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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

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A few weeks ago I started running again. I've always done some sort of exercise so I wouldn't consider myself out of shape but my endurance when I'm running is weak. I can run about 1.5 miles and then need to take a walking break. So I usually run intervals and run 4 miles 4 days a week. I'd really like to start running some short races (3k, 5k, 10k) and am wondering what the best way to increase my endurance is and get past the 1.5 mile hump. Any advice would be appreciated! I eat fairly healthy, drink a lot of water and don't smoke so i don't think it's my diet.
Well, it depends whether the "barrier" is physical or mental. If physical, maybe some more training on a bike or with walking/jogging splits will help. If mental, maybe having a running buddy would help you push yourself more.
Well, considering that you've only started running a few weeks ago it sounds pretty good. I think you could slowly build endurance, like add a minute onto your 1.5 mile run each time. Also, I know that if I take a day off then the next day I usually run better.
Sounds like you are doing well! I run 3 miles a day, 5 times a week. I actually have to eat more in order to maintain my weight since I'm not looking to lose any more. After running and lifting weights, I burn about 500 calories at the gym and don't really like to eat a lot. 4 miles sounds pretty good!

What I do to keep going is get a great soundtrack to listen to on my ipod. Go for lots of fast, upbeat songs that you enjoy. I regularly download new music as a reward for a good week of workouts. I always look forward to listening to my new songs. I try to focus on the music instead of the timer on the treadmill.

If I'm really tired, I'll just slow down the pace a little bit instead of going to a walk. Then I'll take it back up. Or just try very hard to go a LITTLE farther each time and gradually add on to it. I used to have to stop after 1 mile and now if I want I can do the whole thing straight, but usually I stop after 2. Just add on a little each time! It works! I actually sometimes speed it up a knotch and my adrenaline really keeps me going. I see that I'm finishing faster and it motivates me to keep going!

Good luck to you! I hope you are able to achieve your fitness goals and participate in those races. Good for you!
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) cardio and plyometric exercises (working the short twitch muscle fibers) help to build endurance. Change up your normal running routine by shortening it and making it more intense.

Example for treadmill for week one:

Warm up for 5 minutes
Run at your maximum (where you are breathless almost, your absolute fastest--think prehistoric, like dinosaurs are chasing you fast) for 1 minute
Recover at a moderate rate and speed for 2 minutes
Repeat running at your maximum for 1 minute
Recover for 2 minutes
Repeat maximum for 1 minute
Recover for 2 minutes
Cool down for 5 minutes

Every other week or whenever your body starts to adjust just add another interval.
You might think about getting yourself a heart rate monitor. As your running progresses, you should be able to indentify how you feel during a run. Obviously running is tough all the time, but I've been able to identify 'comfort' levels during the run. I use the term comfort loosely, I should say painful versus less painful :) I'm always watching my monitor during a run, if my BPM gets to 150 or above and I start huffing pretty bad, then I slow down slightly. If it drops down in the 130's, I can feel my body 'easing' up some so I kick it up again. I try to keep my BPM around 140 or so during the run. It's a mental thing too, as I don't feel the need to stop during the run anymore, mentally I know I can slow down the pace and feel myself catch my breath slightly again.

This helps some on interval training too. You kick up the pace for a while, your BPM goes up, then you slow it back down a while.

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