5 TIPS TO IMPROVE STAMINA
If you want to be the best, then you need to have the best stamina out of your competitors. There will be a point that the distance you find challenging now will feel easy. I’m not saying a marathon will ever feel easy, but there will be some distances that you’ll laugh about to yourself as you smash right past it.
Let's be realistic. Nothing good comes easy, and nothing happens overnight. If you want to see a difference it stems from how consistent you are, and that falls to dedication and you’re drive to be better.
Before you go out and try pushing yourself too fast, too frequently be weary of injury and overtraining. It’s important to pace yourself and build it up.
After all, it’s not about the destination but more about the journey.
Below our Nutritionist Freddie Greswold explains 5 tips to improving your stamina.
1. BE CONSISTENT
Consistency is the most important element of training and athletic success. Practice makes perfect?
Practice makes permanent.
The more you do something, the better you become. Consistent training builds up your aerobic capacity and strengthens your muscles.
Consistency develops routine and builds momentum, which leads to forming habits that become second nature.
Not only this, but consistency allows for measurements to see how effective the additional runs or cycles have been. When you add extra sessions to your week, make sure they are easy and slow – speed will come once all the other tips are put into practice. If you’re already training 3 times a week, add in another 30minutes session at a steady pace.
Consistency is not the same as intensity.
Look at it like this: you need to build a huge wall, but here’s how it works: the more intense a session the bigger the brick, but with every day off, a mini sledgehammer smashes out some of what you have built. So, you can do lots of intense sessions and hope that those larger bricks will erect your wall – which lots of people tend to do. And it’s these people which burn themselves out and experience dysfunction through injury that fail to build something substantial. The best way to build up stamina is by focusing on putting in as many daily bricks as possible, even if they’re not as big.
Brick by brick, day by day is the key to building up stamina.
2. ADD MILES
Adding 0.5 miles onto your run might not sound like much, but it adds up. If you think about it, that’s an extra 21 miles in a year! Run slow and build it up. Often people run their long run’s too fast and struggle to finish strong. By increasing the distance each week your muscles adapt to the additional stimulus and build themselves up to be more suitably developed for the longer distances.
3. EAT RIGHT
Nutrition is probably the most essential component of all fitness and stamina-building.
Inadequate nutrition has a negative effect on protein synthesis for muscle strength and impacts on your energy levels.
Constant training can take it out of you, and you need to replenish your glycogen stores to be able to go again the next day. To eat for stamina, means carbs! Carbohydrates should make up around 55% - 60% of your calorie intake. No, this doesn’t mean you need to eat pasta at every meal, but you do need to be mindful of your carbohydrate intake to ensure its complimentary to your training. Your body uses up your glycogen stores when you train. If you’re training with inadequate glycogen stores, this can impact on how much energy you have left in the tank.
Prioritising complex carbohydrates such as wholegrains, oats, brown rice and vegetables the day prior to your training session ensures your glycogen stores are maximised to provide you with sufficient energy.
Top athletes have their own nutritionists/ personal meal plans. If you’re struggling to break a stamina-plateau, consider your nutrition- it will help more than you think.
Avoiding certain foods before a run can be more beneficial than eating the right ones. Foods high in fibre and fat take a long time to digest and can cause GI distress if consumed before running.
Depending on what time you train can affect what is best to eat throughout the day. If your session is in the morning then a small, easy-to-digest carbohydrate snack at least 60-90 minutes before you run is beneficial. Small meals like oats & berries, bananas, and breakfast cereals are recommended prior to a run as they rapidly release glucose for energy and are quickly digested. If you run later in the day, be sure to top up your glycogen stores with complex carbs throughout the day and consume a quick energy-releasing carb-focused snack 90 minutes before you train.
Did you know a 2% loss of body water results in a 10% reduction in performance?
This means you could be starting your training session in a performance deficit.
Even if your nutrition and training is on point, if you’re not fully hydrated, you’re not going to be at your best. Keeping hydrated not only regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints but is vital for all processes within your body and cells.
Drinking gallons of water isn’t going to enable you to effectively hydrate. To ensure your body can absorb and utilise the water you consume you need to have the correct proportion of 78 electrolytes to allow for water influx.
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes and water. Without replenishing lose electrolytes your performance can suffer.
Electrolytes are vital for you to achieve your goals and increase your stamina. Taking a sports drink with only a few electrolytes isn’t going to be effective as your cells need 78 electrolytes, in the correct proportions and in a bioavailable form.
Enter Totum Sport (good plug, right?!), the worlds-only sports solution containing 78 bioavailable electrolytes that reduces lactic acid build-up by up to 46%.
If there’s one product that’s going to improve your stamina, it’s this one.
Inadequate recovery can impact your performance.
The further you run, and the more you run-the more you’re challenging your body. Good recovery comes from your nutrition and hydration, your warm down and good quality sleep.
Essential amino acids and complex carbohydrates after training encourages muscle synthesis which aids repair, getting you ready for your next session.
You can train as hard as you want, but without good quality sleep your stamina can’t be maximised.
75% of athletes don’t get their recommended eight hours of sleep, and 15% get below six. These are more than likely athletes which aren’t at the top of their game.
Deep sleep causes a spike in hormone delivery, including the human-growth-hormone, which stimulates growth and development. To achieve deep sleep, you need to be cellularly hydrated in a dark and comfy environment. Cellular hydration helps rid the body and brain of accumulated toxins to detoxify all your systems so you can wake up feeling ready.
Improving yourself daily isn’t easy, but in the long run it’s worth it. You’ll be laughing as you once speed by the distance you were once completely stuck at.
With a good mindset, nutrition, effective recovery and consistency, you’ll be up there with the best.
THE HARDEST PART IS THE FIRST STEP OUT THE DOOR.