I think you would have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t want the ability to run 5 miles quickly with energy to spare. Unfortunately we are not all born with this talent or skill. But there are steps you can take to increase running speed endurance. To reach this goal you must master three major aspects of fitness: Diet and Nutrition, Aerobic Training and discipline.
Diet and Nutrition
As I’m sure you heard a million times, “You are what you eat!” In preparation for an aerobic workout such as long distance running you want to focus on two simple nutritional factors; hydration and carbohydrate intake.
Before I eat, drink a cup of coffee or take a vitamin I drink two full bottles of water. Proper hydration before meals allows the body to fully absorb and distribute nutrients throughout the body. You should consume at least about 66 ounces of water throughout the day. After a workout you should drink another 10 – 15 oz to replace the water your body excreted through your sweat glands.
Long distance runners should consume about 6 or 7 grams of carbohydrates a day to make sure the body has enough resources to keep your body energized. A good source of carbs is whole grain wheat and pasta.
There are a myriad of methods to prepare your body to run faster and longer. However, the best way to condition your body to run faster and longer is by practicing what I call “interval training”.
1. Interval training
Interval training is doing separate exercises in intervals with varying levels of intensity. A good example of an interval exercise is a “suicide”. Suicides are typically done by basketball and football teams as a way to build endurance. The best place to do suicides is on a basketball court.
2. How to do a suicide
You do them by starting at the baseline of the court and running to the free-throw line and back to the baseline. Next you run from the baseline to the half court mark, back to the baseline. 3rd you run from the free throw line on the opposite side of the court and run back. Lastly you run to the opposite baseline and back. Then rinse and repeat. Suicides are a great method to build endurance quickly within a month or two.
3. Circuit Training
I define circuit training as a series of weight training exercises that cover all the major muscle groups in one routine. The key to building endurance as well as muscle strength is to do each exercise throughout the routine with little between each set. For example you could do squats with a barbel and switch to sit-ups in-between sets.
Stretching is paramount to make certain your body is flexible enough to enable your body to move circulating blood more efficiently. Also, stretching removes the possibility you will cramp or get a Charlie horse afterward. I would recommend stretching for 15 minutes before and after a workout.
Willpower and Discipline
The most important part of becoming a faster and longer runner is will power and discipline. I would recommend working out at least 4 times a week to condition your body properly. Keep a tab on your progress and push yourself slightly more each workout. For instance if you run half a mile on Monday, run three-quarters of a mile on Wednesday. Always remember to always set realistic and achievable goals for yourself and never fail to reach them. The power of the mind truly does outweigh the limitations of the body.