How to Improve Running Speed and Endurance


Importance of speed and endurance

marathonRunning is very important to us for many reasons including better health and fresher looks,[1] and some of us are planning to run for a living while acquiring those other benefits as well. But to run for a living, one has to be either very fast or possess extreme endurance enough to compete with other professional athletes. The two main types of running are sprinting and distance running. Sprinting requires more of speed, while distance running requires more of endurance. Major sports like soccer, American football, baseball and track and field feature sprinting, though endurance is still needed to an extent. But distant running sports and activities like cross country, marathon, road, and track, require more of endurance.[2] So how can you improve your running speed and endurance?

How to improve running speed

  1. Practice everyday. Try to make new time records on 100 and 200 meters race each day, even if you hardly make any new record. But don’t try to push too hard. Time yourself or let a friend time you.
  2. Eating baked beetroot before running may improve your speed, according to UK’s The Telegraph’s research report which states that “scientists have discovered athletes who eat baked beetroot before a race run put in a faster time.”
  3. Drink plenty of water and organic fruit juice, but water is better if you find organic fruit juice to be acidic.[3]
  4. Remember to always stretch before and after you run; dynamic stretches before running, and static stretches (stretch and hold) after running.
  5. During running, breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
  6. Challenge yourself on the treadmill.

How to improve running endurance

  1. Practice daily. Keep hydrated by drinking water frequently.
  2. Use interval training, easily achieved by using the interval setting on a treadmill.
  3. Do some weight training, but don’t overwork yourself.
  4. Eating more of fruits and vegetables which have antioxidants will help you, according to MSN’s Fitbie’s reports. Such fruits and vegetables include blueberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens.[4]

Perseverance and determination will also help you accomplish these things. When you practice for better speed and endurance, do not let things like minor discomfort hinder your progress. It is essential to have breaks once in a while, but always bear in mind that too much break can dissuade you from proceeding, therefore it is recommended that you do not give yourself too much break.


Photo credit: sophie

References
[1] “Running Health Benefits”, iloveindia.com. Retrieved 6/30/2013 <http://www.iloveindia.com/fitness/running/>.
[2] “What Are the Different Types of Running?”, eHow. Retrieved 6/30/2013 <http://www.ehow.com/about_4579462_what-different-types-running.html>.
[3] “How to Run Faster”, WikiHow. Retrieved 6/30/2013 <http://www.wikihow.com/Run-Faster>.
[4] “The 10 Best Superfoods for Endurance Athletes”, MSN Fitbie. Retrieved 6/30/2013 <http://fitbie.msn.com/slideshow/10-best-superfoods-endurance-athletes>.

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