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Four Steps to Better Endurance

Races are a popular way to raise money for causes and cures, but getting out there isn’t easy for everyone. If you’re just starting out and trying to build stamina, keep these basics in mind.

Fuel – What (and when) you eat and drink before you run can make a big difference. So about 90 minutes before your run, eat a high-carb, low-protein snack. An hour before, drink 16 ounces of water and another few sips just before you begin. Hydrate every 20 minutes during your run, and if you’re going longer than 90 minutes, grab a sports drink to replace lost sodium and electrolytes.

Breathe – Your muscles need sufficient oxygen to perform well, so breathing is a critical component of your run. Practice deep breathing from your diaphragm to replace more shallow breathing from your chest. Make sure you’re taking in enough air by using your nose and mouth together to breathe in. Then exhale fully through your mouth. If you’re short of breath, slow down and build your capacity over time.

Rest – Give your muscles adequate time to recover and repair by not running every day. Taking time to rest will decrease your risk for overuse injuries like shin splints and stress fractures. For peak performance, find a low-impact cross-training activity to enjoy on your off days, like yoga or swimming.