Are you trying to incorporate cardio into your routine? How about training for your first race? Whatever it may be, running may not come naturally to you. In fact, it may be downright difficult. While you may start out gasping for breath or dealing with some serious muscle soreness from your runs, consistent practice will eventually make running an easier endeavor. In fact, maintaining an organized training plan that includes several running sessions per week will help you stay accountable, and performing the running sessions will increase your stamina over time. Here are some useful tips to stay on track of your goal, improve your endurance and stamina, and increase your mileage.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
The number one component of any fitness regimen is consistency. Without it, progression occurs more slowly, and results are harder to attain. Start slowly to evaluate your current abilities, and gradually increase the tempo, duration, and frequency of your runs. As you build your aerobic capacity, you may start to add more runs to your routine. Always start slow when increasing mileage to help minimize the chance of injury. Try to start with three runs per week for a total of 30 minutes per run. Once you can accomplish this easily, try adding in a fourth run and increasing your distance slightly. Aim for three shorter runs and one long run to help build stamina and endurance.
ADD A LONG RUN
To build stamina, you must create the need for it. To do so effectively, longer runs are necessary. While you don’t have to run a marathon every day, including one long run in your weekly routine will help build endurance and increase your aerobic capacity. Try to make your long run 30 to 50 percent of your total weekly mileage, and run it at a slow and easy pace. When you can complete your long run easily, increase the mileage. Aim for an additional one half to one mile per week.
FUEL YOURSELF WELL
Food fuels activity, so giving your body the right ratio of macronutrients is crucial to optimal performance. Because the body requires glucose to perform activity, it must have a readily available source of this fuel. Where does this fuel come from? You guessed it — from everyone’s favorite macro: carbs.
As an endurance athlete, carbs are essential to performance. Prioritizing them in your diet is key to your success. Try to aim for 50 to 65 percent of your total daily calories from carbohydrates. Carbs provide the body with consistent fuel for difficult training sessions and help prevent crashing during longer runs. Eat a substantial amount of healthy whole grains or fruit prior to each long training session.
When the body must endure exhausting workouts, it must also recover properly. Proper recovery helps prevent injury and repairs working muscles, priming them for future performance. To create an optimal environment for recovery, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, eating adequate carbs and protein post-workout, and getting enough sleep. Monitor your diet and energy levels closely, paying attention to how you feel after each run. Adjust your routine accordingly, whether that means going to bed earlier or eating healthier throughout the day; the way you eat and rest can have a huge impact on your results.
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