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3 Proven Ways to Boost Your Endurance & Race Time

Are you a runner looking to beat out last year’s race pace? Are you an endurance athlete who needs to be ready to go for a competition the like CrossFit games? Do you simply want to be able to keep up with friends on a hike without getting winded?

Endurance is useful for more than getting through a workout. It has a direct impact on our day-to-day lives. Whether your kid wants you to play catch with him or your friends signed you up for the Color Run, having more endurance is beneficial regardless of fitness goals.

Let’s take a look at the 3 best ways to increase your endurance and improve your race time in the process.

1. H.I.I.T. the Gym

If you want to improve your race time and endurance, the act of running is essential but what many runners skip on is performing an actual total body workout.

Incorporating a resistance-based workout into your running schedule is going to improve results while keeping you safe from over-use injuries. When you’re looking to support lean muscle building while improving your endurance, the best type of workout is high intensity interval training.

More commonly known as H.I.I.T., these workouts involve between 5 and 8 exercises that are performed in rapid succession with no break until you have completed one set for each exercise. For example, you complete all 25 repetitions for bodyweight squats then immediately move on to lunges. These workouts are incredibly intense and a perfect way to boost endurance. Here’s a sample workout to use:

  • Jump Squats: 25
  • Push-ups: 10
  • Walking Lunges: 20
  • Pull-ups: 15
  • Mountain Climbers: 30
  • Burpees: 5

2. Sprint to Exhaustion

If you’re new to the running scene or if you’re just here to learn how to increase endurance regardless of a race, sprints are going to be your best friend.

Sprinting involves putting maximum effort into running for a very short period of time and it’s been proven for decades to be extremely effective at increase overall performance. One method that was the subject of a popular study involves breaking down your running endurance training into the 10-20-30 layout.

For 5 minutes of running, you will cycle through a low, moderate, and sprint pace. The times at which you’ll do this are broken down as follows:

  • Low pace: 30 seconds
  • Moderate pace: 20 seconds
  • Sprint pace: 10 seconds

You repeat this cycle five times then rest for 2 minutes. Afterwards, you begin again.

This is one only method of sprinting training but it has proven scientific backing. Give it a try and let us know your results.

3. Go to Failure

Continuing with this idea of sprinting and increasing endurance: While running improves lower body muscular endurance, what about your upper body? It doesn’t make sense to train only one part of your body to increase endurance. When it comes to total body muscular endurance, you’ll want to use a training method called failure sets.

When performing an exercise, you will perform as many repetitions as you can. Once you can no longer lift the weight, you place that weight down then pick up another that is somewhat lighter. Again, do as many repetitions as you can. Once you tap out, drop that weight, pick up a lighter one. Repeat for three to five times.

Reserve failure sets as the last set in an exercise. This will help achieve total muscle failure, which is ideal for increasing muscular endurance.


1. Gunnarsson TP, Bangsbo J. The 10-20-30 training concept improves performance and health profile in moderately trained runners. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Jul;113(1):16-24. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00334.2012. Epub 2012 May 3.