Your stamina to endure your running and increase your pace comes from consistency. However, there are many training exercises that will enable your training and racing goals; PROGRESSIONS are my FAVOURITE! As a former 60 metres sprinter, when I attempted conversation to a longer distance 27 years ago, I struggled with my stamina. Even though I impatiently wanted to hit the fast button right out the gate, I intentionally and patiently started out slow and built along the way by increasing my tempo by a few seconds until I was able to consistently and strongly maintain a pace for the duration of my planned mileage. Running in this manner prevents a crash from going too hard and fast at the start of your run, and it also provides endurance for your gradual build-up. The transition is easy and manageable.
Some refer to it as slow start, fast finish; others call it progression. I call it SUCCESS! For instance, if you desire to run our race of 3.1 miles under 30 minutes, you would start the first mile at easy pace of 10 minutes, drop 10 seconds off mile 2 at a 9:50 pace as you will have the breath and energy to carry you through, do a mind/body inspection and drop another 10 seconds for mile 3 at 9:40. You should still have enough juice to kick it to the finish without feeling depleted. The best reward is that you would have dominated your race by executing your finish time. Note that this is example of a pace. Find yours and apply the exercise accordingly.
As always, our training can be done inside or out on any terrain. I challenge you to add a bit of incline to match our race course.
Using a timing device or a sports watch, run at a conversational pace or if you are aware of your pace, then run a minute slower for the first mile. For the consecutive miles, drop your pace by 10 seconds and try to keep going without a break for continuous movement. As you near the end of your planned mileage, if you sense you have a kick to maintain momentum to the end, then challenge yourself.
For intermediate/Advanced Runners:
If you wish to increase your pace and maintain momentum for a 5K, I typically start at 10K pace, then drop down to 15-30 seconds for mile 2 and full out 5K pace for the last 1.1 miles. You can attempt this first on the treadmill for a sense of heart-rate and turnover before you attempt outside.
As always, you must fuel for optimal performance. Be mindful of your breathing, heart-rate and turnover. NEVER run through discomfort or pain; this is different from that mental block.
Run Happy, Run Often, Run Long!
Ready to build stamina? Check out The Anywhere Workout to practice pacing or Take it to the Hills! to challenge yourself further.