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Whether you’re an elite marathon runner or starting week 2 of a 5K program, running further and faster are two of the common training goals for people of all fitness levels.

While there’s no hard rule or “one best way” to boost running stamina, there are some general guidelines that you can follow that will help you perform better while making sure that you stay injury-free.

1. Start slow and take small steps

Even if you feel ready to bump up your speed and distance, it’s always a smart idea to go slow and try to make incremental gains in your training program. This is true if you're new to a regular running schedule.

If you've been averaging 3 km runs, don't bump it up to 5km's so that you can avoid injury and burnout. Go up in small steps, like increasing by 1 km each week.

Your progress should be spread over many weeks, allowing time for recovery, but the activity

should be getting harder and harder.

2. Add strength training to your routine

If you're not including resistance training workouts, then we advise that you add them to

your running program.

Performing some strength training exercises at least 2 to 3 days a week can help improve

your running economy.

Plus, increasing the strength of all the muscle group helps reduce the chances of injury. Go

for full-body workouts that focuses on the major muscle groups. Perform about 2 to 3 sets

per exercise and 8 to 12 repetitions per set.

3. Commit to your training

You have to be committed to being consistent with your strength training to increase

running stamina.

Your training needs to progress from less total training or less intense training to more total

training volume or more intense sessions.

If your running workouts do not progress in volume or intensity over the course of a few

months, there will be no progression at all.

4. Change rest times and intervals

Instead of simply increasing the number of kilometres you run each week, you can try limiting

recovery time between intervals, while you increase the intensity of the running intervals.

These are both are great steps toward building stamina.

Note however that the recovery period both during the workout and after is critical when it

comes to avoiding injuries.


5. Sprint interval training

Sprint interval training is a high-intensity training used in many sports such as running to

help boost your stamina and speed.

There was a study that found that about six sessions of sprint interval training can greatly

improve running performance, both endurance and anaerobic in trained runners.

The intervals of work performed should be at 100 percent of your effort, or all-out sprints.

The rest periods are then made longer to help with recovery.

6. Train to increase your distance

The distance or time of the intervals will be affected by the race distance you are training for.

If you are training for a marathon, your speed work may consist of kilometre repeats. But if

the training is for a kilometre race, the speed work may be repeats of 100-metre, 200 metres, or

300-metre distances.


7. Slowly increase weekly mileage

The average goal for a beginner should be to slowly increase your mileage while getting

stronger with resistance training. Following a training plan will help a beginner build stamina

and endurance while reducing the risk of any injury.

Below is a sample of a 5K training plan:

Week 1: 4 x (walk 400 metres, jog 400 metres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 2: 6 x (walk 400 metres, jog 800 metres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 3: 4 x (walk 400 metres, jog 800 metres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 4: 3 x (walk 400 metres, jog 1.2 kilometres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 5: 2 x (walk 400 metres, jog 2 kilometres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 6: 2 x (walk 400 metres, jog 1 400 metres), walk 400 metres to cool down

Week 7 (recovery): 2 x (walk 400 metres, jog 800 metres), walk 400 metres to cool down

8. Try to use heart rate data

If you have access to a heart rate monitor, using this information to help boost your running


Heart rate monitor data can be critical for beginners. This will help you know how efficient

your body is at working hard and recovering quickly.


9. Increasing running volume

Running 1,600 meters or 1 mile may seem easy, but if you're racing against the clock, every

second would count. And when you consider that a mile or 1,600 meters is an aerobic event,

you have to be incredibly fit to run faster.

The best way to get incredibly fit is to run lots of kilometres each week and progressively increase

them over time.

10. Focus on you running economy

• Your running economy reflects the energy demand of running at a constant submaximal

speed. Runners with good economy use less oxygen than runners with poor economy

given the same steady-state speed.

• So, if you want to become more economical at running a mile pace, you need to run at or

near mile pace.

• One good way to accomplish this is to try to sometimes run faster and sometimes slower,

and then zero in on kilometre pace as the race nears.


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