How to Increase Your Running Endurance

running endurance

Running is one of the best exercises you can do for your health. Running helps you build strong bones, improve your cardiovascular fitness, boost your mood, maintain a healthy weight, and so much more. 

But, a lot of people steer clear of running because they don’t have the best endurance. The good news is, there are things you can do to increase your running endurance. 

Check out this guide to learn how it’s done. 

1. Build Up Mileage Slowly 

If you’re new to running, don’t feel like you need to be adding miles to your runs each week. If you truly want to build your endurance, you need to do it at a slow and steady pace. 

How many miles you add each week and how many miles you run in total will depend on your current fitness level, lifestyle, and goals. Generally speaking, it’s best to add one mile to your long weekend run. For example, if you run 5 miles on Saturday, the next Saturday, you should aim to clock in a 6-mile run. 

Then, every 4th week, skip your long run to reduce your mileage. This will allow your body to rest and recover. Then, the following week, start building up again from where you left off previously. 

2. Incorporate a Variety of Workouts 

Who would’ve thought that running less could actually help you run more?

That’s right- one of the best ways to build up your endurance over time is to incorporate a variety of non-running workouts into your routine. If you’re doing the same exercise repeatedly, your body becomes used to it, making it harder and harder for you to challenge yourself during your workouts. 

By doing a variety of workouts, you’ll constantly be surprising your body and making it readjust. Plus, there are a lot of great workouts out there that can build up your legs, glutes, core, and other muscles you need to run. 

One of the best workouts to do is a plyometric workout. This type of workout involves doing a variety of explosive movements to build up your leg muscles and endurance. Plyometric exercises that you may incorporate include box jumps, skipping drills, jump roping, and high-knee sprints. 

Other exercises you can do to build your endurance other than running include swimming, hiking, stair climbing, and weight lifting. 

3. Do Tempo Runs 

Tempo runs are another great way for you to build up your endurance. A tempo run involves running at a slower pace to build up your anaerobic and lactic threshold. 

Typically, people do tempo runs at a pace that’s about 20 to 30 seconds slower per mile than their usual race pace. Ideally, you want to hold your tempo run pace for at least 20 minutes. Aim to do one tempo run per week, and try to add five minutes to your tempo run each week. 

In addition to increasing your endurance, tempo runs can also help you increase your speed, boost your mental motivation, and make your workouts more fun. 

4. Incorporate Interval Runs 

In addition to incorporating tempo runs into your workout schedule, you should also incorporate interval runs. An interval workout involves a short bout of intense exercise followed by a short recovery period. 

During the hard part of an interval workout, you should be working so hard that you can only say a few words. Because you’re going all out for this type of workout, you want to make sure you warm up properly. Perform a 10-minute warm-up that incorporates light jogging, high knees, butt kicks, and other forms of dynamic stretching. 

Then, run at a tough pace for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Then, slowly jog for the same amount of time to recover. Keep repeating this cycle for 10 to 15 minutes. After your workout is done, perform a 10-minute cooldown. 

In addition to increasing your endurance, interval runs also help you to improve your strength and cut down on your short-distance race times. 

5. Eat Right 

The foods you eat can make a huge difference in terms of how much endurance you’re able to build. If you aren’t eating nutritious, healthy foods, your body won’t have enough fuel to increase your endurance and help you run farther. 

Before you worry about what you eat, you first need to worry about how much you eat. One thing people love about running is that it burns a lot of calories. In fact, a 120-lb person will burn about 11.4 calories per minute of running. This means that if this person runs for just 20 minutes, they’ll burn 228 calories. 

A 180-lb person, on the other hand, burns about 17 calories per minute of running, meaning a 20-minute run will allow them to burn 340 calories. While you can go into a calorie deficit and run to lose weight, you want to make sure that deficit isn’t too big. Otherwise, you won’t have enough energy for your runs. 

While everyone’s needs are different, generally speaking, you should aim to cut around 250 calories per day from your diet if your goal is to lose weight. Simple things like putting less better on your toast or skipping milk and sugar in your coffee can help you cut out these excess calories. 

Also, as we mentioned earlier, you need to make sure you’re eating the right foods. Aim to fill your plate with plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Try to stay away from refined sugars, processed foods, and junk food as much as you can. 

Are You Ready to Build Your Running Endurance? 

Now that you know how to build your running endurance, it’s time to hit the ground running and put these tips to use. Before you know it, you’ll be running farther and faster than ever before. 

You may also want to hire a personal trainer to help you get in better running shape. Click here to learn about the benefits of personal training.