Runners definitely want to improve their endurance but there are two different things to consider; the beginners and the experienced. The beginners usually concentrate on the distance they run. They want to slowly increase the distance from 2 miles to 4 miles and then to 6 miles, and so on. But experienced runners do not concentrate on the distance any longer, instead want to increase their pace at which they run the distance. Fortunately, you can concentrate on both ways and improve your endurance. You can follow a training plan to build the length of long runs and improve the speed endurance as well.
Using such planned workouts, many runners have improved their endurance. However everyone is not same in reference to high responders and low responders and so, accordingly, everyone has to choose different paths.
Here are such 5 endurance-boosting strategies that have worked on many runners so far. We do not say that all of these will work for you but one or more will definitely work.
1. Gradual Adaptation: Take Just One Step At A Time
This is a principle that works for endurance building most of the time. For this, you will need patience, and you need to be consistent to build up slowly. This principle works for many circumstances and most of the runners.
In this plan, you need to be patient irrespective of how fit your body is and how your present endurance condition is. Just make sure to build it slow and steady. For example add a mile a week to your running plan like 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles, etc. and go on. Then slow down and walk for some time to recover. Every fourth week reduce your mileage and rest. So that that you do not push yourself too hard and recover this week. The next week, again add another mile like 8 miles, 9 miles, and so on. By increasing the distance slowly one a week you can improve your endurance slowly and steadily.
2. Yasso System: Run Yasso 800s
Yasso system is the plan where you need to run 800-meter repeats on a track based on your goal time for a marathon. And how do you determine the goal time? For example, your marathon is 4:00:00 marathon, then you need to goal for 4:00 repeats.
Based on how many repeats you can do at a time, start with that number for the goal time. Suppose that you need to run the repeats of 800s in 4 minutes and if you want to start with 5 repeats. Run Yasso 800s just once a week with 5 repeats of them at your own pace. Then the next week add another repeat and increase the repeats up to 10 week by week.
3. Finke Program: Effort Based Training
According to Finke, a well-known coach in Poland, Oregon, marathon runners should focus more on consistency. Easy paced training can actually help build endurance without hurting them. He says that one should run at a speed of 80% of the pace they can run for some distance but most of the runners usually run at a speed of 90% of their maximum pace. Suppose you can run 10 miles at 7:30 pace then you should run the same distance at 9:23 pace. To calculate the 80% of the race pace then multiply it by 1.25.
4. Count Every Workout
This system or plan was designed by Pierce, a well-experienced trainer. He believes in alternating hard days with easy days to improve endurance. On Tuesdays he does interval training, on Thursdays, he does tempo training and on Sundays, he does long run. For interval repeats, he prefers 12 x 400 meters or 6 x 800 meters and runs slightly faster than 5k race pace. For tempo runs he prefers to run 4 miles at 10 to 20 seconds slower per mile than 10k race pace. For long runs, he prefers to run 15 miles at 30 seconds slower per mile than marathon run pace. You too can easily adapt to such a plan workout to 5K, 10K and marathon race paces.
This works quite well to improve leg endurance. Try to practice with local high football team when they workout with a rope ladder. A simple alternative to this is to run strides at the end of several runs a week; do a fast feet drill. Run 15 to 20 yards with quickest and shortest stride possible. There is no need to lift knees high and lift them fast. Just move a little forward with each stride. Try to pump your arms as vigorously as possible. Then res and repeat 6 to 8 times. You can just do 5 minutes of single leg hops, high knee skipping and two-legged bounding once to twice a week.