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How to increase your running stamina

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  January 23, 2013 07:00 AM

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RyanHealy100.jpgRyan Healy is a personal trainer for the Lynch/van Otterloo (LVO) YMCA in Marblehead. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and earned her BS in Exercise Sports Science from Elon University. Find more posts by her in conjunction with the LVO YMCA at She can be reached at

Remember; please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

A few weeks ago, a wonderful Get Moving reader asked me the following question, “I can't seem to run more than 5 minutes without having to walk. How best does a beginner gain more stamina?”

This is a common issue when first starting, and it takes time to increase endurance.

My first tip would be to slow down your running pace. Focus on breathing steadily and find a more sustainable speed. Try not to get caught up in how fast the person on the treadmill next to you is going, or how fast you think you should be running. Everyone has to start somewhere.

If your running pace isn’t much faster than a walk, then I have the perfect program for you! It’s called the Couch- to-5k Running Plan and it even has its own mobile app. I know many people who have tried this and had great success. The program is designed just for beginners. It alternates between running and walking intervals, and includes a manageable 3 days of training each week.

The progressive workouts are generally no more than 20 or 30 minutes so they fit well into busy schedules. Whether you’re looking to increase stamina, or you want to run your first 5k, this plan is a superb option!

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.


Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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