Are you recently getting into competitive running? If you are, then you’ve probably been trying to push your limits by running for longer periods to build up your stamina. But to know your current level, you’ve probably wondered, “How long should I be able to run without stopping?”
On average, a runner should be able to run ten to 15 minutes without stopping for a break. That might sound overwhelming because of how long it is, but when you divide it into intervals of 5 minutes, it’s only three rounds of 5 minutes! However, with dedicated training and time, you’ll be able to run even longer than 10-15 minutes without stopping.
In fact, marathon runners have even been able to reach running milestones of up to 2 hours without stopping! A professional like Dean Karnazes was able to run for 80 hours and 44 minutes straight without stopping after months of training. For reference, he ran 350 miles continuously, which would take several breaks to come even close to achieving. Karnazes put a lot into achieving this goal by dedicating 100% of his life to running, maintaining endurance, and keeping a steady mindset throughout the whole journey.
Your goal probably doesn’t involve breaking a world record. Although not everyone can reach that level of endurance, there are several things you can do to maximize yours! You can train, perform certain exercises, and add a few tweaks to your prepping process.
How Long Should a Beginner Run Without Stopping?
If you’re new to running, you should be able to run for around 10-15 minutes without stopping. If you’re able to do that, you’re on the right track! If you’re not, set that as your first goal and achieve it by improving your breathing and training.
It’s often hard to run for a longer amount of time because you feel yourself getting winded easily. But, why do people lose their breath so easily when running? The carbon dioxide in a person’s respiratory system builds up while they run, which causes them to need more oxygen. As a result, the person’s body requires more oxygen in their body so you’ll feel out of breath.
There are many different breathing exercises you could try that’ll increase your stamina and make it easier for you to breathe while you run. A great way to breathe while you run is inhaling through your nose for two steps and then exhaling through your mouth for one step. This strengthens your core and maintains the carbon dioxide intake while ensuring that you’re getting more oxygen while you run to keep your body satiated.
Another surprising thing that might improve your breathing without effort is something most of us love to do; listening to music! Music has been proven to lower your heart rate and improves your breathing through different studies held by researchers. It improves your breathing by serving as a distraction throughout your run and giving you something else to focus on other than breathing or timings.
As you train and run more frequently, you’ll naturally find yourself feeling less winded the more you run since your endurance will immensely improve. This is because your body is built to adapt to new routines, so its intake of carbon dioxide will increase naturally. After just 2 months of training, an average runner can run around 20-30 minutes without stopping so training makes the biggest difference!
Is It Better to Run Without Stopping?
It is better to run without stopping if you’re listening to your body’s needs without overworking it to a bad state. So, as long as you follow certain precautions and avoid pushing your body too much, it is better to run without stopping when training for endurance. For general health it isn’t as important.
Running without stopping keeps your heart rate up, which is great for your body because it allows it to burn more calories during your exercise. However, you might find yourself suddenly struggling to run during your exercise because you’re experiencing dizziness or fatigue. In the runner’s world, we call this “hitting the wall,” which is a phenomenon that happens when the sugar levels in your body drop because you overworked your body.
Hitting the wall can happen to anyone including beginners and professionals regardless of their age or weight. If you ever do experience the feeling of fatigue, nausea, or dizziness, stop and lie down on your back with your feet elevated to increase the blood flow in your brain. Once you feel better, try your best to eat or drink something nutritious and high in carbs to increase your body’s energy intake.
How do I avoid suddenly struggling to run? Pay attention to the signs of your body telling you that you cannot go further. If you’re finding it hard to breathe or feel like your muscles are sore, take a break until you feel better so you can give yourself a chance to catch your breath and your muscles a chance to heal. And, of course, make sure you consume a carbohydrate-rich meal 2 hours before your run to provide it with enough energy to run for a long amount of time without stopping. It’s also critical to hydrate before your run – especially if you tend to run in the morning.
Before you get too worried, understand that there are several tell-tale signs before your body hits the wall. The symptoms mainly include lethargy. So, listen to your body and do not overexert it. It pays off in the future!
Why Can’t I Run Without Stopping?
Needing to stop while running can be caused by several things including insufficient cardiovascular training, running too fast, being too tired, improper nutrition, or some form of injury. If you just can’t seem to get yourself to run without stopping, even with training, there might be other factors involved.
The average person should be able to run around 1-2 miles (or 1.5-3 km). If you can’t seem to do that because you feel a serious soreness in your ankles or calves, you should try balance exercises that are known to strengthen your calves and increase ankle mobility. Strengthening your calves and increasing your ankles’ mobility will decrease the amount of pain you experience when you run which will, in return, enable you to run without stopping.
Different balance exercises you could perform include single-leg balance, toe-heel walking, and single-leg step-downs. Perform a single-leg balance by simply balancing on one foot for a minute with a chair near you in case you lose balance. Toe-heel walking involves you walking for 20-30 seconds on the back of your feet, ensuring that your toes don’t touch the ground.
Next, single-leg step downs are a little more complicated but as your balance improves, you’ll be more than capable of performing the exercise effortlessly. Start by balancing on one leg on an elevated surface with a chair next to you in case you lose balance so you don’t risk falling and injuring yourself. Then, bend your knee and step down on the leg that is not touching the surface and step back up 15 times.
If it’s not pain you’re experiencing but rather discomfort or fatigue, then it might be dehydration or improper equipment. You can run how far an average person can run by ensuring that your body gets 15 ounces of water every 15 minutes during a run so you don’t sweat out a lot of the water in your system.
And, if your runs are short because you’re experiencing discomfort, then you might not be wearing the right shoes, since they’re flexible enough to enable you to run for long periods without stopping.
If you’re wondering how long you should be able to run without stopping, remember that there isn’t a certain guideline you’re supposed to be following. Some methods work with you while others don’t because all of our bodies and mindsets are varied which in return, leads to varied results. Different people can run for different amounts of times without stopping based on different factors like their experience, age, and stamina.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice a huge peak in your progress right away while you run or train because the process can be slow while your body gets more accompanied by physical exercise. Many professional runners spend years of training to build their endurance like Dean Karnazes who ran 50 marathons before he beat the world record. The most important thing is that you notice progress in your timings and before you know it, you’ll be able to run for hours at a time without stopping like a professional! All it takes is the proper mindset, efficient training, and suitable preparation.