Long Distance Running - How To Increase Stamina

Whether you are a new person to the running scene or a seasoned athlete there is always the desire to increase your cardio and physical stamina to take your running to the next level.

The first item on the agenda is training, more specifically it's the use of interval training to increase your running stamina.

Any endurance work can take the wind out of you but by utilising endurance training, you can increase your aerobic capacity.

Interval training will also involve burning more calories as it involves high bursts of energy, as a bonus, it will also stop you being quite so routine in your training, it can get a little boring no matter how dedicated you are. A change is good to keep the motivation up and the results will increase your desire to go further.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate interval training into your routine is start off doing it in small sessions. Ten minutes to warm up by taking a fast walk then into a jog and at the end of the 10 minutes, you can run as quickly as you can., now you are warmed up.

Steady intervals

For newbies to interval training then you have to realise your body will have to get used to the hard sessions. High energy running followed by a couple of minutes of walking or slow jogging repeated eight times for about 2 months  or until your body is comfortable in the resting phases will help you get conditioned. As time goes on then decrease the walking or slow jogging time until you are fast running and resting for the same amount of time. At the end of the interval training make sure you have a reasonable cool down period of around 15 minutes, light jog to slow jog to walking.

Pyramid Intervals

This form of interval training consists of starting with short bursts at high intensity and building the time so the most time spent at high intensity is in the middle of the session, then coming back down slowly to the cool down period.

A session can, for example, consist of the normal warm up as mentioned above followed by

  • 30 seconds of high intensity running, 1-minute low intensity running.
  • 45 seconds of high-intensity running followed by 15 seconds of low intensity running.
  • 60 seconds of high-intensity running followed by 30 seconds of low intensity running.
  • 90 seconds of high intensity running followed by  2 minutes of low intensity running.
  • 45 seconds of high-intensity running followed by 15 seconds of low intensity running.
  • 50 seconds of high-intensity running followed by 1 minute of low intensity running.

End up with the cool down as previously mentioned.

Variable Intervals

For sports people involved in court sports such as tennis or badminton then variable training can help condition your body for the mix of stamina requirements the matches place on you. Mix it up a little and try to match the times in the sport when you are expending large amounts of energy and those when you are not going at it full blast. Conditioning really works to ease fatigue.

Mix Up The Routines

There are other ways to include your interval training. If your workouts see you in the gym then use the treadmills interval settings to throw a few surprises into your routine.


Whether you are mainly in the gym or on the road, weight training between running sessions can really help increase stamina and increase your running economy. Weight training can benefit all runners in many ways;

  • Improve muscular strength
  • Improve endurance
  • Reducing the loss of bone mineral content
  • Balance opposing muscle groups
  • Reducing injuries and improving running performance

Bike Intervals are really good for building stamina and giving the joints a bit of a rest as there is no impact on them. Use the same time intervals as above, either the pyramid or steady.

Finally, go for a swim, runners tend not to use their upper body muscles so as well as a well-deserved break then a swim can help keep the body balanced.

Don't forget,  recovery days are essential for success.

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