runners in the world make it look so easy. They have practiced running fast for long periods of time. That being said, it didn't happen overnight for them nor will it for you. They were patient and persistent.
3. Do strides
Strides are short sprints that are about 50 to 100 meters in length. The great thing about doing strides is they will not fatigue you. Over time, these short sprints will help you run more efficiently. They help you develop speed, improve form and leg turn over.
I would recommend doing 5 to 6, 100 meter strides twice per week. What this means is you will spending miles at sprint speed over a multi-week training plan. You will only improve your stamina continuing to focus on your sprinting capability.
The Long Run
4. Gradually, increase the distance of your long runs
You can improve you stamina by running much further than you are planning to race at. For example, if your goal is to run a 5K imagine how strong you are going to be if you are doing 10 mile long runs? That is over 3 times as far as you are planning to race at. So, lengthening the amount of time you are spending on your feet will create enormous strength.
The hardest workout I do is the long run. That being said, never fear being challenged as a beginner. It is exciting to see yourself progressing in races and in your training. As you get fitter, your heart doesn't have to work as hard. In addition, your pace quickens and your confidence increases.
It is also important to vary the paces of your long runs. If you want to improve your stamina don't run easy every weekend. Spend some time training at a higher heart rate, for a longer period of time.
This is one of the reasons I was able to lower my marathon best from 2.43.36 to 2.19.35. I spent more time running at a higher heart rate. Thus, my lactate tolerance improved and I was able to elevate my stamina. The same goes for you. Again, seek out what successful athletes are doing and simply duplicate their work habits.
Stay Positive and Don't Lose The Joy Of Training
5. Stay consistent
The important thing to remember is to be consistent and persistent. Furthermore, remind yourself that results in this sport don't happen overnight. The results of the work you are putting in today may not be seen until weeks, months or even years from now. How badly do you want it?
6. Keep in fun
One of the biggest issues veterans have is they lose the joy of the sport. It is a fun but challenging process to improves one's stamina. Also, it takes time and a high focus on hard workouts that take place over a long period of time. That being said, you can get results quicker and improve your stamina more efficiently if you stay positive and patient.
Your greatest advantage as a beginner is you don't have that mental stress on you like many advanced level athletes have. Patience is a skill that must be developed the longer you are in the sport. Furthermore, the best athletes never lose enthusiasm no matter what they deal with in training. This is a tactic the best runners use to improve their stamina. They are out there putting in the hard work every day but maintain their sanity. In addition, they don't let a setback get the best of them. I hope that makes sense.
How To REALLY Improve Your Stamina
7. Start doing Hill Sprints
I would advise doing workouts like this once a week after you have built up a nice base of mileage first. Furthermore, you never want to start a training plan without first spending at least 4 weeks running very easy mileage. So, build that strong base of mileage first and then start focusing on running faster workouts.
Hills can easily get your heart rate up to higher levels. I usually find a hill that is anywhere from 50 meters to 300 meters in length. Furthermore, I focus on lifting my knees and pumping my arms going up. You can walk down the hill for recovery. Remember, never start doing hard track, hill or road workouts without first laying a base of mileage. It is much like building a house. The foundation has to be laid first so that house can withstand the weather conditions.
Hill repetitions really stress the anaerobic system of the body. Thus, over time, your lactate tolerance, increases. So, how to increase running stamina for beginners is much like it is for veterans. Consistent and persistent focus toward the goal in mind, running faster and longer. You are running on a sharp incline and running at speeds much faster than you will be racing at. So, spent a few seconds running at sprint speeds. The result will be improvement in your stamina and new personal bests in the races you choose to run.
How to increase running stamina for beginners comes down persistence. There is a massive difference between interest and commitment. You simply have to decide which one you wish to aim at. There are many athletes who are lukewarm when it comes to their goals. That being said, there are others who are white hot and are willing to work for years to get what they want.
In closing, be sure to check out our training programs and courses. These are resources to help you bypass the learning curve and learn what the best runners are doing. It is very helpful to have a plan in place designed by someone who has done what you wish to do. You can also visit the about page if you would like to know more about my background. Lastly, feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or leave a comment below this post and I will answer you.