Turn up your run

Tanya Poppet

Three sessions that will help build your running endurance without adding extra mileage.

Your first thought when training for the City 2 Surf may be to start bumping up the kilometres but distance isn’t everything. A weekly long run is advisable when training for the 14km dash however, your sessions don’t always need to be long and repetitive. There are plenty of other ways to build your endurance and get you race ready this August.

Here are a few sessions that will help turn up your training program.


If you find that you are beginning to plateau in your training and running performance, a weekly interval session may just be the boost you need this season. Builds overall fitness, speed and cardiovascular endurance.

Beginner Intervals Session

  • Jogging/walking warm up for 5 minutes.
  • Run for 1 minute.
  • Recovery walk for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat 8 times.
  • Jogging/ walking cool down. 5 minutes.
  • As you progress you can begin to reduce the recovery time.

Experiment with your speed and find a pace that is challenging but comfortable for you.

Intermediate Advance Intervals Session

  • Jogging warm up for 5-10 minutes.
  • Run 70-80% for 2 minutes.
  • Recovery jog for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat 8 times.
  • Jogging cool down for 5-10 minutes.

Hill Sprints

One great way to prepare for any endurance event is to add hill sprints into your regime. Hill reps increase your cardiovascular and muscular strength, as well as prepare you for mental fatigue come race day.

Find a hill that takes between 15-30 seconds to run up. You want to keep a strong, fast pace with these efforts, so the hill doesn’t need to be huge.

Hill Sprints Session

  • Jogging/walking warm up for 5 minutes.
  • 5 Hill Sprints at 80%.  2-3 sets.
  • Jog or Walk down hill for recovery.
  • (Keep your hips back, and weight in your heels to protect your knees when jogging down the hill).
  • Jogging/ walking cool down for 5 minutes.

Stair Runs

Stair runs are a great way to combine your resistance workout with your cardio. These again will challenge your endurance and prepare you both mentally and physically.

This stair session work with most staircases as it is based around time not length.

Stair Sets

  • Jogging/walking warmup 5-10 minutes.
  •  Set a timer on your stopwatch for 7 minutes.
  • Complete as many reps of your stair case (up and down) as you can in the 7 minutes.
  • Active rest for 2-3 minutes (walking and stretching)
  • Repeat for another 7 minutes aiming to match or beat your first total.
  • Jogging/walking cooldown 5-10 minutes.

Rest and Recovery

Yes, that’s right… Recovery is an essential part of any running program especially when increasing your distances. Your body needs time to recuperate and repair in order to progress.

Active recovery is an effective way to repair and restore the muscles after a hard weeks training. Active recovery involves low impact forms of exercise that promote blood flow, the removal of toxins and tissue repair. Some of my favourite forms of active recovery are yoga, light cycling, deep water running, foam rolling and long stretch sessions.

Wearing compression gear such as SKINS whilst running and during recovery is also an excellent way to stimulate blood flow and accelerate muscle repair. The increased blood flow will also help reduce muscle soreness in between your runs and help you get the most out of your training sessions.