Stamina For Running Performance
Stamina is important for running performance, but how many runners actually consider stamina or consciously think about developing their stamina when training?
In this episode we define stamina and discuss WHY it is important for a runner. We also delve into nutritional and training approaches to help enhance stamina.
Defining stamina in sport as: “…the ability to keep exercising for a long period of time without succumbing to fatigue, injury, or trauma” before moving on to highlight the subtle difference between endurance and stamina:
Endurance: a COMPONENT of physical fitness
Stamina: the result of BECOMING fitter
Exploring WHY stamina is important for a runner including:
- “Staying power” in training and events
- Competitive edge against other athletes
- Ability to resist fatigue for long periods
And outlining how it can be measured using VO2 Max as a marker
Although stamina tends to be determined through physiological adaptations in training, there is also a psychological element to its development and its importance may be overlooked by many runners. Attaining and maintaining a positive “mindset” could help enhance stamina over time.
- Men fatigue more quickly than women and as fatiguability is associated with stamina, this would suggest that women may have more stamina than men.
- We also have to consider the impact of the menstrual cycle and how that may affect our stamina at key points in our cycle
Giving some training TIPS to help develop or enhance stamina including:
- Maintaining regular aerobic exercise e.g. running
- Alternating aerobic exercise with high intensity training e.g. tempo running, weight lifting
- Working with a running coach to keep training personalized
- Keeping training CONSISTENT
Looking at the benefits of a healthy diet to support energy production in an effort to develop or enhance stamina. Key nutrients and their food sources discussed are:
B Vitamin Complex – fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, fruit and vegetables
Zinc – meat, fish and seafood, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds, and wholegrains
Giving ideas of how to put the theory into practice. Suggestions include:
- Vary your exercise routine – mix it up a bit but make it fun
- Begin to use a training plan – make up your own one or employ a running coach
- Listen to music when running
- Keep your healthy diet VARIED and maintain it CONSITENTLY
- Eat enough to fuel your training to help delay the onset of FATIGUE
Suggesting an easy ACTION POINT to put in place to help improve YOUR stamina:
- PUT YOUR TRAINING PLAN INTO YOUR DIARY. If you write it down, you may be more likely to carry it out!!
- Stamina is defined as: “…the ability to keep exercising for a long period of time without succumbing to fatigue, injury or trauma”
- Stamina is something that can be developed over time through hard work and dedication to training
- But remember, although training may be hard work, it is still possible to enjoy it. Aim to mix up your training to give it variety and choose activities that you like and that make you happy
- Don’t forget there is a psychological element to stamina so the use of positive self-talk and inspirational mantras could help improve training and stamina
- A good Nutritional approach to improving stamina would be to focus on energy production and availability
- VARIETY and CONSISTENCY in both training and nutrition could be the key to enhancing your stamina when running
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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Aileen and Karen