Now, unless you have winged sandals like Roman god Mercury, increasing your stamina and speed in running is an ongoing process. Unlike the numerous 5-stepper programs which promise you increased vitality within weeks (rather characteristic of the twelve-step program in the AA format), the results obviously vary from participant to participant.
However, there are general running tips that do help regardless of whether you’re a beginner or have been running enthusiast for a while now.
So, take a look at the list of seven tips from preparation to after the training session that will contribute to your increasing your stamina and speed.
First Tip: Diet
It is best to run on an empty stomach, especially two to three hours after your last meal. Ensure that before you have a good high-protein breakfast and a light lunch but keep the carbohydrate-based food for after the run. In addition, drinking plenty of fluids will help you immensely. Just make sure that you keep it to sugar-free fluids 15 minutes before you start your running session.
Second Tip: Shoes and Clothes
Running Shoes are very important in order to prevent injury, so take professional help to find the right shoes that you feel comfortable in for running. No cotton socks, not unless you want blisters. Find socks designed specifically for running. As for clothes, wear whites and head-protection in summer, nylon wear to protect against wind and wet and in winter, wear thermal underwear along with cotton or wool shirts to protect you from the cold.
These tips might not seem much but if overlooked can slow you down from meeting your objective of increasing your stamina and speed, if not risk injury.
Get, Set, Go…
Tip Three: Breathing
In almost any form of exercise, breathing is a vital component in getting the results required. The difference between normal and belly breathing is that in the former your chest expands when you breathe in, but your abdomen (stomach) expands in the latter. It is considered to be a healthier and a better way to ingest oxygen (read: better performance in aerobic-related exercise such as running).
Here is one method to practice belly breathing:
1. Sit or lie comfortably, with loose garments.
2. Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach.
3. Slowly inhale through your nose or through pursed lips (to slow down the intake of breath).
4. As you inhale, feel your stomach expand with your hand. If your chest expands, focus on breathing with your diaphragm.
5. Slowly exhale through pursed lips to regulate the release of air.
6. Rest and repeat.
Tip Four: High Intensity Interval Training
It has been medically proved that when you run alternatively in short bursts and then slow down in a simple ratio of 2:1 [meaning 2 minutes of slow running and 1 minute of sprinting alternatively] for about 15-30 minutes, you burn more calories (and lose more weight) as compared to running at a constant pace for 30 minutes or so.
An excellent way to build speed and stamina!
Tip Five: Hill/ Staircase Running
Another effective method is to run up stairs or up a hill (if there’s one around). In running up a set of stairs burns twice the amount of calories that you would burn normally. There are variations with this form of exercise as it can range from walking to running with weights above your shoulder.
This tip has worked for me!
After the Training Session
Tip Six: Maintaining a training diary
Progress always gives you motivation to accomplish greater levels of fitness. Emphasize on highlights of the workout by comparing your performance to previous training sessions. Also make an attempt to be as detailed while observing time, body response to specific workouts and other factors that indicate improvement.
Tip Seven: Rest
It is vital to rest so that your body can recover from the workout. Please don’t try to strain yourself as it could result in injury yet also remember to be creative in structuring your workouts so that you don’t get bored either. If during your running session, you are able to talk to yourself or a running partner, then that is the right level of exercise for your body. It is important to also constantly drink water or other fluids that contain electrolytes to maintain the water levels in the body as well.
In summary, these seven tips should help you steadily improve your speed and stamina if not overlooked, and carried out correctly. And more importantly, in wanting to achieve perfection… remember that the race to perfection has no finish line.