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Fitness + Health 3 days ago

running tips: pace, endurance and more

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if you have been following me for a while, you know i love to workout and be active, but running will always be #1 in my heart when it comes to exercise choice. prior to 2020, ALL i did was run for exercise! i never lifted weights or did anything else really. i ran 5-6 days a week, ran marathons, half marathons etc and LOVED it. in 2020 i started incorporating weight training into my routine and dialed back on cardio. i still LOVE running but i’m not in a ‘marathon training’ season of life right now. but i still LOVE to go for a good run 1 or 2 days a week.

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1 day a week – usually on sundays – i’ll go for a longer run around the lake by our house (usually anywhere from 8-12 miles). and then 1 day a week i might do a more ‘interval’ type run where i’m focused on pace. anytime i share my runs on stories i get SO many DM’s asking for tips on how to get faster or improve endurance. so today i wanted to share a few things that have helped me with my pace and my endurance over the past few years!

pace

back in my running days when i was doing half marathons or marathons, i was never really focused on my pace. i was more focused on distance. so i’d just go out for these long, steady-state runs. i never really changed up my pace or did any type of interval work. so i never really got faster to be honest. most of my half marathon speeds were just under a 9min mile. (which, is great! and i’m very proud of that).

NOW, years later, 2 babies later, and only running 2 days a week, i’m running at some of my fastest paces i’ve ever run at before. went for a 12 mile run the other day and my pace was around 8:20. i did an 8 mile run at an 8min mile pace. (nothing crazy haha i’m not training for the olympic trials or anything, but it’s fast for me). and i will say the #1 biggest contributor to improving my run pace has been interval training.

we have the peloton tread+ which i absolutely LOVE, but even if you don’t have a peloton tread, you can still take their classes. they have SO many interval runs you can take, from 20 mins to 60 mins! these interval-based classes take the guess work out of what an interval run should look like. the instructor will tell you to run at your ‘tempo pace’ for 4 mins, and then recover for 2 mins. or run at your ‘half marathon pace’ for 10 mins, then recover for 3 (etc etc).

i LOVE interval runs 1) bc it breaks up the monotony of running! you’re always doing something different so it makes the run go by a lot faster. but 2) it forces you to run at faster intervals than you would during a steady state run, which in turn, increases your pace. you will not ever get faster if you only ever run on a flat road, at a steady pace. in order to get faster you have to run intervals – whether that’s speed intervals, hills, or both!

if you don’t have a peloton subscription, there are tons of ‘interval runs’ you can look up online! you just want to make sure the run allows you to run hard, and recover. i also recommend interval type runs over HIIT runs, if you’re trying to increase your pace. HIIT runs means you’re basically ALL OUT SPRINTING and then fully recovering (walking). with interval training, you run hard, and then recover in a jog. this allow you to build both endurance and speed.

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a simple example of an interval run could be ladder style like this…

run at a comfortably hard pace (like a 7ish on a scale of 1-10) for 4 mins, then recover (in a jog) for 2 mins

then, run at that same pace for 5 mins, recover in a jog for 2

run at that same pace for 6 mins, recover in a jog for 2,

repeat the 6min interval

then come back down the latter (5 min interval, 4 min interval, etc).

strength training

the last tip i will give regarding pace is strength training. like i said, prior to 2020 ALL i did was run. once i started incorporating strength training into my routine and built muscle in my legs, core, and glutes…i noticed less injury, and also an increase in my pace! strength training definitely translates into running and can really help increase your pace and improve stamina!

my running essentials

i’ll share some tips for endurance in a second but before we dive into that…i couldn’t do a running post without sharing my running essentials with you guys. i truly could not perform / love running the way that i do without my favorite running shoes, sports bra, supplements etc!

you can tap any product below to shop!

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my go-to tank for running outside when it's hot. it is SO breathable, fitted without being too tight, and also has 'anti-stink' technology that actually works haha. i have run several half marathons in this tank!

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one of my favorite supplements to take if i'm every doing a hard cardio workout. it supports your body's use of oxygen and just makes me feel like i can breathe so much easier. i take this about an hour before any long run i do and it makes a huge difference!

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this is my favorite pre-workout supplement to take specifically before a run. it has 100mg of caffeine so it gives me an energy boost but not TOO much (some pre-workouts have like, double that amount of caffeine so you gotta watch out for that). i feel like this one gives me an energy boost but also really helps with endurance!

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i call these my 'lucky socks' haha. anytime i'm going out for a long run, these are always the socks i grab. i love that they aren't too thick, they are moisture wicking, and super comfortable!

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these are my newest running shoes and i am OBSESSED. they have really good cushion to them without being too heavy. i ran 12 miles in these and my feet did not hurt AT ALL at the end of the run. i probably wouldn't wear these as a 'race day' shoe just bc they are pretty massive haha but they've got a great 'spring back' to them and it really feels like you're running on clouds.

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my favorite lululemon sports bra for any medium to high impact workout (or run). i love the strappy back, it has great support, without being TOO much bra if you know what i mean. i do suggest going up a size in this bra!

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if i'm going to run in a bike short, this is the one. these are high waisted, slightly compressive without being too compressive, and VERY quick-drying so they work great even for the sweatiest runs or hottest weather!

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i've been running in the cloud monster for probably 2 years now and keep going back to them! they are SO lightweight but also very responsive and supportive. they've got such a good bounce and cushion to them and bonus: i actually love how they look too haha.

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probably my #1 favorite pair of running shorts that i own in at least 7 colors, literally. they are high waisted, the perfect length, have such a flattering fit, and a built in underwear liner!

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endurance tips

when it comes to building up your endurance + stamina…there really is no magic bullet to this haha. it’s about consistency and putting in the miles. if you are someone who says ‘i can’t seem to get past 2 miles’, remember: build up slowly! i didn’t start running until college and i remember the first time i ran 2 miles without stopping i was BLOWN AWAY i could run that long! so i stuck with that for a week or so, and then thought ‘okay i’m going to try 2.25 today’. i built up my mileage very slowly and very consistently.

there are a bunch of programs you can look up to help you increase your mileage – like ‘couch to 5k’ or hal higdon has a lot of great training plans for everything from 5ks to marathons! looking up a training plan is a great place to start so you know how to build up your mileage. but, GIVE IT TIME! no one becomes a marathoner overnight.

another helpful tip when working on endurance is to do some type of ‘walk run’ program. so, if you can’t run 3 miles yet…try running 5 mins, walking 1, running 5, walking 1…until you get to 3 miles! then little by little, increase your run time and decrease your walk time!

my last tip for working on endurance is more mental but…i LOVE listening to a good book or podcast on my runs. or if you’re on a treadmill, use your iPad and watch a show! when i’m really lost in a good book it makes the time go by SO much faster! i recently listened to britney spears’ books on my longer runs and it made the miles fly by!

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i think that about covers most of the questions i’ve gotten in regards to running lately! but please let me know if missed any or if there’s anything else you want to know in the comments below! running really is my happy place and something i could do / talk about all day long!

thanks for reading!

xo Lauren

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