Some people run for the health benefits and others run competitively, but for all runners, it is human nature to want to push ourselves to run farther or faster, which can be a daunting task. As you prepare yourself for the upcoming Mayor’s Marathon in Lubbock, it is important to keep your stamina up and continue to train in order to safely complete whichever distance you are doing.
As someone who has been on the same boat as most of you, and struggled at first to increase my endurance, I have put together some tips and pointers that have worked for me!
- Run Consistently! Building endurance and your distance will only happen if you keep a consistent running schedule. Now, don’t go crazy and run 7 days a week. Your body needs rest, 3-4 times a week is what has worked for me.
- Increase Slow and Steady! Increasing your speed, or distance, too quickly could cause you to burn out during your runs and possibly lead to an injury from pushing yourself too hard. When I started increasing my distance, I would increase by a half mile, then when that got easier I would increase another half mile. Doing it this way gave my body the ability to increase its stamina and keep it up. If you want to increase your speed, try tempo runs. Tempo runs are intervals between fast, short runs and long, slower runs. Doing this keeps your endurance up, and increases your cardiovascular strength that is needed for speed.
- Find Your Technique! Finding your pace and the correct technique will greatly help make your runs more efficient. It is important to run tall, light on your feet and in your center of gravity. This technique makes the runs easier and can prevent possible injuries or body aches from bad form.
- Prepare! It is important to physically and mentally prepare for a run. Physically, it is important to warm-up your muscles and properly eat, if needed. (You can check out my previous blog “Fueling Your Run” for more information about nutrition for running.) It is just as important to mentally prepare yourself for a run, especially if you are trying to increase your distance or speed. Try mentally breaking down the run per mile or half mile. These shorter goals make the run seem more achievable.
- Recover! Recovery is one of the most important parts of running. Not letting your body rest or not fueling yourself correctly after a run can lead to injuries, soreness, and decreasing your chance of being able to run the next time. Some of the best ways to recover include: cooling down and stretching after, giving your body the next day to rest if your run was longer, and eating a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein to help refuel your body and build up muscle. (You can also see more information about that on “Fueling Your Run”.)
I hope these tips have been helpful! Now go out and get yourself ready for the Mayor’s Marathon!
Wish you all the best of luck!