With winter weather waning, and the Boston Marathon just around the corner, we at TB12 are excited to do some more running! Whether you’re running on a treadmill or running outside, training for a half marathon, a full marathon, or just trying to challenge yourself to run a little longer, here are five tips to help you build stamina and endurance.
1. Make sure you’re properly warming up before running
At TB12, we believe that doing pliability work before exercising is key! Doing pliability work with your TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller or Vibrating Pliability Mini Sphere will help prime your muscles for the workout. When we are not active, many of our muscles shorten or contract, but when we run we’re asking our muscles to lengthen and stretch repeatedly. Pliable muscles that are already lengthened and engaged will have a much easier time powering through longer runs than muscles that aren’t. This will also decrease your risk of getting hurt—nothing threatens endurance more than having to sit on the sidelines with an injury. Make sure to do pliability work on both sides of your body and we recommend also doing similar pliability work after running to kickstart recovery. You can find some great examples on of exercises we recommend on our YouTube channel.
2. Focus on incremental growth
This one may seem obvious, but in order to build the endurance to run longer, you have to continually push yourself to run a bit further each week. As a rule of thumb, we recommend increasing your total mileage each week by 10%, or adding between ½ mile and 1 mile to your longest run of the week. When adding distance, it’s important to keep close tabs on your speed—don’t try and push for a faster pace, or you’ll find it challenging to finish strong. Speed follows endurance, so if you need to pump the brakes on your pace to push for a longer distance, don’t be afraid to do it.
3. Maintain proper posture and breathing
We all know how important posture is in general, but we don’t always consider how it can contribute to better endurance. Proper posture allows your organs (like lungs) to function optimally and also allows for correct movements of muscles and joints. At TB12 we emphasize that having strong core/glutes will help reduce chronic issues during running like lower back pain, lateral IT Band pain, and other chronic injury. Proper posture also allows us to be more efficient when running—when your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed, your lungs can expand better and you can breathe with less difficulty.
4. Eat and hydrate for endurance
Just like a car can’t run on an empty tank, your body can’t run on empty either. The amount of energy you’ll need will depend on a variety of factors (age, weight, distance, etc), but focus on eating complex carbs leading up to long runs to help you power through the finish line. We recommend avoiding refined carbs and processed sugary foods before running or you run the risk of crashing. You can check out some nutrient dense foods we love on our TB12 Grocery List.
Hydration is equally important here—especially as temperatures rise. We generally recommend everyone aim to drink ½ of their bodyweight in ounces of water a day, but if you’re training for a race or especially active, you’ll likely need more. You can maximize the impact of your hydration by adding TB12 Electrolytes into your water. We love our electrolyte stick packs for their on-the-go ease, but any of our electrolytes will help your muscles stay pliable, balance your body’s pH levels, and move nutrients into your cells. You will also benefit from TB12 Pre-Workout, our all natural pre-workout that helps increase endurance and delay fatigue by fighting lactic acid buildup in your muscles.
5. Mix-in strength training
Regardless of if you’re training for a race or just a casual runner, strength training is key. Strength training will help you correct muscle imbalances, improve muscle activation, and increase explosiveness and efficiency. We love using our Looped Resistance Bands and Handle Resistance Bands to help you build strength and power. We recommend specifically working on your glute and core strength as both will help prevent asymmetries from developing when running and also reduce chance of chronic injury. One study showed that even trained runners showed improvements up to 8% in running economy when they followed consistent resistance training.