3 Ways to Build your Running Endurance

“The fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.”

This is endurance.

I believe that endurance is one of the most important aspects of training for anyone who plans on completing a marathon, triathlon, or any long race. You are putting your body through a difficult situation (for a long time) hoping not to give way. So, how can we build our endurance in order to withstand these trying conditions?

  1. Energize!

First and foremost, you need to provide your body with something that is going to give you the energy to workout. Your body requires certain nutrients and substances in order to preform – especially when you’re demanding strenuous workouts and simply asking a lot of your body. Getting the nutrients you body needs is crucial when building endurance. It lays the foundation. There are many aspects of nutrition, but something that provides energy is going to help you preform and feel your best during your workout. Making each workout count is important in building endurance, and with the proper fuel, you can accomplish anything. Glukos Energy bars, gels, and chews are an amazing, highly recommended natural energy source for runners and endurance athletes alike. Your body can immediately absorb the glucose (natural energy) allowing for convenience and energy on the go. Use Glukos Energy not only while training and building endurance, but afterwards to help with recovery, and even (especially!) on race day.

  1. Be consistent

As with many things in life, consistency is key. Being consistent in your sport and doing it 4-6 times a week is incredibly important in order to maintain and build your endurance. If you’re training for a marathon, it’s important to run almost daily – even if just a couple miles. For example, if you run 20 miles in one day but take 6 days of rest, you may not see the same results as someone who runs 2 miles Monday through Friday then 10 miles on Saturday, with Sunday being a rest day. The number of rest days you have is up to you and/or your coach, but just getting out there and doing the movements even if just for a short while will keep your body conditioned and ready to endure a long run in the future.

  1. Build up

Build up to your goal. If your goal is to run 26.2 miles but you’ve only ever run 2 miles at a time, I wouldn’t recommend going out and trying to run 26.2 miles straight away. Not only is your endurance not built up, but your muscles and joints aren’t prepared to take that beating. Do what you can (consistently!) and gradually build up. For example, if you’re comfortable with 2 miles, run 2 miles 3-5 times a week. Then, on your long run (once a week), run 3 or 4 miles. Gradually build that long run up to your goal distance. You could add a mile each week or every other week to your long run while keeping the short runs at your comfortable distance. Consistency and gradual build up will get you to your goal.

Bonus! Cross-train

Ok, one more. Cross-training is preforming something other than the sport you’re training for in order to prepare you for that sport. For example, if you’re training to run a marathon, cross-training could include cycling, swimming, or weight training. Cycling (outdoors or in a ‘spin’ class) and swimming in particular are incredibly efficient for building endurance. I recommend and personally cycle and swim as often as I can without overdoing it. If you can do one or the other – or both – once a week, it’s likely that you’ll see huge improvements in your endurance. There are many cross-training options out there. These are just my personal favorites and were also suggested to me by a running coach. It’s important to find something challenging yet enjoyable! You want to look forward to cross-training. Not only is it great for building endurance, but it keeps you from getting bored with your sport and works different muscles. Cross-training is just useful and important all around.

Of course, there are many, many other workouts, training plans, and things to consider when training for an endurance event such as a marathon. Tempo runs, speed work, stretches, strength training, nutrition… the list goes on. I do believe, though, that with these three key factors – anyone can improve their endurance. It will take time, persistence, dedication, and hard work – but having endurance is something that will take you very far (literally) and help immensely with any sport or physical activity.


10 thoughts on “3 Ways to Build your Running Endurance

  1. And decide if you listen to music or not while you run… So many conflicting views. Coffee is also good…. One cup only…. That’s the doctor in me talking ! Nice read….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I always listen to music – helps me keep my pace and keep my mind occupied… Can be a safety issue for some but there are open design headphones out there that allow you to also hear what’s going on in your surroundings. As far as the coffee – I have it every once in a while but I feel like drinking lots of water throughout the day works best for me! Sometimes you just need a little kick, though – I have heard this can help boost cardio activities but seems like everyone has their own opinion on that. I’d say one cup is fine, though, too! Thanks for the feedback!


  2. Great blog post and lots of helpful information! I’m definitely working on the right energizing formula to help me sustain during long runs. Music is a must for me, but I still need the energy to endure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post but I have to disagree a little on the recommendation to run daily, I understand you point of not expecting change if you only run once a week, but I have been running 3 days a week pretty consistently over the last 5 1/2 years and still have worked up my endurance, improved my speed and stayed injury free. I think the biggest factor in building endurance is consistency and being smart on increasing the mileage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that works for you! I don’t think you have to run daily – or do anything a particular way for that matter – but I personally think it has been helping me to run almost daily. Even if just a few miles. I think it also depends on if you’re training, what you’re training for, and a lot of other factors. I’m so glad you’ve improved and stayed injury free! Keep up the great work!


    1. Thanks! Yeah, swimming has been a great workout for me. Just added it in maybe a month ago and at first I was out of breath after just a few laps and sore immediately after… Now I can swim without being sore for 3 days afterwards 🙂 Best of luck in your training!

      Liked by 1 person

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