5 Extremely Useful Running Tips for Long Distances
As you try to push your limits, you are likely to face both physical and mental obstacles. This is a normal part of the training process. Try some of these strategies to make your runs not only longer but also more enjoyable. Runners sometimes hesitate to push their mileage up because they fear the potential pain or boredom that comes with running long distances. The key is to take it slow. Running longer takes time and patience, so it’s best to approach it gradually in order to avoid overuse injuries.
1. Always Warm-up
A good warm-up before running can prevent problems like side stitches and muscle tightness that can sabotage your run. Begin with a brisk walk or slow jog to increase body temperature and get your joints ready for more vigorous activity. Then do a few dynamic stretches to prepare your muscles for the miles ahead. Along those same lines—don’t forget to cool down for at least five minutes of an easy pace at the end of your run.
2. Start Slow
If you are used to running two or three miles at a time, you aren’t going to suddenly be able to start tackling marathon distances. Adding too much, too fast is a recipe for disaster. Not only are you more likely to get sore or burned out, but you also face the very real risk of an injury that might leave you sidelined. The key is to add miles very gradually. As previously noted, don’t increase your distance by more than 10 percent a week. It may take a while to get there, but you’ll eventually be able to safely tackle those longer distances thanks to this training strategy.
3. Check Your Body Conditions
Sometimes it helps to get out of your head and think about your body. Do a total body check, starting with your head. Make sure you’re looking up, not down at your feet. Relax your shoulders, keep your back straight, and don’t hold any tension in your arms, wrists, and hands. Make sure that your footfalls are straight and that you’re breathing deep.
4. Use a Run/Walk Combination
If you can’t keep up the pace for the entire distance on your run, don’t worry. You shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to jog or run the entire length. Instead, do a run/walk combination to cover more distance.
5. Try Running Outside
Running on the treadmill can get boring. Although treadmill running may be a little easier physically, it can be a much more difficult mental challenge. If weather and safety permits, go outside for your runs. The fresh air, scenery, and new routes may distract you so much that you’ll run longer than you normally would on the treadmill.