What steps should you take to run longer distances? It seems like all your friends are training for a 10k, half marathon or marathon and you are just starting to run a 5k so what is with all the hype? Well first off, running a distance race is a huge individual accomplishment and you have to put in the training and dedication to complete it. So think about if you are ready to put in the time and energy for training. Once completed it is awe inspiring and you will feel amazing, but how do you begin running these distances? Well as your certified trainer and running coach here are the simple steps to help you run longer distances:
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1 Determine Your Goal
Think about what your distance running goal is and determine if your end goal is a race or just for fun. Whatever your goal is, figure it out to determine what your training will be. In order to run longer distances it is important to determine what your goal is first.
2 Set out Your Schedule
Now that you have decided the distance that you want to train for, you need to set out a schedule. If you want to train for a half marathon in 4 months, set out training accordingly. If you are not sure how to create this schedule, look online or hire a running coach to help you.
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3 Get in the Right Mindset
When you are training for a distance race, you can be outside for several hours and this is a long time to be alone with just your own thoughts. Get in the right mindset and believe in yourself. If you use this time to reflect on your life and think positive thoughts, this will be the best use of your time.
4 Go the Distance Once a Week
As you are increasing your distance running, you should do a long slow run once a week. Any more than this puts unnecessary toll on your body. I usually do my long runs on Sunday since this when I have the time to do this because during the week, I seem to always be working. Find the time that works best for you and your schedule.
5 Gradually Increase Mileage
One of the most common mistakes new runners make is that they increase their weekly mileage too quickly. Then they find themselves tired and worn, often times even getting injured. Never increase your weekly total mileage by any more than 10% so you do not overdo it.
6 Determine Distance Fuel
If you are running for several hours, you can run out of fuel if you do not keep your energy high. How can you prevent this? Refuel with coconut water, an energy gel or even a piece of fruit. This will prevent you from running out of energy mid-run and also reduce risk of cramping.
7 Rest the Day after
When you have completed your longer distance runs, your body will be fatigued and you may even feel exhausted. Get some rest the next day so your body can heal and rejuvenate for your next run.
Hope my steps have helped you in how you can begin to train for longer distances. I promise after running 21 marathons, it is still worth all the time, effort and training. So tell me, what are your running goals? Have a happy running year!
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