5 Ways To Improve Your Stamina

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5 Ways To Improve Your Stamina

Whether you are a casual runner or training for a full marathon, the same question prevails: “How do I improve my stamina?”. The key is in building up your physical endurance, which may take time and consistency, but well worth the effort when you eventually run long distances without huffing and puffing uncontrollably. Not sure where to start? Read on for 5 simple things you can do to improve your stamina.

1. Don’t Neglect Strength Training

When training for a marathon, most people might commonly stick to cardio training—after all, that’s how to build stamina, right? While that does help, try adding resistance training into your training programme to build more endurance. By adding compound movements like weighted squats, push-ups or lunges, you will activate more than one joint in your body, strengthening more muscle groups as compared to isolated workouts (e.g. bicep or leg curls). Remember, the more muscle you have on your body, the more it will challenge your heart and cardiovascular system, which will gradually improve your stamina.

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2. Reduce Recovery Time During Training

Take your training up a notch by reducing your rest time in between sets to build muscle and stamina. Sometimes referred to as a “superset”, these refer to a combination of exercises like squats, push-ups and burpees that are performed with a break of less than 30 seconds, or no rest in between. According to a study in the Journal of Strength Conditioning and Research, more repetitions and less rest time is optimal for building stamina. As for treadmills, try increasing your intensity for a minute, and then taking it down to a comfortable pace for 30 seconds, and repeat.

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3. Build Distance Gradually 

Completing a full marathon requires your body to be conditioned to running long distances, and this process cannot be rushed. It might be tempting to add more distance to your training quickly, but this may lead to injuries if your body is not conditioned, which can dampen your spirits in the long run. So how much is enough? A good rule of thumb is to increase your running distance by not more than 10% per week. For beginners, it might be a good idea to stick to the same mileage for 3-4 weeks until your body is completely adjusted, adding more only when your body is comfortable.

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4. Eat For Endurance

You don’t have to stock up on supplements or expensive shakes to eat like an athlete. Before training or running, what you eat beforehand can affect your overall performance. Good news is, you are encouraged to add more carbs in your diet—at least 55% to 65% of your caloric intake should come from nutrient-dense, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, rolled oats and brown rice. As much as possible, try to avoid simple carbs (sugar, pastries) and foods that will spike your blood sugar, as it will also cause a blood sugar crash that may hinder your performance.

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5. Be Consistent

Just like training for any other sport, consistency is key in building your running stamina and staying on track. While overcoming the long distance might seem daunting at the start, mentally prepare yourself for it by setting small, realistic goals. If you find yourself struggling to remain consistent, try scheduling a run at the same time each week. You can also find a running buddy or join a running club that will keep you in check while helping you stay motivated. If you prefer running alone, plug in to your favourite music and try using a free running app that monitors your progress and improvements which can motivate you as well

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Running a marathon is not easy, but not impossible. By being consistent with your training, you will be running with a healthy stamina in no time!
If muscle aches and fatigue are getting in your way, try having a massage in between sessions to relieve any muscle tension. Don’t worry if you have a busy schedule – even a quick, 15 minute massage on a massage chair can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow and reduce muscle aches for faster recovery. Good luck!

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