Published on October 20, 2017

How to Increase Your Stamina

Woman RunningBuilding your stamina, whether it’s for an upcoming race or a personal goal, takes time and consistency. General exercise guidelines recommend that you engage in 30 or more minutes of moderate intensity physical activity about five days a week, combined with a few days of resistance training or weight lifting. The key to maintaining this kind of routine is variety! Not only does it keep things interesting for you, but it can also improve your speed and endurance to switch up your exercises.

The two main areas where you’ll want to increase your stamina are in endurance (think running or cycling) and strength (weight lifting).

  • Endurance
  • Initially focus on volume – when you get to about 20 miles per week of running, increase your distance by 10% per week.
  • Then focus on increasing your pace with mild rises in speed per week.
  • Weight lifting
    • For daily strength development, lift about 40-60% of your max weight, or the heaviest weight that you can lift.
    • To up the intensity, increase the weight to closer to your max.
    • Rest – give yourself at least one rest day in between workouts. You can alternate days so you give each muscle group a day’s rest, such as doing upper body one day and lower body the next.
    • Try multiple ways – increase the weight, increase the repetitions, decrease the rest period between low weight exercises. Increase your rest periods for near max weight lifting.

For all athletes, focus on slow increases to help prevent injury.

Dr. Shane Hudnall, a primary care sports medicine specialist practicing at Cone Health Sports Medicine Department at MedCenter High Point, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about how to increase your stamina.