If you asked me if I were a runner, my answer would most likely be along the lines of “no, but I like to run.” Yes, I run a lot and yes, I can run many miles –not very fast—but I never do it for time and because the perfectionist in me would be upset if I would be slower than the last run or would have trouble with not seeing improvement. So, I just run for fun and do as many miles as I feel like doing depending on how I’m feeling.
Anywho, back to my real point, how did I build the endurance to casually run 5-8 miles everyday? Or actually get to the point where I enjoy running long distance because it comes easy to me? Besides practice, I made sure to incorporate interval and HIIT—high intensity interval training— to MAKE THE DISTANCE EASIER. HIIT training is also a type of workout that burns more calories and improves endurance by increasing your aerobic capacity—the amount of oxygen your body uses— while doing it for less time than a steady state workout.
You can do this type of training on any cardio machine or even incorporate weights with it. I do it via bike, the treadmill, the Step mill/ Stair Master, jump rope, and sometimes the rowing machine.
An example workout would be like this:
- –Warm up 5 minutes: 5.0 mph
- –slow jog 90 seconds: 4.0/4.5 mph (depending on fitness level)
- –sprint 30 seconds: 7/8/9/10 mph (depending on fitness level)
–> and repeat the Jog and Sprint cycle 10 times
or until you can’t go anymore.
You can play around with the times and speeds and once you get better; make sure to increase the speeds or the times so you can keep on increasing your endurance during long runs and make those easier.
Another reason why I love HIIT workouts is because I feel like it makes time go so much faster because you’re constantly changing the speed. Give it a shot and do it every other day. Doing it everyday is hard on the body, so I try not to do it back to back or just lower the speeds. I notice a tremendous difference (stronger/faster/easier) when doing long runs after incorporating HIIT workouts for a couple weeks, so I hope you find that change too!
**An awesome way to track HIIT workouts is using a heart rate monitor—I use a polar Ft40, I’ll explain more about it in a future post—because I can see how hard I’m working and make sure I’m exerting enough energy and pushing hard enough.**