If you tend to get winded after jogging for a few seconds, then you could benefit from a little more endurance.
Though, there’s really two types of endurance that we’re talking about.
There is the long-distance endurance, which helps you jog several miles. Then, there is the speed-endurance. This refers to your ability to run at a faster pace for a longer period without tiring.
Depending on your fitness level, you may be more concerned about one form of endurance over another. The truth is, you can focus on both at the same time.
Generally, to increase your endurance, you need to increase the intensity of your workout in specific areas. With running, you’ll increase the distance of your run. With strength training, you’ll increase the number of repetitions and possibly decrease the number of sets.
But, most people understand this basic concept and it doesn’t always work.
When you try increasing the length of your workout, without results, it’s time for a new approach. Here are some foolproof solutions for boosting your endurance that anyone can use.
Increase Your Endurance with Interval Training
The first solution is to use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in your existing workout. You can use this method with almost any of your cardio exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming.
HIIT requires you to switch between short bursts of high-intensity exercise and regular intensity. Interval training is known to help improve cardiovascular health, overall aerobic fitness, and endurance.
How long should the burst of energy last? When you’re running, swimming, or cycling, you should push yourself for 60-seconds. Follow this with 30-seconds of recovery. This recovery is just your regular pace.
Some people adjust this ratio. But, a shorter recovery period and longer high-intensity period provides the biggest boost to your endurance.
Lift Weights to Boost Your Running Stamina
If you’re light on muscle, then including more strength training can help with your endurance. When you have adequate muscle, you use oxygen more efficiently while exercising.
Strength training also boosts your metabolism and balances out your cardio. If you only focus on cardio, you’ll slow down your metabolism from the gradual reduction of muscle tissue.
Include Swimming in Your Workout Routine
If you’re used to running or cycling, then swimming could be a good alternative.
The added resistance of the water gives a great environment for performing HIIT exercises. You can use interval training while swimming laps, pushing yourself and then recovering.
Swimming also helps work your upper body muscles, which don’t get a lot of attention when you’re running or cycling. Again, you need to work your muscles. Adding a few swim sessions into your weekly routine will lead to an endurance boost.
Reduce Your Rest Periods Between Sets
Reducing the rest period between sets can also lead to greater stamina. This provides a benefit similar to interval training.
Instead of resting for 60 to 90 seconds between sets, you should try to perform them back to back. If this is too much for you, then try cutting your rest period in half. Instead of resting for 60 seconds, rest for 30.
The goal is to get to the point where you’re breathing heavily and your muscles are almost burning by the time that you rest. So, if you don’t reach this at the end of a set, don’t rest, just start the next set.
Choose Compound Movement Over Isolation
Isolated exercises, such as bicep curls, can help you build muscle in the targeted area. But, they don’t do much to help your endurance, other than the overall gain due to muscle growth and a stronger metabolism.
For this reason, you should choose exercises with compound movements over isolation. When you have to use multiple muscle groups and move multiple joints, you’re using more of your stamina.
Which exercises should you include? Compound moves – like pull ups, push-ups, step-ups, lunges, and squats. These moves will give a greater range of motion and work more of your body, leading to better stamina.
Increase Your Distance by 10 Percent Every 2 Weeks
Another way to boost your endurance is to force yourself to run further each week. Increase your distance by 10% every two weeks. If you run for 2 miles one week, you would run for 2.2 miles the following week.
Then, return to your previous distance for one week, to allow your body to adapt to the change. So, you would then return to 2 miles for the third week. The fourth week would be 2.42 miles and then back to 2.2 miles for the fifth week.
Alternate back and forth between adding 10% and returning to your previous high. You’ll gradually build up your mileage while also building up your endurance.
Regularly Change Up Your Routine
The final tip for boosting your endurance is to change up your routine. Repetition is the enemy of endurance and growth.
If you continue to follow the exact same routine for months on end, your muscles and body will get used to the routine. You won’t experience the same gains. This is when you hit a plateau.
You can avoid this by regularly changing your routine. You should include a variety of different cardio to your routine. Instead of running 5 days a week, you could throw in some cycling or swimming.
The same is true with strength training. Use different gym equipment each month or find new exercises to target the same muscles.
If you use pull-ups to work your arms, switch to cable pullovers. Find new ways to work the same muscles to continue building your stamina.
Each of these 7 solutions should help you increase your endurance. But, you’ll get better results if you choose two or three of these options. You don’t want to overdo it.
Don’t promise yourself that you’ll try all 7 tips. You’ll just end up pushing yourself too far and negating the results that you were hoping for.
So, choose a couple of these tips and incorporate them into your routine. Get started as soon as possible to begin boosting your endurance.