• Whether you’re training for a 10K, half marathon or full marathon, building up your endurance is essential. Without a high level of endurance, your body won’t be able to meet the demands placed on it by long distance running and you’ll struggle to perform. Keep reading to learn how to develop your endurance for long distance runs.

    1 – Give Yourself Plenty Of Training Time

    The most important factor when preparing for a long distance run is to give yourself lots of time to prepare for the race. Doing this allows your body to adapt and your endurance levels to build in time for the big run.

    If you have absolutely no experience with running, you should allow yourself 26 weeks (6 months) to train for the run. If you’re relatively experienced with running and can run for around 30 minutes without stopping, you’ll require 16 weeks (just under 4 months) to get yourself ready for the big race.

    2 – Aim For Consistent Improvements

    If you want to maximize your endurance levels in time for a long run, you need to be improving both your overall mileage and your running pace on a weekly basis for the majority of your training period. For the best results, you should aim to improve your mileage by 5%-10% each week before tapering off and running a reduced mileage during the last 2 weeks before the race. You should also aim to improve your pace gradually each week, so that you can record a good time in the race.

    3 – Listen To Your Body

    Long distance running is one of the most physically demanding exercises around and places a lot of strain on your body. If you feel any slight pain or discomfort while you’re training, slow down, walk for a while and see if it subsides. If the pain persists, this is a warning sign from your body to cut the training session short and let it rest. While this may seem inconvenient and detrimental to your overall training plans, clocking a lower mileage is a much better option than ignoring your body and causing yourself a serious injury which leaves you unable to train.

    4 – Get Plenty Of Rest

    While physical training is a key part of building up your endurance, letting your body rest is just as important. Failing to get proper rest prevents your body from properly recovering from training sessions and inhibits your performance during future runs. By getting lots of rest, your body is able to fully recover from each training session and you’re able to perform at your peak during each run.

    To ensure that you get plenty of rest, have at least 3 days off from running each week. Also, aim to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night. Finally, on your days off from running, try to keep physical activity to a minimum and give your body lots of time to recuperate.

    5 – Bring It All Together

    Once you’ve read and implemented the 4 steps above all that’s left to do is bring them together and start training. The section below contains a 10K, half marathon and full marathon endurance training program for complete beginners (26 weeks) and intermediate level runners (16 weeks).

    The numbers on the half marathon and full marathon endurance training programs represent miles while the numbers on the 10K endurance training program represent kilometers.

    For the complete beginner endurance training program, weeks 1-6 involve walking and running the mileage at the following rates:

    • Week 1 = Walk for 3 minutes, run for 1 minute.
    • Week 2 = Walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute.
    • Week 3 = Walk for 1 minute, run for 1 minute.
    • Week 4 = Walk for 1 minute, run for 2 minutes.
    • Week 5 = Walk for 1 minute, run for 3 minutes.
    • Week 6 = Walk for 1 minute, run for 4 minutes.

    10K Endurance Training Program For Complete Beginners (26 Weeks)

    WEEKS 1-6 (WALK & RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 0.25 Rest 0.25 0.25 Rest 0.25 Rest 1
    2 0.5 Rest 0.5 0.5 Rest 0.5 Rest 2
    3 0.75 Rest 0.75 0.75 Rest 0.75 Rest 3
    4 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1 Rest 4
    5 1.25 Rest 1.25 1.25 Rest 1.25 Rest 5
    6 1.5 Rest 1.5 1.5 Rest 1.5 Rest 6
    WEEKS 7-26 (RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    7 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1 Rest 4
    8 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1.5 Rest 4.5
    9 1.5 Rest 1.5 1.5 Rest 2 Rest 6.5
    10 1.5 Rest 1.5 1.5 Rest 2.5 Rest 7
    11 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    12 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3.5 Rest 9.5
    13 2.5 Rest 2.5 2.5 Rest 4 Rest 11.5
    14 2.5 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 4.5 Rest 12.5
    15 2.5 Rest 3 3 Rest 5 Rest 13.5
    16 2.5 Rest 3 4 Rest 5.5 Rest 15
    17 2.5 Rest 4 4 Rest 6 Rest 16.5
    18 2.5 Rest 4 5 Rest 6.5 Rest 18
    19 2.5 Rest 5 5 Rest 7 Rest 19.5
    20 2.5 Rest 5 6 Rest 7.5 Rest 21
    21 2.5 Rest 5 6.5 Rest 8 Rest 22
    22 2.5 Rest 5 7 Rest 8.5 Rest 23
    23 2.5 Rest 5 7.5 Rest 9 Rest 24
    24 2 Rest 4 5 Rest 5 Rest 16
    25 1 Rest 2 3 Rest 5 Rest 11
    26 1 Rest 2 Rest Rest 10 Finish 13

    10K Endurance Training Program For Intermediate Runners (16 Weeks) 

    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    2 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3.5 Rest 9.5
    3 2.5 Rest 2.5 2.5 Rest 4 Rest 11.5
    4 2.5 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 4.5 Rest 12.5
    5 2.5 Rest 3 3 Rest 5 Rest 13.5
    6 2.5 Rest 3 4 Rest 5.5 Rest 15
    7 2.5 Rest 4 4 Rest 6 Rest 16.5
    8 2.5 Rest 4 5 Rest 6.5 Rest 18
    9 2.5 Rest 5 5 Rest 7 Rest 19.5
    10 2.5 Rest 5 6 Rest 7.5 Rest 21
    11 2.5 Rest 5 6.5 Rest 8 Rest 22
    12 2.5 Rest 5 7 Rest 8.5 Rest 23
    13 2.5 Rest 5 7.5 Rest 9 Rest 24
    14 2 Rest 4 5 Rest 5 Rest 16
    15 1 Rest 2 3 Rest 5 Rest 11
    16 1 Rest 2 Rest Rest 10 Finish 13

     Half Marathon Endurance Training Program For Complete Beginners (26 Weeks)

    WEEKS 1-6 (WALK & RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 0.5 Rest 0.5 0.5 Rest 1 Rest 2.5
    2 0.5 Rest 0.5 1 Rest 1 Rest 3
    3 0.5 Rest 1 1 Rest 1 Rest 3.5
    4 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1 Rest 4
    5 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1.5 Rest 4.5
    6 1 Rest 1 1.5 Rest 1.5 Rest 5
    WEEKS 7-26 (RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    7 0.5 Rest 0.5 0.5 Rest 1 Rest 2.5
    8 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 1.5 Rest 4.5
    9 1.5 Rest 1.5 1.5 Rest 2 Rest 6.5
    10 1.5 Rest 2 2 Rest 2.5 Rest 8
    11 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    12 2 Rest 2.5 2.5 Rest 3 Rest 10
    13 2 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 3.5 Rest 11
    14 2.5 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 4 Rest 12
    15 2.5 Rest 2.5 3.5 Rest 4.5 Rest 13
    16 2.5 Rest 3 3.5 Rest 5 Rest 14
    17 2.5 Rest 3.5 3.5 Rest 5.5 Rest 15
    18 2.5 Rest 3.5 4 Rest 6 Rest 16
    19 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 6.5 Rest 17
    20 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 7.5 Rest 18
    21 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 8.5 Rest 19
    22 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 9.5 Rest 20
    23 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 10.5 Rest 21
    24 2.5 Rest 3.5 4 Rest 5 Rest 15
    25 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 4 Rest 10
    26 2 Rest 2 Rest Rest 13.1 Finish 17.1

    Half Marathon Endurance Training Program For Intermediate Runners (16 Weeks) 

    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    2 2 Rest 2.5 2.5 Rest 3 Rest 10
    3 2 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 3.5 Rest 11
    4 2.5 Rest 2.5 3 Rest 4 Rest 12
    5 2.5 Rest 2.5 3.5 Rest 4.5 Rest 13
    6 2.5 Rest 3 3.5 Rest 5 Rest 14
    7 2.5 Rest 3.5 3.5 Rest 5.5 Rest 15
    8 2.5 Rest 3.5 4 Rest 6 Rest 16
    9 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 6.5 Rest 17
    10 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 7.5 Rest 18
    11 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 8.5 Rest 19
    12 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 9.5 Rest 20
    13 2.5 Rest 3.5 4.5 Rest 10.5 Rest 21
    14 2.5 Rest 3.5 4 Rest 5 Rest 15
    15 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 4 Rest 10
    16 2 Rest 2 Rest Rest 13.1 Finish 17.1

    Full Marathon Endurance Training Program For Complete Beginners (26 Weeks) 

    WEEKS 1-6 (WALK & RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 2 Rest 5
    2 1 Rest 1 2 Rest 2 Rest 6
    3 1 Rest 2 2 Rest 2 Rest 7
    4 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 2 Rest 8
    5 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    6 2 Rest 2 3 Rest 3 Rest 10
    WEEKS 7-26 (RUN)
    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    7 1 Rest 1 1 Rest 2 Rest 5
    8 2 Rest 2 2 Rest 3 Rest 9
    9 3 Rest 3 3 Rest 4 Rest 13
    10 3 Rest 4 4 Rest 5 Rest 16
    11 4 Rest 4 4 Rest 6 Rest 18
    12 4 Rest 5 5 Rest 6 Rest 20
    13 4 Rest 5 6 Rest 7 Rest 22
    14 5 Rest 5 6 Rest 8 Rest 24
    15 5 Rest 5 7 Rest 9 Rest 26
    16 5 Rest 6 7 Rest 10 Rest 28
    17 5 Rest 7 7 Rest 11 Rest 30
    18 5 Rest 7 8 Rest 12 Rest 32
    19 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 13 Rest 34
    20 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 15 Rest 36
    21 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 17 Rest 38
    22 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 19 Rest 40
    23 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 21 Rest 42
    24 5 Rest 7 8 Rest 10 Rest 30
    25 4 Rest 4 4 Rest 8 Rest 20
    26 4 Rest 4 Rest Rest 26.2 Finish 34.2

    Full Marathon Endurance Training Program For Intermediate Runners (16 Weeks) 

    Week Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Total
    1 4 Rest 4 4 Rest 6 Rest 18
    2 4 Rest 5 5 Rest 6 Rest 20
    3 4 Rest 5 6 Rest 7 Rest 22
    4 5 Rest 5 6 Rest 8 Rest 24
    5 5 Rest 5 7 Rest 9 Rest 26
    6 5 Rest 6 7 Rest 10 Rest 28
    7 5 Rest 7 7 Rest 11 Rest 30
    8 5 Rest 7 8 Rest 12 Rest 32
    9 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 13 Rest 34
    10 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 15 Rest 36
    11 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 17 Rest 38
    12 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 19 Rest 40
    13 5 Rest 7 9 Rest 21 Rest 42
    14 5 Rest 7 8 Rest 10 Rest 30
    15 4 Rest 4 4 Rest 8 Rest 20
    16 4 Rest 4 Rest Rest 26.2 Finish 34.2