Three Methods for Improving Resistance to Fatigue

If you want to improve your ability to run harder for longer, scientific research—while still in its infancy in this category—suggests several ways for runners to resist fatigue. Proven tactics include:

  • Conducting workouts at race velocities
  • Modifying recovery durations during interval sessions
  • Enhancing muscle's oxidative capacity and upgrading lactate-threshold velocity
  • Engaging in running-specific strength training.

Even nutritional tactics can be beneficial: Avoiding hypoglycemia, maximizing glycogen repletion and taking specific supplements have all been linked with greater contravention of fatigue. The following three methods for reducing fatigue are from Running Science by Owen Anderson.

More: How Runners Can Benefit From Fatigue

Extend Training at Race Pace

Extended periods of training at a specific running velocity hike resistance to fatigue at that specified speed. For one thing, such running enhances economy at the chosen velocity. It is clear that confidence in the ability to manage a particular pace will also increase as that tempo is practiced relentlessly.

More: Boost Running Performance With Confidence-Building Workouts

Another effect should be that the neural governor will accept the selected, well-rehearsed speed as one that can be maintained for a more extended period of time. For example, when a runner is preparing for an important 10K, frequent running at goal 10K pace should promote greater resistance to fatigue at 10K tempo especially if the 10K work intervals are fairly lengthy. Intervals of 2,000 meters (1.24 miles) should function more effectively than 800-meter intervals, for example, because the former teach the governor that goal 10K pace can be handled continuously over relatively long periods.

Shortening the recovery periods between the 2,000-meter intervals should be an effective strategy for promoting resistance to fatigue, too, because doing so begins to simulate actual race conditions more closely.

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About the Author

Owen Anderson

Owen Anderson, Ph.D., is the founder of Lansing Sports Management, which coaches elite athletes from Kenya and manages their international competitions. He has enjoyed a successful career coaching runners of all levels. He has written extensively on the topics of running training, strength training for running, sports nutrition, and injury prevention, appearing in Runner's World, Shape, Men's Health, Peak Performance, National Geographic Adventure and Sports Injury Bulletin. He is the race director of the annual Lansing Marathon, Lansing Half Marathon and Ekiden Relay, and he hosts running camps throughout the United States.

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