Lately as you’ve probably noticed, there are more and more obstacle races and endurance events popping up all over the country. These races and events are fun, they’re often for charitable causes, plus they’re also beneficial as they help get people in shape. Not only are these races and events popular, but so too are activities like cycling, hiking, and endurance running. If you’re looking to get into any of these sports and events, or if you’re simply trying to boost your fitness, stamina, and/or endurance, you’ll know that doing so is far from simple. People often tend to focus on their cardiovascular conditioning, but this is simply one piece of the puzzle. Explosive strength and functional strength also needs to be considered, among other things. Here are a series of effective strategies for boosting your stamina and endurance.
Try the run/walk method – For those of you new to endurance training and conditioning, the run/walk method is a great way of boosting stamina and endurance in a relatively simple way. Basically, once you’re warm, head out for a walk or on the treadmill and alternate between periods of slow and steady walking, followed by 30 seconds of high intensity sprints. This is a form of high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, and it is a guaranteed way of improving your stamina quickly. With each session, try to sprint a little faster, or for a little longer and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits.
Aim for less rest between sets – When training, another great way of increasing your endurance is to aim for less rest between sets. Whether you’re performing interval sprints, or lifting weights in the gym, try to get less rest between sets as this will keep your heart rate up and will help boost your endurance. Most people aim for between 90 and 120 seconds between sets, so try aiming for 60 seconds instead. This keeps your heart rate elevated and will help boost cardiovascular endurance.
Practice endurance running – Obviously, as the key is to build endurance and stamina, it should come as no shock to learn that endurance running helps improve endurance. Who knew? The reason for this is that you are conditioning your body for endurance-based exercise, plus endurance running also strengthens your heart and will increase mitochondrial volume within your cells. Not only that, but endurance running also helps to flush toxins and lactic acid from your muscles, helping to fight off fatigue and muscle cramping. You don’t need to sign up for a marathon or go for a 10-mile run on the first day of training, but aim to cover a decent distance, and as you get fitter, gradually increase these distances with each session.
Incorporate plyometrics into your routine – If plyometrics were good enough for the Ancient Roman armies, they’re certainly good enough for you. Plyometrics are fantastic because they target fast-twitch muscle fibres, which are responsible for explosive strength and explosive movements. This helps enhance your running performance, particularly for getting up steep inclines, or for times when you need to accelerate.