11 Ways To Learn How To Run Longer And Increase Your Stamina

11 Ways To Learn How To Run Longer And Increase Your Stamina

As a runner, you probably want to learn how to run longer and increase your stamina so we could breeze through the miles. 

Who wouldn't want to be able to run without feeling like they were going to collapse?

Endurance and stamina are definitely two of the most important elements that any runner should have if they're increasing their mileage. 

This goes especially for marathons and ultra-marathons. 

Everyone has had runs where it's a struggle from the beginning and the thought of continuing for any length of time seems impossible.

So if your goal is to run longer and not feel exhausted, here are some tips to keep you going.

In fact, let’s say that this is required reading for any runner (be it starting out or a seasoned vet) trying to build up their endurance.

Let’s break down from start to finish how you can get those extras miles in and still feel good.

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

This is just stating the obvious and then some.

You have to keep strong and eat a healthy diet in order to fuel your runs long. 

In this case, you want to keep the junk food to a minimum (if not completely away from you).

Be sure whatever you eat has plenty of vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates, protein, and good fats. 

Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium are extremely important minerals needed for muscle function, bone health, and proper circulation.

Avocados, dark leafy greens like spinach or kale, fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, almonds, walnuts, chia or flax seeds are high in these nutrients.

By giving your body the proper nutrition, you'll be able to crush those long runs and feel great.

2. You Must Cross-Train

You can’t build endurance by just running. 

Swimming and cycling are great sports to do on your cross-training days. 

Or maybe you have some friends who love basketball.

Get together once a week and shoot hoops at the local rec center.

Does your husband or wife love tennis?

Challenge them to a match at the tennis court.

Your best bet is to do an athletic activity that involves cardio and challenging different muscle groups will make you a better runner.

3. Warm-Up Before a Run

If there were a set of rules for running or keeping fit, this will definitely be rule number one.

Warming up with dynamic stretching is a great way to reduce the risk of strain or injury while you are running.

These are different from static stretches which involve holding a position for 30 or more seconds.

Dynamic movements involve motion and can include knee taps, butt kickers, leg swings, jumping jacks, and jogging in place. 

This will warm up your muscles and prepare them for the task at hand.

In turn, it will also improve the strength and flexibility of your muscles making them more efficient. 

young woman stretching

4. How To Run Longer And Increase Your Stamina With Proper Breathing

Having proper breathing techniques is key for pacing yourself to handle long distances. 

You must train your heart and lungs to keep up with the demands of your muscles.

With focused breathing, you will ensure a steady flow of oxygen so can continue to run and reduce fatigue.

Try a 2:2 ratio, which means breath in for 2 seconds and exhale for two seconds.

It's also important to breathe from your diaphragm (belly breathe) and not your chest. 

You can do this throughout the day by placing your hand on your stomach. 

Take a deep inhale and feel your chest rise, then forcefully try to exhale all the air out of your lungs.

With practice, this will soon become natural and improve your lung capacity which, in turn, will improve your stamina.

5. Always Be Well Hydrated

It’s no secret that hydrating yourself is a priority.

That’s why it’s crucial to carry water with your while your run. 

Dehydration will take you down fast no matter how great of shape you're in.

Nowadays, it's so easy to avoid by using a hydration pack, water belt, or hand-held water bottle.

Also be sure you are well hydrated before you start.

drinking water filter singapore 1235578_960_720

6. Find Your Pace

One of the worst mistakes any runner can make is starting off too fast. 

Don’t start your run on a dead sprint or you’ll end up winded before you even hit your first mile.

It’s better to conserve energy and jog slowly for the first two miles until you're fully warmed up. 

As the run progresses, you can gradually build up to your desired speed.

If you feel like you’re starting to get winded, slow down and until you catch your breath.

As your endurance improves, you can slowly increase the pace if you're looking for a faster finishing time.

Just remember, long runs should be done at a conversational pace.

If you can't talk in complete sentences, then it will be hard to maintain that pace for hours.

Another way to gauge this is by using a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor.

Keeping your heart rate in the aerobic training zone will not only allow to run longer but will also burn more fat in the process. 

maintaining the running pace

7. Just Keep Going

No matter what shape you're in, if you run a long distance, your muscles and body are going to fatigue.

You'll never learn how to increase stamina for running if you just stop the moment you feel tired.

When this starts to happen, simply slow down your pace.

Some people even find using a run/ walk approach helps them get through the longer distances. 

The only reason to stop completely is if you feel pain at some point.

This is your body telling you that you’ve overexerted yourself.

8. Get Into The Music

Got some songs you love to dance to and that put you in a good mood? 

Then pop in those earbuds to keep your auditory senses occupied while you run. 

Music with a steady beat is great way to keep you at a steady pace.

They even have playlists for runners to keep your pace on track with songs at 120bmp for slower runs and 140bpm for a faster tempo runs.

 Who says you can’t run to the music and have fun at the same time?

girl listening to music

9. It's All About Mindset

As the old saying goes, “it’s 10% physical, 90% mental”.

In laymen’s terms, the motivation to keep running begins right in your head.

Your body will do whatever your mind tells it.

Think about the people who support you and praise you for achieving your goals. 

Remember the miles you've already logged and the progress you have made on how to learn to run longer and increase your stamina.

Use positive mantras to hardwire your brain for the better and keep you going stride after stride.

Repeat them to yourself and say phrases like "I feel strong and have plenty of energy" or "Every breath is filling my muscles with plenty of oxygen and I'm light on my feet". 

Visualization yourself being strong and powerful while you effortlessly pass those mile markers. 

Pro-Tip: If you have a running buddy, bring them along.

There’s nothing more satisfying than having someone run alongside you that will encourage you from start to finish. 

You, of course, will feel the satisfaction when you do the same for them.

10. Cool Down

As your warm-up in the beginning, the cool-down period is a vital part of your workout.

This should be done in the last 10-15 minutes of your run.

Do this by gradually slowing down to a walking pace.

When you stop, this is the time to do some static stretching.

These are the stretches you hold for 30 seconds or more.

Go here to find 5 of the best static stretches for runners.

Not only will these decrease soreness and fatigue, but will also help with flexibility for better performance. 

11. Rest & Recovery

Believe it or not, but resting is just as important as training. 

Ideally one should rest their body and mind for at least a day before doing it all over again.

If you don't allow your body to recover, your running will suffer and you'll put yourself at risk for injuries.

Running is a high impact sport that makes microscopic tears in your muscles. 

Rest and recovery allow these tears to heal and actually strengthens them. 

So make sure you give your body the rest and recovery it needs for optimal performance.

There you have it. 11 ways to learn how to run longer and increase your stamina so you can go the distance.

Be sure to share this with a friend if they’re starting out with running or trying to find ways to run longer.

having a rest after running