How To Increase Running Speed And Stamina

Runners, in general, run for a sense of freedom that’s hard to find in any other activity. Some of those like to speed the pace up from jogging to running. But running faster naturally requires more stamina, to go the same distance or farther. 

Even if you’re not planning to break any 100 meter sprint World Records increasing your running speed and stamina can make your own runs better. In fact, it’s not only “runners” who can benefit from getting faster for longer times.

Maybe you play football or other sports that make both important to you as an athlete. You could be practicing HIIT as you run, or just want to add sprints to your own regular jogging for exercise?

Boost your running speed and stamina with the following 4 tips that are common to runners.

4 Tips for Increasing Speed

1. Sprint More

Simply put, you may need to sprint more? If you want to beat your present time for a marathon or 1/2 marathon, adding sprints to your training is vital.

I know how easy it is for me to focus all my attention on endurance, stamina, and fitness. I can spend all my training time doing low intensity cardio at a steady state when I should be doing HIIT exercises

It’s going to take adding those quick bursts of speed to move the meter. And using High-Intensity Interval Training increases endurance levels in record time.

You can increase your energy levels, speed, and endurance faster with HIIT of any form than any other method. And a typical workout last less than 15 minutes, add 10 minutes for warming up, and do this once or twice a week. so be sure and give it try. You will be impressed.

2. Pay Attention to Head Positioning

No doubt, when sprinting it’s easy to focus on your feet, breath, or where I’m going. Thinking about where I have my head positioned was one of the hardest things to make a habit of with sprints. However, there’s plenty of top sprinters around the world that advise and recommend focusing on the position of your head.

How to Position Your Head When Running?

  • Tilt your chin down slightly, keeping your eyes fixed firmly and onto where you’re going. 
  • Your head needs to be stationary constantly and firmly fixed. 
  • Do not watch your feet, or too close in front of you, but always keep your eyes on the prize ahead

Practice this outside, or inside on a treadmill. Both produce the same results.

3. Do Not Swing Your Arms

How to Increase Running Speed and Stamina
Swinging your arms does not help gain momentum to run faster

I see a lot of sprinters swinging their arms in an attempt to somehow gain momentum. That’s not something you want to do, and here’s why: When you swing your arms and hands across the center of your body, you are creating drag.

This swinging action serves no purpose other than to slow you down. If you are swinging your arms when you run or sprint tucking your elbows close to your sides will actually help you get more speed. 

So, teach yourself to keep your elbows close to your body as you run and feel them brush alongside your torso as you sprint faster and farther. 

4. Lift Your Knees

My last tip for expanding your stamina and speed is making it natural to lift your knees when you’re running. When your knee lifts aren’t high enough you are negatively affecting the length of your stride. You need your stride to be a long as possible in order to get all the speed possible and cover ground quickly.

woman practicing high knee lifts to run faster
Lifting your feet and knees higher can give you more speed when running

One way to get your feet up is by imaging you are sprinting through water when you are running. If you’ve ever run through ankle or calf-deep water, you know that you must concentrate fully on picking your knees and feet up higher than normal to make any progress.

5 Tips That Increase Stamina

I absolutely think the real secret to running is simply showing up day after day to run. And that’s the first thing you must do to build endurance. 

The following tips will help you build stamina:

1. Eat Healthy

You just as well face the facts! If you’re living on junk food and an unhealthy diet, your endurance levels will suck. Committing to running better means committing to the best diet.  

Read this post for more about healthy foods, and don’t let the title deter you. These are healthy foods that don’t poison your body and your efforts.  Your very first step should be a well balanced diet that is primarily fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, lean meats, oily fish, and whole grains. 

When your diet is healthy you will quite naturally increase your foritude and focus.

2. Stay Hydrated Always

If your body does not have a constant supply of water you:

  • Never feel at the top of your game
  • Are fatigued
  • Find it more difficult to focus than you should
  • Have dry and sticky mouth
  • Can not exert yourself fully when you are running

I think the best example of what you do to your self with too little water is to look at a house plant that’s suffering from water. 

You’re cells are looking just as bedraggled.  Because your blood needs water to carry oxygen and nutrients to cells, without proper hydration there is no way to give your all to your training or your running.

3. Increase Your Mileage Each Week

Now that you’re eating healthy and staying hydrated, it’s time to start increasing your mileage by the week. I think the best scenario is adding around 10% a week over a few weeks. 

If you’re running 20 miles a week, increase the total to 22 miles the first week and before your body gets the message — back down to the original 20 miles the next week. The following week, run around 24 – 25 miles, and then back it down to 22-23 the next week, followed by an increase the next week.

I always try to make time to run quite a bit farther than normal on my weekends .If you gradually build up your miles like this, you will not overtax your body and mind. Increasing weekly mileage naturally increases endurance.

When you get to the last 1/4 of your run, turn the speed up much higher than your first 3/4

4. Keep a Running Journal

I am a great proponent of keeping a running journal.

I want to be able to see at a glance how far I ran on any week or any day. I also want to be able to look back and see how I felt, if I was sore, what the weather conditions were, if I was training with someone or by myself, and more. 

To tell you the truth, I think anyone serious about increasing performance will need to keep a journal.

You can buy nice journals on this website, at the book store, or merely get a spiral notebook and start keeping track of every trip. 

That’s really the only way to know for sure where you need improvements, or if you’re even making any improvements.

5. High Intensity Interval Training for Speed and Endurance

HIIT is the most effective exercise you will ever need.  HIIT is all about speed and exerting every ounce of energy at your disposal for very short bursts of time followed by short intervals to catch your breath and start over.

You want to sprint all out (I’m saying all out is absolutely holding nothing back) for 30 -60 seconds, and then stand still and catch your breath or slow your pace down all the way to a walk just until you recover your breath.

That rest interval should not be more than 60 seconds, and the entire session shouldn’t be over 15 minutes to get the most out of them.

Conclusion

Running always winds up being mental as much as it is physical. Increasing stamina means continuing on past that part, or wall, where you just don’t want to go on. 

The key to building endurance is to push on for at least 2-3 minutes each time you get there. You could be quite surprised at how this simple couple of minutes can really increase your time. And it all hinges on practicing the right methods and techniques to achieve more.

It doesn’t matter why you love running, going a little faster — a little farther — will make you feel even better than before.

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