Three sessions that will help build your running endurance without adding extra mileage.
This month my partner and I decided to jump head first in to our first half marathon with the Blackmore's team for this year's Sydney Running Festival. With only a month to prepare we have decided that instead of bumping our kilometres up like crazy we’re going to dial up the intensity.
Our aim each week will be to hit a long run just slightly longer than what we usually do (from 40-60 mins to 60-80 mins). A weekly long run is definitely advisable when training for a half marathon though your sessions don’t always need to be long and repetitive. There are plenty of other ways to build your endurance and get you race ready.
Here are a few sessions that will help turn up your running program.
If you find that you are beginning to plateau in your training and running performance, a weekly interval session may just be the boost you need this season. Builds overall fitness, speed and cardiovascular endurance.
Beginner Intervals Session:
Jogging/walking warm up for 10 minutes.
Run for 1 minute.
Recovery walk for 2 minutes.
Repeat 8 times.
Jogging/ walking cool down. 5 minutes.
As you progress you can begin to reduce the recovery time.
Experiment with your speed and find a pace that is challenging but comfortable for you.
Intermediate Advance Intervals Session:
Jogging warm up for 5-10 minutes.
Run 70-80% for 2 minutes.
Recovery jog for 2 minutes.
Repeat 8 times.
Jogging cool down for 5-10 minutes.
One great way to prepare for any endurance event is to add hill sprints into your regime. Hill reps increase your cardiovascular and muscular strength, as well as prepare you for mental fatigue come race day.
Find a hill that takes between 15-30 seconds to run up. You want to keep a strong, fast pace with these efforts, so the hill doesn’t need to be huge.
Hill Sprints Session:
Jogging/walking warmup for 5 minutes.
Complete 5x Hill Sprints at 80% Complete 2-3 sets.
Jog or Walk down hill for recovery.
(Keep your hips back, and weight in your heels to protect your knees when jogging down the hill).
Jogging/ walking cool down for 5 minutes.
Stair runs are a great way to combine your resistance workout with your cardio. These again will challenge your endurance and prepare you both mentally and physically.
This stair session work with most staircases as it is based around time not length.
Jogging/walking warmup 5-10 minutes.
Set a timer on your stopwatch for 10 minutes.
Complete as many reps of your stair case (up and down) as you can in the 7 minutes.
Active rest for 2-3 minutes (walking and stretching)
Repeat for another 10 minutes aiming to match or beat your first total.
Jogging/walking cool down 5-10 minutes.
Rest and Recovery
Recovery is an essential part of any running program especially when increasing your distances. Your body needs time to recuperate and repair in order to progress.
Active recovery is an effective way to repair and restore the muscles after a hard weeks training. Active recovery involves low impact forms of exercise that promote blood flow, the removal of toxins and tissue repair. Some of my favourite forms of active recovery are yoga, light cycling, deep water running, foam rolling and long stretch sessions.