The Top 5 Foods to Boost Your Stamina for Long Days

By Conqueror Team

For athletes, labourers, or anyone who values their endurance, stocking up on foods that will help you make it through a long day is crucial. What you put into your body will directly affect how your body performs. If you’re looking for a boost to help you make it through those extra-long days, look no further than these five staples.


Oats are a complex carbohydrate, which means they’ll digest slowly and provide you with long-lasting energy. They’re also packed with fiber and vitamins that are essential for healthy cell function. For an extra stamina boost, mix in some protein-rich ingredients like chia seeds, milk, or yogurt.


Bananas have been called “nature’s power bar” for good reason—they’re an excellent source of energy. They contain three natural sugars—sucrose, fructose, and glucose—which are all easily digested and quickly turned into fuel for your body. Bananas are also rich in potassium, which is essential for muscle function. Eat one about 30 minutes before you need sustained energy, such as before a run or during a long workday.


Beets get their bright colour from betalains, which are powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. But beets aren’t just good for your insides—they can improve your stamina, too. That’s because beets contain nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles, which enhances exercise performance. Add some cooked beets to your next salad or roast them as a side dish.


Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease inflammation and improve heart health. But omega-3s can also give your stamina a much-needed boost. One study showed that people who took omega-3 supplements were able to exercise for longer periods of time without becoming as fatigued as those who didn’t take them. Another study found that athletes who took omega-3s had less post-exercise muscle soreness than those who didn’t supplement with them. Add salmon to your weekly meal rotation to give your endurance a natural boost.


Coffee isn’t just for mornings—it can give your stamina a serious boost, too. That’s because coffee contains caffeine, which has been shown to improve physical performance by increasing alertness and improving coordination. Caffeine can also help you exercise for longer periods of time by delaying fatigue during strenuous activity. Just be sure to limit yourself to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day—about four cups of coffee—to avoid unpleasant side effects like jitters and insomnia. drink coffee black or with a small amount of milk and sugar to keep calories in check.

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HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training – “The Fat Killer”

If you’re looking to get sweaty and burn some serious calories, this type of training is for you! HIIT has been shown to provide a variety of benefits, however, its most notable is weight loss.
​One of the greatest plus points is it’s super convenient. All you need is 10-30 minutes a day!

So, what does HIIT stand for? If you’ve never heard of it before, HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. In short, HIIT is a form of interval training that incorporates cardiovascular exercises coupled with bursts of anaerobic activity like bodyweight or strength movements.The best part about HIIT is that it can incorporate many different facets (e.g. cardio, bodyweight, resistance bands, and weights). These facets can largely be categorized into the two most common types of HIIT:Bodyweight (CrossFit, Weight lifting, bodyweight, etc);Cardiovascular (aerobic exercises like spin class, running, etc).

Benefits of HIIT

No matter what type of HIIT you choose, the benefits spread far and wide. Below are a few of the most prominent benefits that pertain to fat loss, weight loss, and more.

Fat Reduction

Several studies have shown that HIIT can help with weight loss. Not only can it assist in an abundance of calorie burn in a short period of time, but it also improves your metabolic rate so that you can continue to burn fat hours after you have completed the workout. Which brings us to the next benefit…


Aside from the convenience, the best part about participating in HIIT is a process known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Simply put, EPOC is a biologically-induced process that makes your body burn energy (calories) up to 48 hours post-workout! EPOC doesn’t require a lengthy workout which makes it very convenient. By simply increasing the intensity at which you perform a particular workout, you can induce EPOC.

HGH Production

To reiterate that HIIT is likely the most effective form of exercise for weight loss, here’s the final benefit:
In a review showing the response of human growth hormone (HGH) to HIIT, cases experienced a fascinating 450% increase in HGH levels. Why does this matter? In short, increased HGH levels assist in a faster metabolism, which in turn, will help burn fat, and build quality muscle.

How to Perform HIIT

Before you go, here’s an example template of a HIIT workout that you can easily incorporate into your exercise regimen. It’s a training method called a ‘Tabata’.
Here’s how it works:Choose one or more exercises. In this example, we’ll choose bodyweight squats and sit-ups;Using an interval clock, set the timer to 20 seconds on, 10 seconds’ rest;Repeat the cycle for 4 minutes straight, rotating from 20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds rest, and 20 seconds of sit-ups;That’s it! Repeat the 4-minute cycle as many times as you like.To get through tough workouts takes discipline and focus. And for us,

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Why You Need to Warm Up, Stretch and Cool Down

By Shawna Reed, an exercise Specialist

It’s easy to overlook the importance of warming up, stretching and cooling down when exercising. It’s quicker to just get in, do your workout and get out. But what we often don’t realize is how important each of these elements are to having a successful workout. Here’s why:

Warming Up: Warming up before a workout is an important step toward injury prevention. A proper warm up increases flexibility and blood flow to a given area, which limits the chance of a muscle pull and joint pain. Warming up also prepares your muscles to stretch during other exercises. For example, when doing any type of resistance training, tension is placed on the muscles. If the muscles are warmed up and able to stretch further, this will increase your range of motion and lower the risk for injury.

Examples of a good warm up are biking, walking or jogging for at least five to 10 minutes. Cardio is a great warm up because it gets the blood flowing throughout the body. Remember to always start slow and work your way up to a faster speed.

Cooling Down: After exercise, your blood is heavy in your extremities and your heart rate is usually elevated. The purpose of the cool down is to return your heart rate close to resting. Stopping quickly without a cool down can result in light-headedness, dizziness and/or fainting. A good example of a cool down is walking after running. Your cool down should range anywhere from two to five minutes.

Stretching: The best time to do static stretching is after a workout as part of a proper cool down routine. The benefits of static stretching include relief from cramping, improved range of motion in the joints, decreased risk for injury and a decrease in the delayed-onset of muscle soreness. Stretching can also be very relaxing, both physically and mentally. Stretching is most effective when you are in a relaxed and comfortable position. Take deep, slow breaths. There will be some mild tension while stretching, but don’t ever let it be painful. A little discomfort is ok, but pain is not.


Top 12 Foods High in Energy to Keep You Going Through the Day

Daisy Whitbread BSc (Hons) MSc DipION is a fully qualified nutritionist also trained in nutritional therapy. After her undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Physiology, she studied a Masters degree in Nutrition at King’s College, London, one of the leading nutrition departments in the United Kingdom. She then studied Nutritional Therapy for three years at The Institute of Optimum Nutrition, London. Her areas of specialism include weight management, meal planning, and improving energy levels.

One of the best ways to lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight is to eat food that sustains your energy levels throughout the day. The following list gives you 12 common foods that have been chosen for their ability to provide the body with energy.

Some of the foods provide slow-releasing energy from healthy carbohydrates, which are the body’s main energy source. Others contain a range of important vitamins and minerals involved in cellular energy production processes in the body.

Good quality protein sources are also included, as these are needed for maintaining body tissues, including muscle.

A bowl of oatmeal with blueberries

Oatmeal is one of the best sources of slow-releasing energy from low GI complex carbohydrates, to keep you going all morning. Also a great source of B-vitamins, which are needed to convert food into energy.
Nutrition Facts for Cooked Oatmeal.


Spinach is high in iron, magnesium, and potassium. Iron transports oxygen around the body, needed for energy production. Magnesium plays a vital role in energy production, and together with potassium, is important for nerve and muscle function.
Nutrition Facts for Spinach.

3Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are a fantastic source of complex carbohydrates, along with iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed for transporting fats into the cells of the body for energy production.
Nutrition Facts for Baked Sweet Potatoes.


Eggs are a complete protein, (containing all the essential amino acids), B-vitamins, healthy fats, and some vitamin D. They also provide choline, the precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which activates skeletal muscle.
Nutrition Facts for Hard Boiled Eggs.

Half an apricot

Fruits provide natural sugars, which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream for an instant pick me up (but without the ‘sugar crash’ you get after eating refined sugars). Fruits are also high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Nutrition Facts for Apricots.

6Green Tea
A glass of green tea

Green tea contains some caffeine for an energy boost, but without the ‘jittery’ side effects of stronger caffeine drinks, such as coffee. Furthermore, green tea may also help lower cholesterol.
Nutrition Facts for Green Tea.


Nuts are energy dense due to their high content of healthy fats. They are also high in vitamins and minerals. Soaking nuts in water overnight ‘activates’ them (starts the germination or sprouting process) increasing the nutrient value even more and making them easier to digest.
Nutrition Facts for Almonds.

Green Soybeans (Edamame)

Soybeans are high in protein, B-vitamins, copper, and phosphorous. Copper and phosphorous are involved in converting food into energy and releasing it into cells so it’s available for use by the body.
Nutrition Facts for Edamame.

Salmon Fillets

Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of complete protein, B vitamins, essential fats, and vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D can cause low energy, muscle fatigue, and low mood.
Nutrition Facts for Wild Atlantic Salmon (Cooked).

10Seeds (Squash and Pumpkin Seeds)
Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and minerals involved in energy production – including manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. Zinc is needed for the production of hormones in the body that affect energy and mood. It is also important for muscle recovery after exercise.
Nutrition Facts for Roasted Squash And Pumpkin Seeds (Unsalted).

11Natural Yogurt
Bowl of Yogurt with Raspberries

Yogurt contains live bacteria with many health benefits including regulating the immune system, improving digestion (so that more energy-giving nutrients are absorbed) and possibly even improving mood.
Nutrition Facts for Plain Yogurt.

A glass of water

Dehydration is one of the fastest ways to feel your physical and mental energy levels drop. Even mild dehydration of 1-2% can affect mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. Drink 8 glasses per day to keep your energy levels up.
Nutrition Facts for Tap Water.


Tips to increase stamina

Jenna Fletcher is a freelance writer and content creator. She writes extensively about health and wellness. As a mother of one stillborn twin, she has a personal interest in writing about overcoming grief and postpartum depression and anxiety, and reducing the stigma surrounding child loss and mental healthcare. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College.

Stamina describes a person’s ability to sustain physical and mental activity. People with low mental stamina may find it difficult to focus on tasks for long periods and become distracted easily. People with low physical stamina may tire when walking up a flight of stairs, for example.

Having low stamina often causes a person to feel tired after little exertion, and they may experience an overall lack of energy or focus. By increasing their stamina, a person can feel more energetic and complete daily tasks more easily.

There are ways to increase stamina naturally, and the following are some of the best ways to do so over time.


Coffee in a mug and a coffee pot which can increase stamina

Caffeine is a stimulant. This means that it can increase a person’s heart rate and give them temporary energy boosts. Caffeine is present in many coffees, teas, and soft drinks.

In a small studyTrusted Source, a group of nine top male swimmers took 3 milligrams (mg) of caffeine 1 hour before performing freestyle sprints. They consistently made better times than when they had taken a placebo, and the researchers observed no differences in heart rate. The implication is that caffeine can give people a boost when they are feeling fatigued.

For maximum effect, a person should limit their caffeine consumption. The body can become tolerant of caffeine, requiring an increasing amount to achieve the same effect.

Also, it is better to avoid drinks with lots of added sugars or fats, such as soft drinks and premade coffee drinks.

Meditation or yoga

People often practice yoga or meditation to help them relax or refocus. These activities, when done consistently, can help reduce stress and improve overall stamina.

For example, results of a small studyTrusted Source involving 27 medical students indicated that participating in some form of meditation or yoga could decrease stress levels and improve general well-being.

Anyone looking to increase their mental stamina may benefit from practicing yoga or meditation regularly.


Exercise can help a person improve their physical and mental stamina. People who exercise often feel more energized during both mental and physical tasks.

One studyTrusted Source showed that following a workout program led to lower levels of work-related fatigue. The results also indicated that the program helped decrease stress levels and improve the participants’ sense of well-being.

Anyone looking to reduce mental and physical fatigue should try to exercise regularly. This could include taking a walk or getting more intense exercise before or after work.


Ashwagandha is a natural herb available as a supplement. Taking ashwagandha may have the following effects:

  • increasing overall energy
  • boosting cognitive function
  • reducing stress
  • improving general health

In a small studyTrusted Source, 25 athletes took 300 mg of ashwagandha twice a day for 12 weeks. They showed improved cardiovascular endurance, compared with an otherwise matched group who had taken a placebo.


There is evidence that music can alter a person’s mood. It may also help improve cardiovascular efficiency.

In a small studyTrusted Source, participants who listened to their preferred music during exercise had a lower heart rate than those that did not.

Confirming these findings will require more research. However, the implication is that if a person listens to music that they enjoy while exercising, their stamina may improve.

Exercise routine change

Two men cycling to work to increase stamina
A person can boost their stamina with brief sprints of cycling.

Athletes and others who are physically active may still want to boost their stamina.

There are several tips that a person could try:

  • Maintain a good balance between bouts of intense exercise and recovery.
  • Increase the intensity of a workout for short periods, for example by doing brief sprints while running, biking, or swimming.
  • Reduce the amount of time between reps.
  • Increase weight when lifting.
  • Increase the duration and frequency of workouts.
  • Practice visualization and mind-over-muscle techniques to help push through fatigue.


Stamina helps a person stay focused and feel energized to do mental and physical tasks throughout the day.

Increasing stamina usually gives people more energy and focus and helps them to feel better about themselves. People often benefit from a combination of stamina-boosting activities or supplements.

However, anyone with a health concern should speak to their healthcare provider before taking a supplement or beginning a new exercise program.


These 7 Simple Strategies Will Teach You How to Build Endurance

This one is from Amby Burfoot, LETS LAERN ABOUT ENDURANCE

As runners, we all want to increase our endurance, but sometimes that means different things. The beginner runner wants to go farther—from two miles to four miles, then to six. More experienced runners don’t see much point in running farther. (Isn’t 26.2 miles far enough?) These runners want to improve their speed-endurance—the pace at which they can cover substantial distances.

Fortunately, you can have it both ways. You can follow training plans that build the length of your long runs, and others that improve your speed-endurance.

Using such workouts, thousands of runners have dramatically improved their endurance. Craig Beesley, a beginning runner, extended his longest run from 30 seconds to nearly three hours. Doug Underwood, a successful marathoner, wanted to lower his personal best from 3:50 to 3:30 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And Deena Kastor, an American 10K and cross-country star at the time, wanted nothing less than to run the marathon faster than a legend, Joan Benoit Samuelson.

All three runners achieved their goals. And each used a different method, which raises the point that exercise physiologist Kris Berg explains in his 2003 review article, “Endurance Training and Performance in Runners,” in the journal Sports Medicine. “After decades of studying ways to improve endurance,” says Berg. “I’m leaning more than ever toward the great gestalt of mind-body wisdom and encouraging runners to do what feels right.”

In other words, different strokes for different folks. We’re not all the same. Genetic researchers refer to “high responders” and “low responders.” Sometimes we need to take different paths to reach similar goals.

Here, you’ll find seven strategies for building endurance that have worked for a range of runners. Not all will work for you, but one or more will, and that should be enough to significantly increase your endurance, which means you’ll run stronger and easier than ever before.

1. Take One Step at a Time

If there is one overarching principle for how to build endurance, this is it. Call it gradual adaptation. That is, be consistent, be patient, and build up slowly. This principle applies to all circumstances and all runners—the beginner who’s trying to make it around the block four times, as well as the 36-minute 10K runner who’s training for a first marathon with long runs that stretch to 12 miles, then 16, then 20.

The gradual-adaptation principle is deeply rooted in human physiology and has worked for runners since Paleolithic man started stalking wild animals in East Africa over 150,000 years ago. It still works today. Witness Craig Beesley of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada.

When Beesley began running, he could only manage 30 seconds at a time, followed by 4:30 minutes of walking. But he didn’t let his lack of fitness discourage him. He simply repeated the cycle eight times (for a total of 40 minutes), and made sure he did three workouts a week.

Thirteen weeks later, Beesley was running 30 minutes without walking, and had completed his first half marathon in 2:12. Pretty impressive. But Beesley didn’t stop there. He kept running outdoors through the winter months, despite temperatures that dropped to -25° F, and added speedwork to his routine. Because of this, he was able to run long runs for over two hours and perform six 400-meter repeats in 1:45. In his future: a first marathon.

A program can’t get any simpler than Beesley’s, or any more successful. “I’ve increased my endurance and my speed, and I’ve done both without any injuries,” he told Runner’s World. “My family members describe me as a very patient man. Patience combined with persistence is a great combination for success in running.”

What you should do: Whatever your present endurance conditioning, build it slow but steady. We like run-walk programs for beginners or a program that adds one mile a week to your weekend long run for experienced runners, for example: 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles. Every fourth week, reduce mileage by skipping the long run. Rest and recover. The next week, start building again, one mile at a time: 8 miles, 9 miles, etc.

2. Run Yasso 800s

We learned about this amazingly useful workout in a casual conversation with former Runner’s World chief running officer Bart Yasso. Since then, literally thousands of runners have told us at marathon expos or in e-mails that the program has worked for them. With the Yasso system, you run 800-meter repeats on a track in the same minutes/seconds as your hours/minutes goal time for a marathon. (So if you’re looking to run 4:30 marthon, do your 800s in 4 minutes and 30 seconds or a 2:15-pace per 400m.)

Runners are drawn to Yasso 800s by Bart’s unforgettable name, the simplicity of the workout, and word-of-mouth success stories.

Doug Underwood is one of those Yasso fans. Underwood completed his first two marathons in 3:55 and 3:53, and then was bitten by what he calls the “Boston bug.” He wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon and was willing to train harder to get there.

The core of his program: Yasso 800s. Since Underwood needed to run a 3:30 to reach Boston, he ran his Yasso 800s in 3:30, building up to 10 of them in a single workout, taking a 3:30 recovery jog between the fast 800s.

Underwood finished his goal race, the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon, in 3:30:54, good enough for a race entry to Boston at the time. “I credit the Yasso 800s with getting me there,” said Underwood, who also made sure to log plenty of long runs. “They are tough workouts, but they do the job. If you can run 10 of them at your goal pace, you have a great chance of achieving your marathon goal time.”

What you should do: Run Yasso 800s once a week. Start with just 4 to 5 of them at your appropriate pace, with equal time for recovery, then add one a week.

3. Run Long and Slow

Meghan Arbogast was already a successful marathoner, with a 2:58 to her credit. Only one problem: “I was overtraining and killing myself,” she told Runner’s World.

No longer. For five years, Arbogast has been training slower and racing faster under a program designed by Warren Finke, a well-known coach in Portland, Oregon, near Arbogast’s home. Finke believes marathoners should focus on consistent, easy-paced training runs that help them build endurance without getting hurt every couple of months. “A lot of runners train too hard, get injured, and never reach their potential,” he told Runner’s World.

The Finke program emphasizes “effort-based training,” and he believes in keeping the effort modest (at 80 percent of the speed you could race the same distance) most of the time. “Most runners are probably training at about 90 percent of their race pace,” Finke said. “Running 80 percent is pretty easy, but it helps keep you injury-free.”

The program turned things around for Arbogast. Two years after beginning Finke’s effort-based training, she improved her marathon personal record to 2:45. And, she won the Christchurch Marathon in New Zealand with another 2:45. “I think I can keep improving,” Arbogast said. “The key is to stay healthy and keep gaining endurance.”

What you should do: Do most of your runs at 80 percent of the speed you could race the same distance. So, if you can race 10 miles at 7:30 pace, you should do your 10-mile training runs at 9:23. To convert a race pace to an 80-percent training pace, multiply the race pace by 1.25. To find a wide range of your equivalent race times, go to our Race Time Predictor.

4. Make Every Workout Count

When you’ve been running marathons for 25 years and have an advanced degree in exercise physiology, you should eventually learn a thing or two about training. Exercise physiologist Bill Pierce, cofounder of the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST) program, thinks he has. At the very least, he’s found a program that works wonders for him. At 53, Pierce’s marathon times were still around 3:10, not much slower than when he first stepped to the starting line two decades before.

His secret? The three-day training week. Pierce follows the usual advice to alternate hard days with easy days, but he takes it to the extreme. He runs only hard days—three of them a week. On the other four days, he doesn’t run at all, though he lifts weights several times a week and also enjoys a fast game of tennis.

In stripping his training program to its essence, Pierce runs each of his three workouts at a specific target pace and distance. One is a long run, one is a tempo run, and one is a speed workout. “I run at a higher intensity than some others recommend, but I have found that this program has worked well for me for many years,” Pierce said. “It reduces the risk of injuries, improves long-term adherence, and still lets me enjoy the gratification that comes with intense efforts.”

What you should do: Pierce does interval training on Tuesdays, tempo training on Thursdays, and a long run on Sundays. For interval repeats, he runs 12 x 400 meters or 6 x 800 meters at slightly faster than his 5K race pace. On tempo days, he runs four miles at a pace that’s 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace. On Sundays, he runs 15 miles at a pace that’s 30 seconds per mile slower than his marathon race pace. You can easily adapt these workouts to your own 5K, 10K, and marathon race paces.

5. Do Plyometrics

Deena Kastor had already joined the ranks of America’s all-time best female distance runners, including Joan Benoit Samuelson, Mary Slaney, and Lynn Jennings, when she first paid a visit to Zach Weatherford. She asked Weatherford, who was, at the time, the strength and conditioning coach at the U.S. Olympic Committee’s training facility in Chula Vista, California, if he could devise a program that would give her more leg endurance and quickness.

Weatherford said he wasn’t sure, acknowledging that he had never worked with a distance runner before. “But let me think about it, and do some research,” he said.

Weatherford returned with several ideas worth testing, and the two started working together. “We started with core strength, and progressed to explosive leg plyometrics, always focusing on the basics, and doing quality sessions, not quantity. Runners already do enough quantity,” he said. “In her first plyometrics workouts, Deena hit the ground like this big, flat-footed person, but we kept emphasizing, ‘Get your feet up fast. Get your feet up fast.’”

Kastor did jump roping, skipping drills, box jumps, and even high-knee sprints through the “rope ladder” that you often see at football training camps. And then she ran the London Marathon in 2:21:16, a personal record by more than five minutes and a new American record at the time. “I really felt a difference in London,” she told Runner’s World. “I’ve noticed a considerable change in my running mechanics. My feet are spending less time on the ground, and I’ve increased my stride frequency. At London, my legs did not fatigue at all during or after the marathon.”

What you should do: You could always train with your local high school football team while they work out with the rope ladder. But if that’s too intimidating, here’s a simple alternative: Instead of running strides at the end of several easy runs a week, do a “fast-feet” drill: Run just 15 to 20 yards with the shortest, quickest stride you can manage. You don’t have to lift your knees high; just lift them fast, and move forward a few inches with each stride. Pump your arms vigorously as well. Rest, then repeat 6 to 8 times. Once or twice a week, you can also do five minutes of single-leg hops, two-legged bounding, and high-knee skipping, all on a soft surface, such as grass or packed dirt.

6. Run Longer Tempo Runs

We admire runners who refuse to give up on their goals and who keep trying various methods to reach them. By this standard, Patrick Noble, a retired career Army man, deserves a lifetime achievement award. In 1986, Noble finished his first marathon in 3:17, feeling both proud and ambitious. “Let’s go for a sub-3,” he told himself.

Thus began the journey. Noble increased his training, and before long, he had run 3:04, 3:01, 3:05, and 3:02. You can quickly see what’s missing from this list. A less-determined runner might have given up. Not Noble.

He kept running marathons—dozens of them. He ran his 49th marathon. No luck. His 50th. Ditto. His 51st. Nope, sorry. But in his 52nd marathon, Noble broke through the 3-hour barrier with a 2:58:23 at the Camp Casey U.S. Army base in South Korea. And it was a new approach to tempo runs, Noble believes, that helped him dip below 3:00.

The conservative view on tempo runs suggests that you cover 20 to 40 minutes at a pace that’s 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than your 10K pace. Noble pushed his tempo runs up to 60 minutes. “I think the long tempo runs gave me the extra strength I needed,” Noble told Runner’s World. “I also made sure to run very easy the day after the tempo runs, watched my diet, and even gave up beer for six to eight weeks before the marathon.” (Joe Vigil, who coached American marathon record holder Deena Kastor and 2003 U.S. marathon champ Ryan Shay, also believes in long tempo runs to build endurance.)

What you should do: Do a tempo run once a week for eight weeks. Start with a 20-minute tempo run at 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace, and add five minutes to your tempo run every week. Be sure to take one or two easy days before and after tempo days.

7. Run Long and Fast

Okay, we know. This is the opposite of our third strategy. You caught us. But it works for some runners, just as the long-and-slow approach works for others. A perfect example of the “high-responders” versus “low-responders” principle.

A convert to long-fast training: Scott Strand of Birmingham, Alabama. Strand improved his marathon personal record by more than 4 minutes with a 2:16:52 in the National Championship Marathon right there in downtown Birmingham. And it was his longer, faster long runs that got him the PR, Strand believes.

“I covered 18 to 23 miles in my long training runs,” Strand told Runner’s World, “and I did the last 9 to 14 miles at marathon pace or faster. That was much faster than my previous long-run efforts of 17 to 22 miles at whatever pace I felt like running.

This kind of endurance program, based on long, hard runs was popularized by former marathon world record holder Khalid Khannouchi. Khannouchi did ferocious long runs so fast and sustained that he would get nervous for several days before them. Old school: The only thing that mattered was spending two to three hours on your feet. New school: If you want to finish strong and improve your times in the marathon, you have to run hard and fast at the end of your long runs.

What you should do: On your long runs, pick up the pace for the last 25 percent of the distance. Gradually accelerate to your marathon goal pace, or even your tempo run pace. For example, if your long run is 16 miles, run the final 4 miles faster. You don’t have to attack your long run the way Khannouchi did, and you shouldn’t collapse when you finish. But you should run hard enough at the end to accustom your body to the late-race fatigue of the marathon.


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