If your goal is to run farther, then you just increase your mileage, right? Turns out it’s not quite that simple. Trail runners looking to go longer can improve overall endurance by adding targeted workouts into a weekly training program. The good news is that just a few small tweaks every week will do the trick.
In order to train properly, and avoid injury, it’s crucial to ease into any increases in mileage or big changes in a training program. Here we’ll break down what endurance is, what it takes to build it, and provide a sample plan of how to do just that.
What Does Endurance Mean?
Simply put, endurance is the ability to exert yourself for an extended period of time and withstand fatigue. Endurance training, whether you’re targeting a 10-miler with friends or a 100-mile ultra, relies on improving your running economy, or the amount of energy that’s required to run a certain pace. The goal is to run farther and faster without it actually feeling like you’re working harder.
How Do You Build Endurance?
Building endurance requires looking at the whole picture, so you’ll target the entire body each week with a mix of normal runs, strength workouts, hill repeats, intervals, and rest.
It’s key with any program like this is to approach it with humility. It can be tempting to run farther or lift more or push it harder, but if this is new to you you’ll need to give your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones time to adjust. Doing too much too soon is one of the main causes of injuries. Plus, if you overdo it, it’s not going to be a sustainable program, and for this to work you’ll need to be consistent.
This program targets the mind as well because doing harder workouts requires mental energy. Even if you’re dreading it, can you motivate yourself to do it anyway? Developing this kind of resiliency and ability to push through low points pays dividends when doing long runs or races.