It doesn’t matter why you started running, at some point, you’ll become consumed with that clock. Maybe you wanted to relieve stress in the beginning, or perhaps it was to shed some weight, but by the end, you’ll have a love-hate relationship with a stopwatch. It’s what keeps running regulars kicking—speaking of which, are you prepared for the upcoming Spring Prairie Fire Half Marathon you’ve been training for?—and that clock will keep you going, too.
The good news is, you can improve your running endurance and get better times on your jogs, even if you’re a novice. Here are four ways to help you push your legs to the limit.
- Form Training
A great way to improve endurance is through reduction of resistance and maximizing running efficiency. One running exercise designed to accomplish just that is the Banded Body Lean.
The Banded Body Lean is an exercise developed to help runners practice their form. Using a large band to hold yourself in place and anchored to something heavy, you can perfect your stance, posture, and balance. You can then practice the best lean for your stride and focus on aspects such as foot placement and muscle usage.
- Running Drills
While the advantages of being able to practice and perfect your running form can’t be overstated, the hard work of exercise and running drills can’t be replaced.
Many of you have probably heard of Hill Running drills (some of you were even hoping that this grueling exercise would go without mention). Unfortunately for those people, there has yet to be discovered a running exercise that can so dramatically improve performance like the Hill Running drill. These types of running tasks can be based on shuttle runs, timed sprints or just incorporating hills into your jog. Either way, hill training will pay off, namely in the form of increased endurance.
Adding Intermittent Sprints into your daily or weekly runs will also improve your endurance, both physically and mentally.
Start out simple, maybe adding one 20-second sprint during the first minute of your one-mile run, then again towards the very end. Not only will this improve your “kick,” it will also force your muscles to work harder. Doing sprints early in your run will also force you to focus more on your technique in addition to teaching your brain to push past barriers (especially early on).
- Gym Exercises
If your gym is like SunPoint Fitness, it will have plenty of machines, squat racks and ways to work your legs. But the most important thing to remember is to opt for more reps and less weight when working to build muscle and endurance that will benefit your running.
One exercise that everyone should include if they want to become a better runner, is some form of lunges. As most know, this exercise will hit those hard-to-work hip flexors and hamstrings, keep you flexible, and addresses a wide range of key muscle groups necessary to improve your running endurance.
For those of you in the Kansas City area, visit our Olathe gym for a rundown of how we can help you become a better runner.
- Dietary Planning
Don’t forget, no matter how well-conditioned and trained our bodies are, peak performance will be impossible without the right fuel. (A high-sugar energy drink may not be the best idea for that upcoming Topeka to Auburn marathon.) A better option would be straight-up water! Hydration is key while you’re training, so keep your energy drinks and protein shakes till after your exercises. Then you can let your muscles heal up.
Train hard, eat smart and use these tactics to improve your running endurance and beat that clock.
In addition to the tips above, signing up for a personal fitness and running class might help you! Don’t hesitate to ask our support team at SunPoint Fitness for help in designing your perfect workout routine. We’ll be happy to support you through each mile of your training! Contact us at (913) 267-5348 or visit our Olathe personal trainers at 15280 S. Keeler Street for assistance.