Increase Running Stamina and Speed – The Best Exercises for Beginners
Here’s how you can train to increase your running stamina and speed. You’ll be amazed at how running starts to feel easier as your endurance improves. And speed follows endurance.
You don’t just wake up ready to run long distances for extended periods of time. It takes hard work and dedication to get your body and mind prepared and conditioned for that type of endurance activity. However, you can work smarter so that you can run harder. Below are some strategies to help you take your running to the next level.
Conditioning is an integral part of preparing your body for the forces that are at work when you are doing any intense physical activity. It is important to remember that adding strength training to your exercise routine is going to help you increase muscle and connective tissue strength, improving the overall resilience of your body and helping it become more adaptable.
Strength training can help you to maintain muscle mass while improving the endurance of your muscles. Programs that focus on strengthening can also provide your body with the ability to better prevent, deal with, and even heal from injury. It can also help to improve your coordination, which in turn will help increase the efficiency of your movements.
Running economy is an important part of your running game. It refers to your ability to absorb oxygen at a consistent rate. Reduced running economy can easily present when fatigue develops causing your form to deteriorate. The proper running form does not only involve the strength of your legs and how they move but also includes your abdominal/core muscles along with the strength of your upper body.
Maintaining good posture during your runs is key. Poor posture can seriously decrease the efficiency of your energy, which will surely result in fatigue setting in much earlier. Strength training can assist you with improving the length and robustness of your continuous movements that occur while you run. It can also help to improve your mechanics. Improving the efficiency of your system can expand your potential as a runner.
Strength training exercises that you can include in your workouts include:
- Squats with an overhead press
- Back extensions
- Single leg squats
- Overhead Lunges
- Alternating dumbbell rows
- Stability ball hip extensions with leg curls
You may want to try some alternative exercises to encourage your body to adapt and possibly even to help avoid overtraining and fatigue. You can also focus on low impact resistance exercises that still allow you to maintain or even improve your cardiovascular function and aerobic performance. Cross training also has the potential to help improve your efficiency and power.
The beauty of cross training using both low impact and non-impact workouts is your ability to increase the amount of training you are doing each week with little to no increase in your risk of injury. This can also provide some variety to your regular exercise, which should help keep it fresh. Alternative exercises can also keep you going when you are dealing with or recovering from an injury so that you aren’t losing all of your progress. Some alternative exercises that you can implement in your schedule include:
- Water running
You should always pay attention to your feet. They play a massive role in the efficiency of your movement and the alignment of your body as you are running. Proper support for your feet is crucial to promote proper shock absorption and stabilize your foot and ankle while they deal with the incredible vertical forces that are at work.
Orthotic aids such as custom shoes or insoles can provide the appropriate support for arched feet. Benefits include cushioning your feet to prevent thinning of your heel pad, reducing pain, soreness, and fatigue, as well as stabilizing and encouraging proper alignment to your foot in relation to your ankle. This can help reduce the likelihood of injury, such as a rolled ankle.
Dealing with Pain
It is inevitable that you are going to deal with pain when running, especially if you are running long distances. Managing your pain is going to be an effective way to help you push past your limits once you reach them. Your ability to oppose extreme amounts of discomfort is vital to your run performance. When you progress as a runner, some measure of pain and discomfort is normal, providing that it is not signaling a serious problem.
You should expect that there will be times that your joints will ache, muscles will burn, and you will experience exhaustion. However, your mind is an incredible tool that can allow you to control the pain in a sense. Some mental tricks that you can use to help you reevaluate your limits are listed below.
- Know that your pain will pass. Remember that your pain, so long as it is unrelated to injury, is momentary. This can help you to ride it out and keep you moving toward the finish line.
- Have a purpose. Instead of dwelling on your pain, remind yourself of your performance goals.
- Keep your strengths in mind. Believe in yourself and think of all of the other challenging workouts you have completed. This helps to remind you of your strength and capability when it comes to your immediate performance.
- Have a mantra. Associating your pain with positive perspective can help you push through. Call on a positive affirmation to keep you inspired while dealing with tough bouts of pain.
- Be mindful of the payoff. Detaching yourself from your pain and using it as valuable information to periodically assess your status. If the discomfort or pain that you are experiencing is not due to an injury, remain aware that what you are doing is ultimately going to help you to reach your endgame.
Know when to stop
Your best performances are almost always going to require you to go all out; however, certain pain is a signal that shouldn’t be ignored. Pains that you should consider warning signs include:
- Sudden, severe hip, shin, or foot pain that worsens as you run
- Vomiting, dry skin, and high body temperature
- Serious stomach pain and diarrhea
- Chest pains, breathlessness, and extreme sweating
You can effectively optimize your body’s ability to handle endurance activity by implementing strategies that condition the systems required to achieve your goals. By focusing on targeted methods that improve your performance you are not only strengthening your body but also your mind. This approach can help you rise to higher levels while minimizing your risk of injury or illness.