How to Increase Running Stamina?

How to Increase Running Stamina?

Running is an excellent form of exercise that can help you improve both your physical and mental health. However, many people who try to incorporate it into their lifestyle struggle with stamina and feel fatigued after running only a short distance. If this is your reality, there is good news for you: it is possible to increase your running stamina and build endurance. This guide covers the basics of stamina & endurance and some practical ways to increase them. Whether you are an experienced runner looking to take your performance to the next level or a newbie just looking to begin, you will find this post helpful. Let’s get started.

What Is Running Stamina?

Running is the activity of moving fast on foot for long periods of time. Without sufficient stamina, you are likely to get fatigued and quit shortly after you start. Running stamina is the ability to keep running for a long period of time without stopping out of physical or mental exhaustion. It is an essential component of running, and how high it is is a great determinant of performance [1].

Stamina can be built through some practical ways, including rest and proper nutrition. It also requires conditioning the mind to endure and push past perceived physical limitations, and that little voice in the head that often screams, “Quit!” You will find practical ways on how to increase running stamina and running endurance later in this article.

Difference Between Stamina and Endurance

Stamina and endurance are two terms that are often used interchangeably. But while they are similar, they mean two different things. Stamina is basically the ability to sustain mental or physical effort for a prolonged period of time. For instance, stamina is what determines:

  • how fast a person can run long distances;
  • how many reps a person can lift heavy weights;
  • the ability of an individual to continue on strenuous and prolonged hikes.

Stamina often involves pushing through perceived pain, fatigue, and discomfort for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, endurance refers to the body’s ability to resist fatigue and sustain an exercise or other physical or mental activity for an extended period. Endurance is considered to be divided into two main components: cardiovascular endurance and muscular endurance. Cardiovascular endurance is characterized by the heart, lungs, and blood vessels to sustain the supply of oxygen required to keep the body active. Muscular endurance is characterized by how long the muscles can work without failing or giving in to fatigue [2].

It is worth noting that both endurance and stamina are essential in activities that require prolonged effort such as swimming, cycling, and long-distance running. Possessing both can help boost energy levels, reduce the risk of injury, and increase overall performance.

Why Are Stamina and Endurance Important for Running?

Improving your stamina and endurance for running is a surefire way to complete longer runs while maintaining pace with great ease. Here are some other reasons why it is important:

  • delayed fatigue: The build-up of lactic acid in the muscles is one of the factors that cause fatigue. Developing good stamina and endurance helps the body better manage the build-up and ultimately enables you to run for longer without “feeling the burn” [3];
  • injury prevention: Running is a physically demanding exercise, and unless you have good stamina and endurance, you may be prone to sustaining injuries from muscle overuse;
  • increased aerobic capacity: Higher aerobic capacity translates to the ability to run faster without getting tired for a longer period of time. Building endurance can help increase the ability of your body to use oxygen more efficiently and ultimately boost your aerobic capacity;
  • better performance: Good endurance and stamina can help you maintain your pace and complete your run without expending too much energy. It can also help you achieve better times while covering even longer distances, and that can be an excellent confidence booster;
  • overall health benefits: Endurance training has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, improve cardiovascular health, enhance cognitive function, and boost overall mood.

At this point, it is worth noting that improving stamina and endurance can also have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. It is also essential for any runner looking to prevent injury, maintain a consistent pace, and boost overall well-being.

Practical Ways to Increase Stamina

Have you been thinking about how to improve stamina and ultimately improve your athletic performance? Many people struggle with it and find themselves feeling fatigued almost as soon as they start running or engaging in any other physical activity. However, the good news is that there are several practical ways you can follow to enhance your stamina regardless of your current fitness level.

Incrementally Increase Long Slow Runs

Gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your running sessions can help you boost your stamina. Consider starting with short slow runs, gradually increasing the distance as your body begins to adjust to the stress. Once you become comfortable with that, proceed to long slow runs. Increasing the distance will help your body develop the ability to sustain more and more physical activity. While it can take time for results to show, consistent training over time may help speed up the process.

Add Weight Training to Your Program

Although many people associate weight training with building strength and muscle mass, it is also a great way to boost stamina. It improves the body’s ability to build energy and use oxygen, which in turn increases endurance during exercise. Compound exercises, such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts, are some amazing weight-training exercises. If you are entirely new to lifting, it may be best to start with lighter weights, gradually raising them as your body adapts [4].

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs involve running at a comfortably hard pace for an extended period of time. They are a simple and practical way to increase stamina, endurance, and overall performance during physical activity. They are easy to incorporate into any training program, as they do not require any special equipment.

Eat Healthily

Eating a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients is a great way to increase your stamina for running and other physical activities. Aim to incorporate vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats into your meals. Eating healthily will help you maintain stable blood sugar levels and ultimately prevent energy crashes that may otherwise affect your performance. Don’t forget to stay hydrated; aim to drink about 3.7 liters (15.5 cups) of water per day if you’re a man or 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) if you are a woman [5][6].

Lead an Active Life

Leading an active life can be a great way to boost energy and increase stamina. Get on your feet, walk around, go for runs – just move. Remember that sex is an important aspect of leading an active life. If you have issues with sexual activity, drugs such as Viagra and Cialis may come in handy.

There’s even a popular belief that Cialis and running are a thing, meaning that the drug can help improve athletic performance. While this isn’t set in stone, the World Anti-Doping Agency is funding research to determine whether sexual enhancement medication has an impact on stamina and overall performance in athletics and other forms of sports. Remember to consult your doctor before starting treatment with any medication.

Get Plenty of Rest

Getting plenty of rest is yet another simple and practical way of increasing your stamina. When you sleep, your body carries out repairs and recovers from the day’s activities. This helps it maintain energy levels, reduce fatigue, and increase athletic performance. Strive to get 7–9 hours of sleep every night to ensure that you are well-rested.

Take Nootropics

Nootropics are known for their cognitive-enhancing effects, including their ability to increase alertness & focus and reduce fatigue. Many runners use nootropics, such as modafinil, armodafinil, and Alpha Brain, among others, to push beyond the limits of their bodies to achieve new levels of performance. Nootropics work by altering the levels of certain chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. Consequently, they can cause serious negative after-effects if used incorrectly. Be sure to seek advice from your doctor or healthcare provider before starting treatment with them.


Stamina can be increased in very simple and practical steps. However, it is important to understand that it is a gradual process that requires you to be dedicated, consistent, patient, and disciplined. By incorporating quality lifestyle practices into your day such as getting plenty of rest, eating healthily, and weight training, among others listed in this guide, you can increase your stamina, endurance, speed, and overall fitness. While you’re at it, it is important to set realistic goals, monitor your progress, and listen to your body to avoid injury and burnout. Remember that every step counts, and every effort pays off in the long run. Don’t give up!


  1. How to Increase Stamina and Endurance for Running. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.
  2. What’s the Difference Between Endurance and Stamina? Written by Daniel Yetman. Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.
  3. Science Fact or Science Fiction? Lactic Acid Buildup Causes Muscle Fatigue and Soreness. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.
  4. How to Increase Stamina: 16 Ways to Power Up a Workout. Written by Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC. Medically reviewed by Tara Laferrara, CPT. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.
  5. How to Increase Stamina Naturally: Diet and Fitness Tips. By Dr. Priyanka Marakini. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.
  6. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. By Mayo Clinic Staff. Retrieved: February 15, 2023.

Asheley Rice

I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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