Are you curious on how you can increase your endurance before your next race?

As a marathon runner, speed isn’t the only race factor you want to train for. Many runners, especially new runners, overly focus on the wrong type of training. They focus on running faster but, not running longer. Have you ever run a marathon and you start to feel heavier during the race? Or have you suffered from slower strides and feeling less coordinated? It’s because your heart, lungs and muscles may not be working together to distribute the right amount of blood and oxygen around your body to sustain your run.

To put it simple, your cardiovascular system needs to be efficient at transporting oxygenated blood around your body to your working muscles to continue movement. Endurance is very important in marathon running to combat fatigue and is defined as the ability to withstand fatigue. So how can you work your way up to running more miles while simultaneously increasing your quickness? Keep reading to find out 7 ways to increase your endurance before running your next (or first) marathon.

1. Gradual Adaptation to increase endurance

Have you ever heard of the 10% rule? Well, it’s when you increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% per week. This is important for increasing your endurance because you work on adapting your body to running longer. Gradual adaptation also helps decrease your chances of injuries as you start to run longer. An easy program you can start off doing is running for 2 miles one week then, the next week increase it to 3. When you reach your 4th week, take a break and continue the week after running 6 miles then increasing to 7 the next week. Just keep thinking “one mile at a time”

2. Practice Plyometrics

The goal of doing plyometric exercises is to build muscle power which can help with your running stamina. The exercises involved with plyometrics are usually explosive exercises where your muscles are exerting maximum force in a shorter amount of time. Exercises include box jumps, tuck jumps, and squat jumps. It also makes your muscle fibers stronger and more flexible

3. Add Longer Tempo Runs

A tempo run is a moderate-to-hard intensity training run, that can last anywhere between 20 minutes and 40 minutes. Tempo runs help build your lactate threshold (LT), which is critical for running faster. This is known as the point at which lactic begins to accumulate in your muscles which if built up, leads to the fatigue. A build up of LT can also give you burning sensations and soreness. To combat this, do tempo runs to reduce the accumulation of lactic acid. This will help you run faster without suffering from muscle fatigue.

4. Strength Training

When you incorporate strength training exercises into your marathon running plan, you develop better muscle and joint strength. You’ll also be able to run longer because strength training helps you use less oxygen. The best strength training exercises to do are

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Overhead press
  • Lunges
  • Bent over rows

5. Do HIIT workouts to increase endurance

HIIT workouts are a major advantage when increasing endurance for marathon running. Interval training involves alternating between periods of max-effort exercise with rest periods. This means your heart and lungs will become stronger thus, making you run longer! HIIT workouts also work with controlling the amount of lactic acid in your body.

6. Race Nutrition

Race nutrition is very important before, during, and after running a marathon. Many beginner marathon runners skip the recovery process of a marathon or they don’t know how to fuel properly during a marathon. First, you want to make sure you are hydrating well a few days before your race.

During endurance exercises, your body sweats to cool itself. So, it is important to replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat to stay hydrated and avoid muscle cramps. This is exactly how our Hydration Formulas help endurance athletes maintain their electrolyte balance because, it replaces the fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat. Our hydration formula helps:

  • reduce lactic acid buildup
  • increase calcium
  • prevent muscle cramps
  • maintains your sodium and potassium levels
  • maintains your electrolytes

Proper fueling during your race is important to boost your energy so that you can keep going. This happens through the intake of carbohydrates which provide the perfect fuel for endurance activities because it is easily digested and quickly used by your body. Ingesting carbohydrates while you race can prevent early fatigue and injury. Our Fuel formula provides endurance athletes with a boost of energy and prevents you from “hitting the wall” or “bonking.

After your race, you’ll need to recover by repairing your muscle tissues. It’s key to do this within 30 minutes of finishing your marathon because that’s when your body is super absorbent of nutrients. Often endurance athletes don’t feel hungry after a long race, but your body requires nutrients to repair muscle tissue! Our Recovery Formula has everything your body needs to rehydrate, and repair broken down muscle tissue, and recover quickly. It’s designed to be used 15-60 minutes post-endurance exercise to replace fluid, protein and electrolytes lost from sweat as well as promote muscle repair.

7. Be Consistent to increase endurance

Being consistent in anything you want to achieve is always the key ingredient to success. The only way to increase endurance is to keep practicing. So, be consistent with your training schedule and nutrition. Make sure to run in the proper running shoes, especially if they are new so your feet gets used to them. Try to train at the same times each day if possible. If you want, you can even have a running buddy to keep you accountable and motivated.

The Final Word

Whether you’re a beginner marathon runner or a professional, it’s important to build up your endurance. Try out some of these tips to see which are your favorite to do and then be consistent with them. Make sure you track your success and stay on schedule. Don’t forget nutrition is also important! Good luck on your next race day!