How to Build Stamina for Running: 7 Tips.

Hi Davey,

Whenever I go for a run or walk, I get winded and lose my breath within 30 seconds. I don’t have asthma, I’m in good shape and I eat well. Any advice?


Hey Matt,

Running is one of my favorite activities – and few things are as exhilarating as the resulting endorphin release and runner’s high.

But, as avid runners know, the stamina and endurance required to power through a run isn’t something with which we’re born. Endurance must be built over the course of time – and it can be a very gradual process.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Set a goal. It’s always helpful to set some sort of goal for yourself. It helps establish accountability and it gives you a way to measure your progress. Perhaps your goal is to run 1 mile by the end of the year without stopping.
  2. Pace yourself. When running longer distances, it’s important to pace yourself. You don’t want to start your run in a full sprint. Instead, start at a moderate but sustainable pace. Otherwise, you’ll burn out too quickly.
  3. Breathe. As it turns out, breathing is extremely important. As breathing keeps your blood oxygenated, I recommend inhaling for 2 or 3 counts – and then exhaling for 2 or 3 counts. Eventually, you can establish a breathing rhythm that will help get you into “the zone.”
  4. Don’t give up. If you’re winded after 30 seconds, don’t give up altogether. Walk for a few moments, catch your breath, and then run again. Continue until you finish your mile – or whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.
  5. Gradually, run more and walk less. Over time, you’ll notice that you’re not winded as quickly. Instead of running for 30 seconds, you may be able to run for 40 seconds. And then 50 seconds. Build on these gains to increase the amount of time you spend running versus walking.
  6. Try intervals. Intervals are a great way to mix things up and make speed gains. When performing intervals, you’ll alternative between sprinting for a set amount of time and jogging for a set amount of time. When I do intervals, for example, I jog for 60 seconds and then sprint for 60 seconds – and I do this for 15 minutes. In addition to incinerating body fat, this will make the perceived exertion in your regular run seem significantly less.
  7. Rest. Of course, it’s important to give you body plenty of rest to recover. Don’t run every day, and make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

By following these 7 tips, you’ll certainly make huge gains to your stamina over time.

Remember: It’s important to be very consistent in your training. If you take a week or two off here and there, you’ll stunt your progress. Keep with it, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the results!


About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Not sure if it’s still available, but I found the “Get Running” app very useful for building up stamina. Starting from nothing, it gradually paces you up to 30 mins non stop.

    Turn on the app, hit go, and a lovely british woman coaches you through a series of walk/run intervals over a period of a few months.

  2. As a runner, I can attest to the gradual build process. In time, it gets a lot easier to just keep going once you’ve built yourself a good endurance foundation. Your heart is a muscle too, and it can weaken or strengthen pending how much you use it and how hard the work is that it does. You wouldn’t bench 200 lbs. if you’ve never lifted weights before. Same goes for running. Don’t expect to be able to do a 10K right off the bat if you haven’t done much cardio. Along with weight lifting, cardio is IMPERATIVE for fat loss. Keep it always in mind.

  3. I actually started running every day for one hour for the past 1 and a half weeks and I gotta say I hate it but I love the feel of it afterwards not sure if it’s just the adrenalin but it makes me wanna do it again the day after …

  4. I find for me that number 3 was my biggest issue. But ever since I started focusing on my breathing I have been able to do much more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’d 1st suggest a doctor’s visit to discuss the current endurance issue and the goals wishing to obtain.

  6. I was 250 pounds and I’m 5’10” tall. I’ve been going to the gym for the last 18 months without a break 3-4 times a week. I didn’t start dropping weight until I started running. First, I started running 2 minutes then take a break for 1 minute and then run another 3 minutes. Then, I started running 5 minutes and gradually expanded to 7 minutes. Currently I run 8 minutes and all this as a worm up before I lift weights.

    Also 2 out of 4 workouts I would run 1 minute between sets. In some days I do just cardio as I run 8 minutes then I walk 5 minutes, then I run another 5 minutes, then I walk 4 minutes and finally I run 1 minute and I walk I minute. All this makes total of 30 minutes cardio. And finally I do 10 mine sets on the bike and 10 minutes on the treadmill.

    I dropped in weight significantly and I’m still in the process of dropping bellow 200 pounds… Lets see how long it will take me.

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