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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I increase my running endurance?

    I like to go jogging in the mornings and recently had a desire to sign up for a charity race. However, I find it very difficult to jog/run any further than 5 kilometers. How can I improve my endurance?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    John Toomey

    Exercise Physiologist

    I have a fairly unique set of skills in Wellness, Preventative Health, Longevity and Life Education, having authored Australia's first Wellness Leadership Course in 2001.  … View Profile


    Well done on your efforts to jog in the mornings. There are a few things you can consider. First, there are three ways in which your body must adapt to increased training load. First to adapt is your Cardio-respiratory system. Second is your muscular system and third, and slowest to adapt, is your skeletal system. Giving your skeletal system time to adapt by gently progressing the length of your runs is important.

    The ways you can increase your running distances are:
    1. Get some advice on your running technique. If it is inefficient, improving it will reduce the energy cost of your running and allow you to run longer.
    2. Drop some body weight if you are carrying any excess load. A raw food only diet for a month will help this, along with increased water intake.
    3. Try doing Run/walk training. For example, go out and run for about 5 mins to warm up. Then, run for 2 minutes, faster than you normally would, then walk for a minute. Do this for 5 minutes longer than you would normally run. Do this program once to twice per week. Go with how you feel. To progress, you can add to the total time, lengthen the intervals or shorten the rest periods. Play around with it and see what is working for you.

    I hope this helps.



  • 1


    Karen Amos

    Counsellor, Personal Trainer

    Walk and Talk is just what you need to begin living a life that you love. I'm Karen Amos and at Walk and Talk Australia … View Profile

    JT has given some great advice there.  I can only add to it by providing you some information that I pass on to my PT clients wanting to increase their running.

    In the beginning, learning to run is about creating a base level of fitness, that will keep you in good stead to build on.  It is better to begin slowly, to avoid injury in both the short and long term.  I have a neat program that can take you from 0 to 5km in around 6-8 weeks, depending on your level of committment.  As JT suggested, interval training is a great way to start. You can vary your training as your confidence and stamina builds.  For my training, I try to incorportate a short, fast run one day, an interval or hill training another day and finish my week with a longer slow run - especially if I have an event in mind.

    An excellent app I use is Runkeeper (to measure distance and pace) and SecondsPro (to time my intervals).  Try using music, audio books and podcasts if you need a distraction.

    A few last tips, always stretch well and if you have an injury, get it treated.

    Happy Running!  Go to to check out my own running story.  And let me know how you go!


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