3 Steps to Improving Your Stamina
By: David Dack
Building stamina requires time and practice, and the payoffs are worth the efforts. Good stamina is key to getting the most out of your training sessions and enjoying your life. For instance, if you can’t sustain running—or any other cardiovascular training—for more than 20 minutes, then you’re probably not benefiting from the training and may be actually wasting your time and energy.
Therefore, if you want to increase your stamina for running training—or for any other workout regime—here are 3 ways that can help.
1. Set Realistic Goals
The fastest way to face difficulties with your running training is by trying to rush the training with over-the border and unrealistic goals. Do not rush this, nor be over-excited to develop good stamina. If your goals are well beyond what you currently can do, you’ll only increase the likelihood of injury and burnouts. Instead, the way to go is to set challenging but realistic goals and build on that.
For instance, if you can run for 10K but it takes you considerable effort ( you find yourself extremely exhausted and sore at the end of the workout), then you’re overdoing the exercise. The 10K isn’t a realistic goal for you. Instead, aim to run for 3 or 4 miles and gradually build your running distance. After a while, you’ll be able to run that 10K distance without much trouble in no time.
2. Add Tempo Runs
Adding distance is not enough, you need to make your training more intense. One of the best running training strategies is the tempo run. This type of running trains your body to run further and faster with less fatigue. Also known as lactate threshed training, tempo runs are key in developing metabolic fitness, this means that your body becomes more efficient at handling lactic acid from your working muscle, eventually leading to less fatigue. The more endurance level you have, the higher you push your lactate threshold.
A tempo run pace is 70-80% of your maximum cardio power. This is the point where you start building lactic acid in your legs and working muscles. Start your run with 5 minutes of slow jogging, then gradually increase the intensity and continue with 15-25 minutes of running at about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace. If you’re not sure how a 10K pace should feel like, just run at a pace that feels comfortably hard, but not too much.
3. Interval Running
If you don’t have enough time for a tempo run, interval running is the way to go. Also referred to as high intensity interval training (or HIIT), this type of training is ideal for shedding weight, increasing muscle mass, boosting running speed and performance, and enhancing overall fitness and health levels.
Here is a beginner interval workout:
- Start with a 5 minute jog for warm-up ;
- Run at interval pace (80-90% of your maximum heart rate) for one full minute, then jog slowly for one minutes recovery interval
- Repeat the cycle 7-8 times :
- End the workout with a 5 minute jog as a cool down. Breathe deeply and stretch afterwards.
The above program is just to give you an idea on how to proceed with an interval running workout. Don’t feel the need to follow it verbatim. Use some common sense and adjust it to your own needs and fitness level.
These 3 training guidelines can take your stamina levels beyond what thought possible. They are that powerful. Nevertheless, you need to practice the skill and put into action what you’ve just learned. Speed of implementation is key to success.
About the author
David Dack is a runner and an established author on weight loss, motivation and fitness. If you want more free tips from David Dack, you may visit his running website and for a limited time you can grab his special “Weight Loss By Running” free report. David’s information has helped many lose and keep off the weight through step-by-step techniques presented both in his articles and in his special reports.