6 Things to Do If You Want to Become a Faster Runner

If your goal is to run a faster race, here’s what the pros suggest.

When it comes to marathon training advice, you can’t get much more cliché than “slow and steady wins the race.” But if you’ve ever run a marathon yourself, or gone to watch a big race and cheered on the marathoners, you’ll see that this often really rings true as far as race day execution is concerned.

Every recreational distance runner I know would probably say they have trained too fast at some point in their running career. I’m certainly guilty of this myself. After my first marathon in 2010, I set a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon. While this certainly isn’t something that’s impossible to achieve, it was too aggressive a goal for my racing and training level at the time. Although I did initially make some gains (including my first sub-four-hour marathon finish!), piling on too much too soon landed me with back-to-back injuries and put me behind further in reaching that goal (which is still at the top of my running bucket list, by the way).

A silver lining, I suppose, is that I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on this and eventually adopt smarter training practices to finally start seeing big results. The most important thing I learned is that just training faster and harder isn’t the best way to actually be a faster runner.

So what is? Although I have nearly 15 years of long-distance running experience under my belt, I’m not exactly an expert—so I decided to talk with experienced, professional running coaches to find out what exactly they recommend for people who are trying to become a faster runner for their next long-distance race.

1. Embrace the power of slow runs.
A common mistake that new or less-seasoned long-distance runners make is taking the effort they’ve put into their fastest 5K or 10K times and attempting to execute those paces for their half or full marathon training runs.

“Runners who do this usually have the idea that they want to see how long they can keep a certain pace, and while they will initially see improvements, it oftentimes just leads to burnout and injuries,” Andre Laboy, a coach with the Run S.M.A.R.T. Project, a group of certified coaches led by exercise scientist Jack Daniels, Ph.D. in New York City, tells SELF.

“Doing this is actually more likely going to get you a first-class ticket to overtraining,” adds Tawnee Gibson, M.S., C.S.C.S., a certified running and U.S. triathlon coach in Laguna Beach, California, and host of the Endurance Planet podcast. “It’s really hard to get new athletes to avoid getting down on themselves when told to run slowly, but I can’t stress it any harder: Slowing down during long-distance training doesn’t make you a failure; it actually makes you a very smart athlete,” she tells SELF.

Running slowly during long runs helps you ease your body into the increased stress of running longer, which is key for avoiding injuries and burnout. It’s also the best way to improve endurance—or ability to last through a long-distance race like a marathon—which is an important foundation to build before working on speed.

Laboy advises his athletes to run their easy and long runs about 45 seconds to one minute slower than their marathon goal pace. The idea behind this is that you’re improving your fitness while ensuring that you’re recovering the next day (versus taking several days or more to recover, as you would following a race-pace marathon). According to Laboy, the best way to tell if you are running easy enough is to check to see if you can comfortably and easily hold a conversation. “You should be able to tell your running buddy a story about something that happened last night without gasping for air,” he says. “If not, you should definitely slow down.”

2. Determine your VDOT score.


The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project’s Web site features a free race and training pace calculator based on the Jack Daniels VDOT methodology of measuring your current running ability. A runner’s VDOT is a score given based on how he or she did in a recent race. Based on your recent race finish time, the calculator will tell you the appropriate pace for various distances, which is helpful if you like having specific pace targets while training. The calculator also allows athletes to see how much they should adjust their paces when training at altitude or when the temperatures and humidity levels soar.
“Lots of coaches use this score when determining a runner’s correct workout paces or equivalent race performances and implement proper training paces without having their athletes do a VO2 max test (which measures the maximum volume of oxygen an athlete can use),” Laboy tells SELF. “If a runner has no idea what their score is, they can run a race where they are attempting to run their fastest time possible and put that performance into the calculator to assist in coming up with appropriate marathon training practices and goals.” In other words, by the time the marathon comes along, you’ll have a pretty good idea of which pace group to join.

3. Take social media posts with a grain of salt.
Social media is a common culprit as far as contributing to self-sabotaging practices like running too fast in training.

“Don’t get caught up in what your friends are doing,” Laboy says. “That Strava or Instagram post likely doesn’t tell the whole story, and while you’re over there comparing yourself to someone else who supposedly makes their similar goals look almost ‘too easy,’ they may well be pushing themselves too hard in that workout and not actually training appropriately. It’s important to remember that you’re training for yourself and not for anyone else.”
Gibson echoes that sentiment, adding that if looking at social media causes you to easily fall into a comparison trap and question your self-worth, it’s probably best to simply take a break from it as far as logging your training is concerned.

4. Consider “runplugging.”
On a personal level, I can attest to the fact that ditching my headphones and music cold turkey has made a huge difference when it comes to running smartly during marathon training. Although music can be motivating, it’s natural to match your running pace to the beat of the music rather than running at the perfect training pace for you. Not only that, there’s no mistaking that it’s safer to be completely aware of your surroundings on a run, regardless of the type of running workout you’ve got planned on a given day.

Laboy also recommends not being overly reliant on GPS watches and technology, but rather using them more for of an “after the fact” review of your workouts. “It’s key to practice how things should feel and use yourself and your body to judge what a good effort is rather than your watch,” he says.

5. If you’re new to long-distance running, focus on target heart rate instead of pace.


Gibson always has her athletes focus on target heart rate training rather than pace, especially in the initial weeks and months of marathon training. She advises new runners to find their “happy starting pace” by using Dr. Phil Maffetone’s Maximum Aerobic Function method to find their ideal aerobic training heart rate, and running two to four miles while maintaining this heart rate. Maffetone, a renowned researcher and expert in exercise physiology and biofeedback, put together the formula—subtract your age from 180—to give people an idea of the heart rate that will help them perform aerobic exercise optimally.
According to the 180 formula, if you are 35 years old, you should aim to keep your heart rate around 145 beats per minute. There are also ways to modify the number to account for other health and fitness factors an individual person may face. For example, if you have or are recovering from a major illness or are on any regular medication, you subtract an additional 10. (You can find more details on the formula here.)
“This is the highest heart rate you want to train at to develop aerobic fitness, and I truly believe it is the safest way for new runners to train,” Gibson says. “With pace-based training, it’s really easy to let your ego get in the way, but with heart rate training, it’s much easier to slow down once you understand the science behind it.”

After a few months, you will be able to gradually increase your speed and see that you can hold a faster pace at the same heart rate. That’s the point where Gibson and her athletes will start about talking goal times and adding in training runs that target that specific pace.

6. Incorporate speed workouts and race-pace runs into your training.
Speed workouts and faster, shorter intervals play an important role in improving running economy (how much oxygen you use for energy while running) and form, Laboy says. He often recommends runners do a few miles of their long runs at marathon goal pace, or even a shorter long run—like 10 to 13 miles—entirely at marathon goal pace. (Pretty much any training plan will call for some form of intervals or race-pace training. Check out the plans offered by Runner’s World or expert marathon coach Hal Higdon if you’re new to half-marathon or marathon training.)
“Some common feedback that I get is clients saying ‘I don’t think I can do this’ when practicing their race pace after mostly running slow and easy, but I remind them of the scene at their race—they’re likely going to be racing in ideal conditions on a flatter course than they trained on, there will be water stations at their disposal, and people cheering them on most of the way,” he says. “Race day is when you have to shift your brain from training and focus on the moment at hand. That’s the time to run off feel and see what happens. If you’ve trained properly, you’ll more than likely be surprised by how great the result is.”

Secrets to Increase Running Endurance: Get Past the Sucking Wind

You’ve finally conquered one distance, which obviously means you wouldn’t spend time getting better at it, but instead dive right in to a longer race!

This is the bizarre world of running and part of why I love it. Challenges never end.

Thus leading to the next question “how do I increase running endurance?” Why can you crush 5 miles, but not 6? Why do you fly through 10 miles, but need two weeks to recover from 13?

Let’s start with what is endurance. As stated by the dictionary:

1. the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions
3. lasting quality; duration:
4. something endured, as a hardship; trial.

That description might sound a little harsh, but that’s the reality. Endurance running is a process of embracing discomfort.

Not the I want to vomit discomfort of track sprints, but the “am I still going? why can’t I feel my toes?” discomfort of increased time in your shoes. So let’s discover how to increase stamina for running to help you get through 5K or 26.2.

Since I love this topic so much I’ve covered it in video and detailed below. Let me know which way is most helpful to you, so I can keep creating the content you need!

Tips to Improve Running Endurance


Some of these will sound like no-brainers, but you aren’t doing them or you wouldn’t be emailing me in utter frustration every week, so read it anyways! These will show you how to increase running stamina for beginners.Increase Running Endurance

Slow Down
You need to get in more time on your feet and the only way that will happen is by lowering your fatigue in the early miles to allow you to go farther later. Learning how to run farther is often first about learning how to truly run easy.

One of the best tools for this is LHR training, which I have talked about extensively.

The basic idea is to build a base of aerobic fitness which allows you to continue running farther without raising your heart rate, which is what taxes the body and slows down recovery when we do it repeatedly for long distances.

Step 1 for how to run longer is truly to work on your pacing. Stop worrying about your watch for a few runs, once you break through a mileage barrier where you’ve been stuck your brain and body will open up to the possibilities.

Walk


Believe that walking and being a runner aren’t compatible? Real runners don’t walk??

Or do they?! This is not about run-walk intervals. This is about adding walking to your routine, which does so much for allowing your body to get used to more time on your feet!

Running along side one of the speediest man I’d ever met, I was shocked when he told me his very expensive coach ordered him to start more walking AFTER finishing long runs. Validation that all my walking is more than just free transportation!

Does walking help running endurance?

Let’s look at why I’ve found it so helpful:

• Walking builds endurance {consider it extra credit training}
• More time on your feet during training ensures you are race ready even after the expo and site exploring on race weekend
• One can walk much further than they can run
• It utilizes the same muscles without the impact
• Walking eases low back pain {an issue of many desk jockeys}
• Walking strengthens your feet
• Walking large hills strengthens the glutes without the heart rate raising intensity
• Adding some walking to your routine might just help you run farther and faster by building leg strength, increasing lung capacity, reducing stress and burning extra calories.running stamina

Speed Up


No time for all those extra miles, then you might need to checkout the Hanson Plan, which is all about using less frequent, but more intense runs.

Under this method, you aren’t training with long runs, but instead using those intense short runs, to allow you to run much farther on race day by simply slowing down.

In this method you are building endurance by going hard on shorter runs, which then can make a longer run feel easier when you slow down.

Another option here is to ensure that your slower runs, also include cross training days of HIIT or circuit training. Those bursts of high intensity moves can help make your running at a slower pace feel easier mentally, simply because it’s not require the same intensity.Increase running stamina with weights

Incorporate Hills
Early in base building, I have all my runners include hill workouts because it creates leg strength and encourages better running form. You have to drive your knee up, rather than over extending the leg to make it up the hill. These two pieces together improve endurance and injury prevention.

Beat Boredom
This one rarely enters my mind, but I hear it so often “how do you keep going, I just get so bored!” Of course you aren’t going to keep pushing the distance if it’s boring and why would you. A few ways to make it more interesting:
• Running in new places, while actually paying attention to what’s around you
• Try trail running
• Practice my treadmill boredom beaters
• Ask friends to run with you
• Join a running group
• Don’t try to run daily, mix in other cross training activities
• Listen to audiobooks or podcasts instead of music

Manageable Goals
Maybe one of the reasons you aren’t increasing your distance is the goals you set…are you trying to go from one mile to your first 10K and feeling like you’ve signed up to climb Mount Everest?

Stop focusing on the ultimate goal and look at today’s goal. Today you simply need to go one step farther than you did yesterday and it’s a success, you’ve officially improved your running stamina. Those little steps add up, stop discounting them! Minus Dean Karnazes, few of us head on our first run and conquer the world.

We do it little by little.
Consistently showing up.
Embracing the bad runs.
Believing we can.

That’s right, as much as running is about getting your lungs, heart and legs on board, it’s all a bust if you don’t get your brain in the game.

How can I run longer without getting tired?

It’s a process of incorporating all of the techniques listed above. You need to allow your muscles to get stronger through the right workouts, you need to back off the pace to give your body longer energy, you need to mentally jump some hurdles and it will happen.

So maybe there isn’t really a secret at all, it’s just about showing up day after day and putting in a little more time on your feet without being so focused on your watch.

What helped you increase your distance?

What’s your current distance goal?

How To Increase Stamina In Bed And Build Up Endurance

What happens in the bedroom is a touchy, private subject, especially because everyone wants to perform well. There’s a lot of pressure to impress, but sometimes that pressure is a double edged sword. It’s hard to get it up and keep it up if you’re constantly worrying about your stamina, and how it compares to other men. Instead of worrying whether you’ll be able to please your partner in bed, do something about it. There are lots of natural ways to build stamina and endurance.

Build endurance through exercise
Don’t be confused by aerobics, exercises to increase your sexual endurance are a bit different. Build upper body strength so you don’t get tired when you’re on top, but don’t forget the importance of the lower half, either. Even if you last a long time, if you can’t move your hips, you probably won’t be able to generate a lot of pleasure.

It’s recommended practicing hip lunges, stepping forward with one foot with the knee slightly bend and leaning into it until you feel a stretch. Another good exercise to improve performance is the gluteal bridge. Just lay on your back, knees bent, and lift your butt up, using your glutes for support. Hold for 30 seconds, bring it back down then repeat it again. And again. It’s a pretty common movement during sex.

Masturbate
The topic is sometimes a bit taboo, but this method has helped men improve their stamina for years. Besides, 94 percent of men already say they masturbate according to the Independent, so you might as well embrace the will of the majority. Masturbate regularly to improve your endurance and stamina, but be careful you don’t come to depend on it. If you’ve got a big date coming up, masturbate beforehand to impress your date by lasting all night. You know the saying, practice makes perfect.

Determine if you have erectile dysfunction
If you are experiencing a lot of difficulties when it comes to getting it up or staying erect during sex, you might have erectile dysfunction. The word alone is enough to make any man insecure, but it’s actually more common than you think. According to the National Health Service, 50 percent of men between 40 and 70 have some form of it.

Erectile dysfunction treatment varies depending on the cause, which can be physiological, or psychological. Some treatments involve cognitive behavioral therapy, medications, or lifestyle changes to improve blood flow. Either way, don’t feel ashamed, because you’re not alone, and a doctor can help you find a solution that works.

Lose a few pounds
Studies show that people who are overweight tend to experience more sexual problems than those who have a healthy BMI, and one of those problems is performance. However, after losing weight, even just 5 percent, can crank up a person’s sex drive and even treat erectile dysfunction according to CNN. Losing weight might help for several reasons: it can improve self-esteem, increase blood flow, and may even help promote testosterone.

Quit smoking
The negative consequences of smoking have been well documented, especially when it comes to heart and lung health, but you may not have known smoking could also be contributing to your problems in the bedroom. Studies show a strong connection between smoking and erectile dysfunction, but the good news is it’s reversible. The cure? Just quit smoking. In most cases, performance improves.

Drink in moderation


If you’ve ever binge drank, you may have noticed your endurance tank afterward. Alcohol abuse is tied with problems performing, especially when someone has become dependent on alcohol. In one study, 70 men out of a 100 who had problems with alcohol also had sexual dysfunction. Even if you aren’t an alcoholic, over indulging will definitely take away any progress you’ve made in improving your stamina.

Try a home remedy hack
Once again, Chinese Traditional Medicine is here to save the day. The root Panax Ginseng has been used in Asia for a while to treat erectile dysfunction, and it might help you, too. It’s not without basis either, some small studies have shown it made animals more sexually active and increased their sperm production. As far as humans are concerned, it had some similar effects, increasing sperm count, and making it easier to get an erection.

By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be ready to show off in the bedroom in no time. While these methods will certainly help you gain stamina and improve your endurance over time, they won’t be able to naturally increase penis size or hardness. If that’s part of your concern, consider trying Biomanix. If nothing seems to work, and your frustration is getting the better of you, it might be time to speak with your doctor.