YouTube star Casey Neistat is known for his daily long runs. He runs at least 10 miles on a regular morning and maybe double the miles on a Sunday. Even Nike was so impressed by Casey Neistat’s stamina that the company reached out to him for a video collaboration. Perhaps not all of us will get a Nike-sponsored advertisement just because we can run longer, but long runs are tremendously rewarding for any runner.
Long runs can strengthen your heart and leg muscles, as well as give you time to think and unwind from daily stress. However, how can you build your endurance to sustain longer runs? Do you feel like you run out of breath or strength too quickly?
While it takes time to build up your endurance, it’s entirely possible with some dedication. We’ve put together some tips that can help improve your running stamina.
1. Stretch Before and After You Run
Do you stretch before and after workouts? Stretching before you run is a nice warm up that helps loosen up the muscles. Stretching after helps to increase your blood circulation and reduce muscle fatigue so you can run again smoothly the next day!
2. Gradually Run More
This sounds like a no-brainer, but are you happy with running three times a week and only 30 minutes each session? If you’re running 5 miles a day, try running 6 miles tomorrow. Once you’re comfortable with running 6 miles a day, try adding in another mile. Only increase your mileage as much as 10% of your previous week, though. Reward yourself with a break from long runs every two weeks. Your body will gradually adapt to your pace over time.
3. Strength is as Important as Cardio
Some of you might think cardio exercise is the key to building stamina and reserve some workout days for cardio only. In fact, leg and core strength matter just as much as lung endurance. To train for both strength and cardio at the same time, you can increase the incline on the treadmill or look for hills where you can run up. If you can’t find any hills, you can also sprint for 30 seconds, slow down for a few minutes, and repeat.
4. Have a Balanced Diet
On top of having three meals a day, you should also have snacks in between meals to fuel your energy. Make sure your diet contains enough lean proteins, vitamins, iron, calcium, and fiber. Some of the suggested foods include egg whites, fish, bananas, and green vegetables. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day even when you’re not running.
5. Make a Running Playlist
Music not only heals your soul but also helps you run faster and longer. A good workout playlist is crucial to keeping up your running spirit. Music that has good, consistent beats can create a rhythm for you while you’re running. Sometimes, you might get so lost in the music that you won’t even realize you had just run an extra mile.