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beccalynnx's avatar

Running: how can i up my endurance?

Asked by beccalynnx (459points) September 30th, 2008

i become so wickedly sore and tired after only 15 minutes of regular jogging. i need to be able to jog 5 miles without taking any breaks by the end of the semester for phys ed class. how in the world can i do this?

details about me if needed : 18 years old, 5’5’’, 120 lbs. i’m not incredibly lazy; i get a bit of excersize everyday, like walking to & from school, yoga and stretching in mornings, and playing/horsing around with my nephew in the evening. i’m also starting to run everynight, but i feel no improvement. i just get terrible cramps in my sides and my legs get heavy-feeling after only a few laps.

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12 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

Try a spin/rpm class at a nearby gym, they’re really helping me get fitter.

But with your runs, set a time limit, run the same track a couple of times each week, but try and get a little bit further distance each time. Just a bit- because if you’re turning around and coming back the same way that distance is doubled, and a little bit more each jog in the same amount of time will really help.

So say for example you decide you’ll run for 20 minutes. Run for 10 minutes nice and steady, just seeing how you go, then turn around and run back (you should actually be quicker on the way back because you know you’re on the home stretch). Remember where you got to. Next time, run for 10 minutes again but aim to get say 100m further along the track, turn around and come back.

gooch's avatar

just keep running it will get better. After you are done running continue walking for some time also.

princessvince's avatar

Having proper form when running can be a big help.

When running, you want to keep everything as relaxed as possible. If you’re clenching your jaw, or squeezing your hands into fists, then you are expending energy that could be channeled into your running. So keep everything relaxed. Just let your hands dangle, relax your jaw.

Second, you want to make sure your arms and legs are moving you forward. The instinct for many people when they run is to kick their legs up and pump their arms upward. That doesn’t do anything towards propelling you forward. Again, you’re wasting energy and not being productive when you run. You want to keep your hands at your hips and move them back and forth, like you’re holding quarters in your hands and rubbing the quarters back and forth against your hip. With your legs and feet, you want to move straight forward, keeping your feet as close to the ground as possible without tripping.

My husband ran cross country and gave me these tips. They helped a lot with my running technique. I hope they help you too.

And one tip from me: running is mostly mental, not physical, as contrary as it may seem. You need to condition yourself to move forward, ignore the pain, ignore the fatigue, and to just go!

hannahsugs's avatar

You should absolutely try interval training. Three months ago, I couldn’t even regularly jog for 2 minutes without getting totally out of breath and exhausted. Now I can run for half an hour without stopping.

Try this:
If you can only run comfortably for 15 minutes, start by warming up for 5 minutes walking, then doing a 10 minute interval of comfortable jogging. Slow to a brisk walk for 3–4 minutes, then jog for another 10. Cool down for 5. Make sure you’re adequately warming up and cooling down, it will make it much easier.

After you feel comfortable doing this work out, increase your intervals to 12 minutes with a 2–3 minute walk. etc.

(I did the couch-to-5k plan to get me running, but it sounds like you’re in better shape than the people for whom the plan is designed for).

JackAdams's avatar

Keep in mind, please, that “running guru” Jim Fixx died while running. I quote:

“Fixx died at the age of 52 of a massive heart attack, after his daily run, on Route 15 in Hardwick, Vermont. The autopsy revealed that atherosclerosis had blocked one coronary artery 95%, a second 85%, and a third 50%.”

The admonishment to everyone, is make certain that you are already healthy enough for a regular running regimen.

scamp's avatar

To quote a little more of the article Jack linked us to:
Fixx started running in 1967 at age 35. He weighed 240 pounds (=108.8 kilograms) and smoked two packs of cigarettes per day.

JackAdams's avatar

He doesn’t smoke anymore…

scamp's avatar

Well that’s true! Quoting your post above: Fixx died at the age of 52

To the asker: I agree with gooch’s answer. Your stamina will improve as you go. Just keep at it and increase a little at a time. Don’t forget to stretch before and after so you don’t have such sore muscles.

shrubbery's avatar

I agree that it is a psychological thing. Run with an mp3 player/iPod (on an armband if you don’t wanna hold it or don’t have a little inside pocket in your shorts), get into a steady rhythm, and you should be able to zone out and go on forever!

stratman37's avatar

and don’t forget to stretch properly before and after.

beccalynnx's avatar

thanks, to everyone.
i’m working on getting my ipod back from a friend who “borrowed” it a while back. is it really that helpful?

shrubbery's avatar

I find it extremely helpful, and I am reluctant to go running without mine now. The only thing is, if it’s windy and your earphones are gonna keep blowing out of you ears, don’t bother, it’s more frustrating than helpful. Also make sure you have a good playlist, it really isn’t worth getting frustrated skipping through all the bad songs to find one good one when you’re running, you’ll get annoyed and lose your rhythm and won’t feel like going any further. But other than that I find it really really helps.

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