How To Build Endurance For Running – From Mental To Physical Abilities
The main goal to train for endurance is simple. It’s to help you keep your body at an aerobic state at high speeds as long as possible.
This is basically what every long runner tries to achieve. Anaerobic literally means with out oxygen. And if you ever hit your anaerobic threshold you know how heavy you breathe.
In the running world running longer is probably the most asked question. And for good reason. Most people usually tire out within three miles of running and wonder why they cant run any longer without stopping or breathing like crazy.
They don’t realize that they most likely aren’t doing anything wrong its just they don’t realize that increasing endurance running levels takes a while and they don’t have the patience for it.
Increasing the miles that you can run, has to do with two components, one which many people talk about is, running longer workouts.
The miles you run during your training greatly affects your performance come race day. And the other component, which a lot of people don’t talk about as much, is your mental performance.
Your physical abilities have just as importance as your mental state in which you are in. Say that you don’t focus on your running and your mind is some place else, like something that is stressing you out.
You will typically run shorter and tired out easier if all of your energy is focused on that thought. But if you were to focus on something more pleasant, you could use that energy and rechannel it to your running. You may even want to think of nothing.
The other side of your mental component is your actual limitations you put yourself on. Did you know that the human body is capable of running hundreds of miles a day? Don’t believe me? Google “ultra marathon” and be ready to be amazed at what some people accomplish.
Do you think that they rely on their training alone to help them achieved those miles? No, it’s the ability to say in their head they can and will accomplish those miles.
They play games in their head when they are running to help them focus better and keep positive. If they for one instant get caught up with negative thoughts, they immediately lose all their ambitions about running. So running is just as much as your physical ability than “mind games”.
Train For The Distance
Training to run longer is really straightforward. The more miles you train your body during workouts, that longer you will be able to run. The more you force your body to run longer the more it will get used to it and perform much better. The more you workout with longer miles the more red blood cells can get to your muscles, which will give more oxygen to them.
Do you see the connection with the term anaerobic (without oxygen) and why this is important? So the main thing when training for longer runs is to simply train at slower speeds and to increase the miles you train.
Consistency, Not Ability
Running longer entails you not to focus on how much you can run at the beginning of your training, but makes you be consistent.
If you can only run one mile, then that’s great, you just have to keep consistent and train every week to increase your ability level. And if that’s the case don’t get discouraged. Nobody can run a marathon with out being consistent with their workouts, nobody.
When I first starting running I could really only run two miles and after two miles I was huffing and puffing, feeling like I was going to pass out. I asked myself, “How the HELL do people run marathons, if I cant even run three miles without breathing like a dog chasing after a cat?”
It wasn’t until I learned from people much smarter than me, that people who run longer have been training longer and were more dedicated to their training. It wasn’t until I got serious about my training that I increased my running times and wasn’t cramping up after a mile of running.
Set The Pace To Win The Race
Anther thing you should take in to consider action, whether you are running in a race for training for a race, or just running for fun, that you should focus on the pace that you run.
And you wont know how fast you should run until you actually run a desired mileage and see how tied you are. If you are struggling then you know that in the future you need to run at a slower pace than you just ran.
Or if you could keep running, then you know you need to speed up your running. You won’t be able to get a feel for this until you run a couple of times with your desired mileage.
Once your find your pace, you can then increase your pace so that you can channel your energy better to get faster times.
To do this is to start out a little slower than your regular pace, then gradually bring your speed up to you regular pace and then somewhere with in your last miles increase your speed above your regular pace. In the running world they call this a “running kick”. You basically sprint toward the finish line.
How To Increase Volume Without Losing Your Head
The one thing that many beginner runners don’t understand is if they want to increase the miles that they can run, they need to vary their workouts. Mixing long and short runs in your training will make you stronger, allow your body to rest, and will make your workouts less boring. Varying your runs on a weekly basis will help you break through plateaus also.
Typically you want to run one long run per week. So say you run three miles regularly; five miles will be a long run for you.
A good gauge to determine your long run is to take your regular run distance and times it by 1.5. It all depends on your fitness level and your motivation a particular day. If you are a person who likes to measure their runs by time, then 20-40 minutes at your lactate threshold pace is about the distance necessary to increase your endurance levels.
As you run long runs on a consistent basis your body will have no choice but to store more glycogen. The longer you run, the more your body will get used to the demands you give it and will in some cases drastically increase your glycogen storage.