Endurance is maybe the main factor for distance runners. What is good endurance, depends on where to focus. People often think that you are really good shape if you are a marathon runner, but downplay shorter distance like 5km or 10km. You might have heard someone say “I’m ONLY running 10 km”. Well, it’s not only 10 km, as it needs way different speed endurance capacity than a marathon, also it’s often difficult pace compared to a marathon.
What is endurance?
Endurance includes several aspects such as the capability to bearing pain, fatigue and last long. The pain can be understood in two ways, the pain that hurt. This is never good, and it has nothing to do with endurance. The other way means more like discomfort, and especially embracing the discomfort. So, endurance means that you are physically and mentally in good shape. Once your body starts to feel discomfort and you want to stop, you won’t. You continue despite the fatigue, not caring weather or other external factors.
Endurance also means duration, how long you can keep on with good quality. This and other factors can be improved. Runners often skip good endurance pace and focus too soon faster pace. Who wouldn’t like to run fast, but if you are aiming longer distance, you don’t benefit to capability to run 5 km fast, if you can carry on longer than 15km.
how to improve endurance?
First and foremost, run, run and run. The more you run, the more you improve endurance. BUT, run easy, for long-distance runners, most of the training should be easy runs. Low heart rate and pace, longer runs are the key factors the improvements. Also, if you are beginner, walk. Do walk-run exercises. This will gradually improve your endurance and help to move longer distances. So, instead of going for 2-3 km run, go for 5 km walk-run.
Once you have worked endurance for good level, start adding speed. Fartlek, intervals, tempo runs, will improve your speed endurance. These kinds of workouts are performed faster pace than easy runs, which why it’s important to build endurance base first. So you can make a clear difference in the paces between workout types.
Strength training built strong muscles, which help both endurance and speed. For example, a strong core help to maintain good running posture.