Whether you’ve been running years or you’re just getting started jogging every morning, most people are always looking for ways to run farther and feel better. Even if you’re not a serious runner, there are a number of genius tricks you can use to improve your running stamina. It can be frustrating in the middle of the run to feel like you’re body can no longer continue, but you don’t have to be a marathoner to be able to improve your endurance — some little habits can go a long way, especially if you’re just getting started.
“Building running stamina can be exhausting both physically and mentally,” says fitness expert Dempsey Marks over email. “It’s easy to get discouraged when you go out for a run and your legs are burning and you can’t catch your breath after a mile. Throw in a pesky side stitch to the mix with the mental tediousness of running, and you’ve got a recipe for a running meltdown. But if you follow some simple tips, you’ll be crushing that 10k in no time.”
Here are 11 genius tricks to help you improve your running endurance and stamina, even if you feel like you’re not the best runner.
1 Drink Enough Water
Don’t forget to drink enough water prior to going on your run. “Poor hydration compromises numerous systems in the body,” says Andrew Moore, MS, NSCA-CSCS over email. “Lacking adequate fluid intake will either slow you down while running or force you to stop prematurely. “Make sure you drink throughout the day prior to exercising, and if it is going to last over 30 minutes, rehydrate during.”
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2 Fuel Up Before
If you don’t eat enough nutrients before running, you’ll more quickly run out of energy earlier, leading to poor workouts. But you also don’t want to eat too much before working out, as this can cause gastrointestinal distress. “Plan the timing of eating and running to avoid this,” says Moore. “Generally, try to eat no more than 500 calories two hours before running consisting of easily digestible carbs.”
3 Run With Friends
Research suggests that being in the presence of others allows us to tolerate higher levels of discomfort and motivates us to try harder, according to multiple studies. “If you are going to perform a difficult workout, do it around people,” says running coach Kyle Kranz over email. “Go to the track or even invite a friend or two to join you for a tough workout.”