Six Beginning Runner’s Tips for Long Distance Running

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Do you have your eyes set on your first long distance running event.  Whether you’re shooting for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon, any of theses distances can be intimidating if you have never run them before.  There are really two factors you need to train for.  The first is your body, you need to build up the strength and stamina to run a long distance.  The second is your mind.  When running a long distance, you’ll mostly be running with your favorite running buddy; you!  And you can easily get inside your head and do silly things like convince you to quit, or say this is crazy, or keep you really bored.  Some of the key to long distance training is learning to cope with you so you don’t psyche yourself out…

Long Distance Run

Six long distance running tips:

  1. Alternate between easy and quality runs.  An easy run is once where you are in cruise mode and is run at a very comfortable pace over a long distance.  The goal of the easy run is to get you out and moving.  You aren’t to push yourself.  A quality run is a high-intensity or long-duration run.  Typically you’ll have one high intensity interval or tempo run during the week followed later in the week with your long distance training run.  It is important these runs aren’t back to back; you need to give your body time to recover.
  2. When running a long distance is it important to keep your pace.  Think of your body’s energy as your bank account and your pace the amount you spend every day.  If you start running too quickly you’ll use up that energy too early and not have much left in the tank for the end of your run.  Then  you’ll be miserable and not have fun.
  3. Remember that high intensity run we talked about?  Keep that in mind if you’re aiming to improve your speed.  That is its purpose.  Use those runs to push yourself.
  4. Remember to gradually increase your mileage   A good rule of thumb is to use the 10% rule.  Your total miles for the weeks should increase more than 10% over the past week, and the length of your long distance run shouldn’t as well.  Running 10 miles a week today means next week you can run 11 miles a week.  If your long run is 5 miles, then try to hold the length of you next long distance run to 5.5 or 6 miles.
  5. I like to make my long distance run session an adventure.  I do this by planning my route so it takes me to by an interesting location.  If you follow my blog or face book pages, you’ll see I commonly run in rural areas.  This heightens my sense of adventure; I feel like I’m embarking on a journey. The key is to add variety to your runs.  Change up the routes as you can.Running Water Bottle
  6. For runs over 45 minutes I would suggest carrying water and some from of an energy bar or GU.  Its important to stay hydrated.  You can use a hand carried bottle or one worn on a belt.  Regarding energy bars, I carry GU.  You can pick up GU at a running store or Dick’s Sporting goods.  Its not the stuff you would eat for an everyday snack, but I find it very good for running.

A long distance run doesn’t have to be intimidating.  The key is to gradually introduce it into your regime.  Incorporate these six beginning runners tips for a long distance run and soon you’ll be on your way to preparing for your first half marathon!


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