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Good stamina is crucial for keeping up with any training program, regardless of the activity. If you are a runner and want to increase your stamina and endurance level, then improving your lung power is the fastest way to doing so. In fact, better lung power will not only boost your running performance, it will also enrich the quality of your life.

So here are the 5 strategies you need to heighten your lung power potential:

1- Start where you are at, not where you wish to be

For a beginner, you should start running according to your current fitness level. The main goal in the beginning stage is to make running a habit of your daily life; you could do this by sticking to your training program for at least 21 days, this is the recommended timeframe for cultivating a habit.

2- Know what you are after

When you have ingrained running into your daily routine, then it's time to get organized and set running goals. Your goals should be challenging but realistic; easy goals can be boring, and wishy-washy thinking will only get you disappointed-manage your expectations wisely.

3- Breathing

Proper breathing is the cornerstone of explosive lung power. While it is essential to run uphill and do intervals, you should also train your lungs and breathing system; this type of training allows your body to absorb the highest amount of oxygen into the blood streams and working muscles, thus leading to better performance.

Make sure to breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth; breathing pattern regulates running cadence according to your own needs. You should also learn to breathe from the diaphragm instead of the chest-this is called belly breathing. Deep breathing ensures oxygen delivery to your body and promotes a sense of ease and relaxation.

4- Increase your mileage

When you feel that you have mastered the above steps, then you should increase your running mileage gradually, this forces your lungs to expand more and trains their capability for coping with stress. You should not increase your running mileage by more than 10% per week. Otherwise, you will be increasing the likelihood of injury.

5- Cross-train

Cross-training increases your lung power without running. Pick a cross-training activity that you like and feel appropriate. My favorite is plyometrics-also known as jump training-this type of training allows not only for stronger leg muscles, it also forces the lungs to develop explosive speed and resiliency.

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From David Dack - Running Author and Enthusiast

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