How to Boost Running Endurance Without Actually Running


Most runners believe that if they want to build their running endurance then they need to run more.  While there is a bit of truth to that (I wouldn’t advise running 26.2 miles without running at all), there is also truth the the fact that you can build endurance without actually running. 

Contrary to what you may think, there are ways to actually run less while still building endurance.  Or, if you happen to not be able to run at all (say due to injury) there are a variety of non-running ways to boost performance.

While I have always been a fairly low mileage runner (no more than 3 days a week even during marathon training), I’ve recently had to rely on other methods of maintaining my running endurance without actually running. 

As I explained recently, I’ve been sidelined a bit as far as running is concerned due to ongoing medical issues.  It hurts my stomach (damn gallbladder/inflammation) to pound the pavement for too long but thankfully I am still able to stay active otherwise.

In fact, I recently put these methods to the test during a 5k after not running for most of the last two months.  My stomach issues calmed down enough for me to participate so I decided to give the race a go.  To my surprise, I ended up coming in first overall female.  

Sure, it was only 3.1 miles and the course was fairly flat but having not run really over the last two months (sans a quickie and a 5k), I was pretty pleased with my results and couldn’t help but attribute it to the non-running methods I’ve been using to train. 

Of course I didn’t pick these modalities by chance, I knew that they would boost or at least maintain my level of performance.  So if you, like me, find yourself in the same boat for whatever reason OR you want to supplement different training in your regimen, then here’s 3 sure fire ways to build your running performance like a boss! 

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Need a running break? Here's how to maintain and build your running endurance without actually running.

Pump it up. 

If you want to boost your performance then you got to pump it up.  Strength training has SO many benefits for runners including reducing injury and building stamina.  My absolute GO TO during this period of non-running for strength training has been DVRT workout with my Ultimate Sandbag.

These workouts add an additional benefit since they not only help me to build strength but also improve my overall conditioning.  If you’ve ever done a DVRT workout then you can understand why – you train in all planes of motion, helping to build power, mobility and core stability which are essential for athletic performance.

Workouts like my  WOD for Runners, Mother Runner Workout, and Quick DVRT Strength Workout For Runners are just a few to incorporate into your routine. 

Jump on it. 

On the days when my belly can handle short term bouncing, I’ve been picking up my weighted Crossrope Jump Ropes and workin’ up a sweat.  Jumping rope is hugely beneficial for building endurance and strengthening running muscles with a bit less impact than running. 

It also challenges the body in a new manner and can help improve running posture and foot work – not to mention it give you that same type of satisfying sweat that runs do. 

While using a speed rope will do, I prefer to use the Crossrope weighted jump rope system since it give me provides the ability to play with different resistances. 

If you’re new to jumping rope then this  Jump Rope Workout for Beginners is a good place to start or if you’re a bit more experienced then this Crossrope Endurance and Power Building Jump Rope Workout will have you sweating in no time.  If you REALLY wanna step it up then give this Ultimate Sandbag & Jump Rope Ladder Workout a try! 😉 

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Ride it out.

Last but not least, I’ve been using my trusty stationary bike to keep my endurance in check.  As many triathletes will tell you, stationary biking can help to improve overall leg speed and doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts on the bike can make you a faster runner all with a lot less impact.  

Since I am not a triathlete and don’t claim to have a lot of stationary bike expertise, I have relied a lot on the Peloton App.  I don’t actually have the Peloton bike but their workout library is legit and offers everything from music themed rides to power rides to endurance rides and of course, HIIT rides which happen to be my fav! 

Obviously there are many other non-running ways (like swimming) that can help boost and build your endurance as well but these are the ones that have always worked for me and continue to work for me during a time of very little asphalt kicking. 


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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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