Tips for Beginning Runners to Improve Endurance Without Injury
Many beginner runners aim to improve their race timings after gaining confidence from crossing the finish lines of their first several 5Ks or 10Ks. As a result, they increase their mileage and intensity of exercises, and, regrettably, they become injured.
Beginners are more likely to sustain overuse injuries, especially as their mileage or workout intensity increases. As a result, prioritize becoming in better shape safely while applying a reasonable degree of prudence throughout the first few months of a novice runner’s training.
But how can you increase your running endurance without risking stress fractures, tendinitis, or plantar fasciitis? You merely concentrate on aerobic activity, which carries relatively minimal danger.
Supplemental Exercise (Not Cross-Training)
Supplemental aerobic exercise can significantly increase fitness levels while representing a fraction of the injury risk associated with jogging. The trick is to select low-impact exercises that are nevertheless relevant to running.
Pool running and cycling are the two finest supplementary activities (or indoor spinning). But, before we go into the advantages of each sort of exercise, why aren’t they termed cross-training exercises?
Runners usually describe cross-training as anything that is done instead of running while they are injured. As a result, it has a negative rep as something you only do while you’re recovering from an overuse injury.
Instead, think of these activities as a complement to — not a replacement for — your existing jogging. They’re not meant to replace regular running exercises but rather to supplement them.
Which Should You Choose: Cycling or Pool Running?
Cycling and pool running are both remarkably like running. Thus the fitness gained from these activities may be transferred to running. They’ll directly influence your running and help you become in better shape for race day.
There’s no right or wrong answer; they’ll both help you get in shape with practically little chance of harm because they’re both zero-impact exercises (unlike the pounding you get from running). Choose the workout that is most convenient for you and that you love doing.
Begin with an additional weekly workout of 30 to 60 minutes. Every week, add 10 to 15 minutes increments or another session every two weeks. To guarantee perfect form and execution, keep the following tips in mind:
- Maintain a high cadence of at least 90 leg rotations per minute (for each leg) and avoid overextending your legs during pool running.
- Use a floatation belt to avoid slouching when pool running for improved form.
- Keep your cadence at least 90 on each leg whether you’re riding outside or inside. This will help you imitate a quick stride.
Use this rough conversion method to estimate the quantity of supplementary exercise you’re doing: A one-mile run may be compared to 15 minutes on the bike or in the pool. With little impact stress, you may improve your fitness by adding more “miles” to your weekly exercise.
Of course, as you gain more expertise as a runner, you’ll need to increase your mileage and finish increasingly challenging exercises steadily. There are no fast cuts to success, especially if you have a lofty objective like qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
On the other hand, supplemental exercise can serve as a bridge between all the jogging you want to do right now and what your body can adequately anticipate. You’ll build greater fitness if you keep your effort level at a comfortable or moderate level rather than merely running. And your race times will bear witness to this.