Building endurance and stamina is a goal for many runners, as it opens a world of possibilities such as runs that cover more distance, more difficult routes, and longer run times. While there are many benefits to increasing stamina through training, it can be a long road, and some runners may get discouraged along the way. Here, Mitch Vanhille of Singapore includes a few tips that runners can use to build on their stamina and reach some of their long-term exercise goals.
Consistency is Key
In a famous scene from the animated series Bojack Horseman, the main character is shown having difficulties running to the point that he collapses. Afterwards, he is given advice from a runner that includes “Every day it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day. That’s the hard part”. Mitch Vanhille believes that this quote encompasses many goals in life, including ones based around running. One of the most difficult parts of increasing one’s stamina through running is that they must make a commitment to being consistent in their approach to exercise. Training consistently will help a runner build their aerobic base and increase their aerobic capacity. A new runner’s immediate goal does not need to be to run long distances quickly, it can start with the dedication to slow and easy improvements amassed by consistent exercise.
Build Up to Longer Distances
When trying to increase stamina, it is important for newer runners to remember that it should be built upon gradually over time. This will ensure that improvements are sustainable and that the runner does not overdo it during training. Mitch Vanhille of Singapore maintains that you will likely not be able to easily go from running a mile or two to longer runs. Instead of shooting for drastic changes, instead try to make smaller additions to your routes. A small increase of no more than 10 percent each week is a great way to improve long-term endurance while also preventing injuries that can occur if a runner pushes it too quickly.
Work on Incorporating Speed Bursts
To build endurance, runners will want to experiment with their speeds during their routes. One simple way to do so is to incorporate regular speed intervals into training. Mitch Vanhille of Singapore naturally cautions against doing so in an uncontrolled way, as he notes that many new runners may make the mistake of running as fast as they can very early on. A more effective method to include interval training is to add 10-30 seconds bursts of speed followed by a slow jog or walking recovery period into runs. This is a great method of training for runners that may want to enter competitions in the future, as a typical competitive route will have points where runners are jogging and moments where they are speeding up.