Runners who wish to take long-distance often complain that they either get bored or burned out even before they attain their long distance running goal. This 5 minutes read could make you push harder to learn how to run a longer distance.
What I learned over a period of time is to take it slow. Success usually takes time and patience, so as long distance running.
Gradually pushing & motivating yourself should be the prime strategy for beginners. Whereas, experienced runners can pace themselves while enhancing the running distance.
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Aim to attempt a few of the below given strategies to gain your endurance while learning long distance running & making it fun.
Strategies on How to Run a Longer Distance
Choose the Right Running Partner
Running shoes are being referred to as running partners here. Any shoe can’t become your running partner. Pick a pair of shoes that could go miles with you nonstop. As there is a different shoe for women & men, there is a different shoe for every runner, every foot, and for every field.
Road shoes are for you if you’re running on pavement or trail shoes for soft muddy trails. Every foot needs a different shoe depending on your foot arch (Pronated or Supinated or Neutral).
Settle with your Mind First
You have to make your mind stronger than your body. Train your mind & keep reminding yourself at every nook & corner to attain long distance running. Few beginners are strong enough to go long distance, but their lack of confidence pull them back to go farther.
The idea is to visualize the route you’re going to take, think of amazing running ahead & finishing that strong. Tell yourself that you can do it. Because when the going gets tough, only your positive temperament & attitude will take you a long way.
Stretching & Warm-Up
Most of the time, runners experience pain in several muscles while running. Stretching in a mid-run is recommended on an affected body part for thirty seconds to one minute then, resume your run.
Moreover, it is vitally important for any runner to do warm-up before a long distance running. Stretching exercises & five minutes’ walk is strongly advisable to avoid any potential chance of muscle pains.
Hydration & Nutrition– How to Run a Longer Distance
According to Penn Medicine, runners should follow a right balanced diet of protein, fats & carbohydrates to maximize the performance.
Moreover, long distance running means removing water from your body. Hence, it is strongly recommended to take a lot of fluid during an even before the run to stay hydrated.
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Go Slow- Mix Walk, Jog & Run
You, as a runner should strategize your run every week. Increasing the distance by more than ten percent weekly (10PW rule) could enhance the chance of getting an injury that may leave you powerless.
Even, if you run farther than your limits for one day, you will either likely get sore or burned out for your next runs. Mixing walk & jog with your run to increase the distance could be the ideal situation.
Instead, this could help in providing various health benefits. You will not only increase your fitness level but, endurance & confidence would also be enhanced for long distance running.
Try Running in a Group
Long distance running becomes a lot easier while running in a group. It gives an opportunity to meet new people & socialize with each other during your long run.
Apart from the above, runners with similar interest could exchange their own experiences for each other benefit. Group run could help you stay confident & motivated on running.
Break into Sections using a timer
Long distance running could be disappointing when you think to go miles. The key is to break your run mentally into two or three sections to keep you moving.
Furthermore, using a timer can help in making your distance running into mini-run. For instance, a 10 miles run could be broken in three phases.
Target to reach first phase, then begin with the second phase. Lastly, push yourself hard in the last phase to attain your goal of 10 miles.
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Think of Mid-Refueling
If you’re going for a longer run over one hour, then mid-refueling in the form of consumption of calories like nuts, dried fruits or powders is strongly recommended.
Every stomach has a different appetite and it’s not easy to eat food during a run for some people. Thus, you need to experiment with different form of foods because what works for you might not work for others.
It is roughly estimated to take some calories every 40-45 minutes & water or drink in every 20-25 minutes.
Strength Training– How to Run a Longer Distance
Running seven days a week is not advisable. Strength training or workout plays a crucial role in building muscle mass. Workout of 15-20 minutes, twice or thrice a week is more than good to add more miles to your run.
As per the study by reuters, oxygen & energy i.e. “running economy” and trial performance could be increased by 2 to 8 percent by strength training. It could also help in removing the fatigue and relieving the physical stress of running.
As soon as you finish your run, 5-10 minutes stretching is required for your sore or tight muscles. Try to give at least 30 seconds to 1 minute to each affected muscle for better results.
Don’t forget a meal just after your long distance run to provide the energy your body requires. A good mix of proteins, fats & carbs should be a part of your meal to ensure a return to a healthy & fit body.
Also Read: Health Benefits of Treadmill Running
Aim yourself & start today, if you’re concerned about your mental & physical fitness. Running is an amazing activity to perform because it can be accessible & affordable to almost everyone.
It is advisable to just start slow & gradually build your confidence, endurance, strength & power.
Lastly, consistency & patience is the key to attain your distance goal.
Frequently Asked Questions– How to Run a Longer Distance?
Beginners should begin with 2 runs in a week & a day should be added further every alternative week. This will allow you some time in adjusting yourself in a new habit.
Also, your run should be mixed with jog & walk to attain the desired distance goal.
Breathe, is the only key to let you run for longer distances. Inhale & exhale regularly could keep you in form without getting tired & losing control of your breath.
The 10 percent rule is the most crucial & tried & true concept in running. It says that a runner shouldn’t increase weekly mileage by more than 10 percent in comparison to last week.