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How to increase running endurance and jogging for longer safely – five military level tips


What’s more intoxicating than the wind in your hair, the road beneath your feet, and the beautiful smell of sheer determination? Yes, you’ve guessed it – we’re talking about running. As delightful as it is to stride into the sunset, we all know that endurance is the golden goose in our running journey. Want to run longer, stronger, and safer? We’ve got your back.

How to increase your running endurance – first things first, your health!

When planning to take up long-distance running or significantly increase your mileage, the number one health check that experts recommend is a comprehensive cardiovascular examination. Running, especially at longer distances, puts substantial demand on your heart and circulatory system. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that your heart is in good shape and up to the task.

A cardiovascular check-up usually includes a resting electrocardiogram (ECG), a stress test (sometimes called a treadmill test), and blood pressure measurements. The ECG can reveal any heart rhythm issues or structural abnormalities, while the stress test measures your heart’s capacity to handle physical exertion.

Keep in mind that cardiovascular health is not the only factor to consider. If you have any specific concerns, such as joint or respiratory issues, it’s wise to discuss these with your doctor too.

Remember, any new exercise regime should be commenced safely and gradually, and when it comes to long-distance running, “slow and steady” truly does win the race!

Health check complete, lets go

Before we start, let’s remember that our bodies aren’t like a pack of Duracell bunnies; they can’t just keep going and going. Building endurance and safely increasing mileage takes time, practice, and – most importantly – patience. We’ve partnered with an anonymous military personal trainer specialist (we’ll call him ‘Captain Endurance’) to bring you five top tips for conquering the endurance enigma. So, grab your water bottle, lace up those trainers, and let’s get cracking!

Embrace the “10% Rule”

“Running isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. Steady and incremental wins the race,” advises Captain Endurance. This sage advice encapsulates the essence of the 10% Rule, a principle cherished by runners worldwide. Simply put, increase your weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week. This gives your body the time to adapt to the new demand without overdoing it.

a group of runners celebrating

Fortify Your Fitness with Strength Training

Ever thought weightlifting could help your running? Welcome to the world of strength training. Captain Endurance advocates this saying, “Consider strength training as the scaffolding that supports your running fortress. It builds the muscle and joint strength you need to run further, safely.” So, don’t skip those squats and lunges! Your running self will thank you later.

Slow and Steady Isn’t Just for Tortoises

“When you’re running longer distances, speed isn’t your best mate,” Captain Endurance advises. Increasing your mileage isn’t about breaking land speed records. The goal is to run longer, not faster. So, don’t feel guilty about dialling back the speed. Take it slow, enjoy the scenery and remember – it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Endurance

Recovery is the mysterious benefactor in your running story. According to Captain Endurance, “Your muscles grow and adapt when you’re resting, not when you’re running. So, give them the downtime they deserve.” Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and take rest days seriously. Remember, a well-rested runner is a long-lasting runner.

Fuel for the Long Haul

Captain Endurance wisely says, “Just like a car, your body needs the right fuel to perform at its best.” What you eat before and after your run can have a significant impact on your performance and recovery. For longer runs, consider nutritious, energy-dense foods like bananas, whole grains, and lean protein. Don’t forget to hydrate too!

Protein is key when working out, whether through shakes or food

And there you have it, our top five tips for building endurance and safely increasing your mileage. Armed with these, you’re ready to hit the pavement, the trail, or the treadmill and show them who’s boss. Remember, your running journey is your own – it’s not about how far others are running or how quickly they’re doing it. It’s about your progress, one run at a time. So, get out there, have fun, and remember – every step you take is a step in the right direction. Run on!

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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