Running Workouts to Build Endurance

Want to run longer? This program will help increase your endurance. If you're new to running or exercise, start with the Beginner program. As you progress, slowly increase your time and eventually move to the Intermediate and Advanced workouts. Because this is a general program, you may need to adjust the recommended speeds, intensities, and times to suit your fitness level.

If you have access to a treadmill, focus on the pace guidelines (left column), working at your own intensity level. If you run outdoors and do not have access to any tools to measure your pace, then use the intensity guidelines (right column) as a guide for how fast or slow to run. (Find a full explanation of exercise intensity below the workouts.)

Beginner Endurance Program
 
 What to do  For how long  (Intensity 1-10)
 Warm up at 3.5 mph pace  5 minutes  3.5
 Jog at 5 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Jog at 6 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Jog at 5 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Cool down  5 minutes  3.5
 Total Workout Time:  26 minutes  
 
Intermediate Endurance Program
 
 What to do  For how long  Intensity (1-10)
 Warm up at 4 mph pace  5 minutes  3.5
 Jog at 5.5 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Jog at 5.8 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Jog at 5.5 mph pace  8 minutes  5
 Jog at 5.8 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Jog at 5.5 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Cool down  5 minutes  3.5
 Total Workout Time:  42 minutes  

Advanced Endurance Program
 
 What to do  For how long  Intensity (1-10)
 Warm up at 5 mph pace  5 minutes  3.5
 Run at 6 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Run at 6.3 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Run at 6 mph pace  8 minutes  5
 Run at 6.3 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Run at 6 mph pace  8 minutes  5
 Run at 6.3 mph pace  8 minutes  6
 Run at 6 mph pace  4 minutes  5
 Cool down  5 minutes  3.5
 Total Workout Time:  58 minutes  
 

An Explanation of Using the RPE Method to Measure Intensity


Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) may be the most versatile method to measure exercise intensity for all age groups. Using this method is simple, because all you have to do is estimate how hard you feel like you’re exerting yourself during exercise. RPE is a good measure of intensity because it is individualized—it’s based on your current fitness level and overall perception of exercise. The scale ranges from one to 10, allowing you to rate how you feel physically and mentally at a given intensity level.
An RPE between five and seven is recommended for most adults. This means that at the height of your workout, you should feel you are working "somewhat hard" to "hard."
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About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach and medical exercise specialist, with additional certifications in behavior change, functional training and senior fitness. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.