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Training for Your Next Race? What You Need To Know To Help Improve Your Stamina

Training for Your Next Race? What You Need To Know To Help Improve Your Stamina

Jul 20, 2023

Spring and summer are great times to start training for your next race because the typical marathon season lasts from mid-August to December. Regardless of the what, when, or why, the how is essential to help build stamina over time and avoid injury.

Running requires endurance so you can run longer distances without getting tired. These abilities take time to develop, but eventually, distances that once felt unfathomable will become manageable. With the proper training, you will be able to run without stopping and maintain a lower heart rate throughout your workout. Here's what you need to know.

Increase distance gradually

Experts recommend going slow and making incremental gains in your training program. This is especially important if you are new to a regular running schedule.

For example, if you have been averaging two-mile runs, don't bump it up to five miles right away. To avoid injury and burnout, go up in small steps—try increasing the length of your longest runs by 10 percent each week until you reach a rate of one additional mile per week. Once you've hit that benchmark, reevaluate your goals and adjust accordingly.

Consistency is key

Be consistent with your schedule, trying to run three to four times per week. The exact number of runs will depend on your running experience and fitness level. Beginners should start small with only one or two runs per week, allowing the body to adapt. More experienced runners can increase their training volume.

Remember, recovery is just as important to make sure you can maintain a schedule and avoid injury.

Plan to take one day completely off—from running and cross-training—each week. Rest days help prevent overuse injuries, allow your glycogen stores to replenish themselves, give soft tissue damage time to heal, and help prevent mental burnout.

Add other workouts to your routine, such as HIIT, strength training, and yoga

With a seemingly endless list of workout types to do, it's tough to decide where to focus your time and efforts. Adding cross-training workouts, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, and yoga, to your weekly exercise regimen can help improve your running form, strength, and stamina, and prevent overuse injuries. Both HIIT and strength training improve overall health, build strength, and reduce body fat.

Yoga is also a great recovery day activity for runners. It helps relieve soreness and tension and improves your range of motion so you can run better the next time you hit the road.

Meditation and mindfulness can also be essential in managing stress, which can greatly improve your ability to build stamina and endurance.

Remember both long runs and tempo runs

While long runs are meant to be low-intensity cardio workouts to prepare you for longer distances, tempo run workouts have another goal in mind. Tempo runs help increase your base pace or the speed where you feel you can run for a long time without running out of breath or cramping.

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Topics: Fitness, Sports Rehab