Running long distances – it’s less about getting fit, and more about the challenge.
Sure, you need to be fit to run far. But you don’t have to run far to be fit.
If you know how to run far, you can participate in many events. You can do marathons, triathlons, both local and national.
So below, we’ll talk about long distance running. And we’ll mention a few tips to help you maximize your running performance.
First – What is Long Distance Running?
A long distance run differs from one person to another.
Normally, a long distance run is 5-8 miles. For someone experienced, a long distance run is a marathon.
But let’s go with experienced metrics. Because that’s where most of the fun is…
By marathon standards, a long distance run is 26 miles. Depending on where you live, that could be an entire down’s (town?) width.
26 miles takes around 4 hours to finish, if you go by a walking pace. But with a jogger’s pace, you could do the distance in 2 hours.
It’s a long time to run. And there are many rules to keep in mind on such journeys.
Long Distance Running – Sacrificing Intensity.
To run long distances, you can’t sprint. You can’t put excess strain on your muscles.
You have to run (jog) at slow spaces. That way, you ensure your legs can work for longer periods of time.
Long distance running sacrifices intensity, for the sake of distance. The longer your run, the slower you do so.
And this leads us to the first tip.
Don’t Time Your Performance.
Don’t put yourself under pressure to complete a long distance run, in record time.
This advice applies especially to beginners. If you lack experience jogging long distances, trying to break records can wipe you out.
Instead, adapt yourself to the long distances. And after that, start timing yourself.
Take Many Breaks.
Don’t crank out 26+ miles all at once. Do it step-by-step, and take frequent breaks in between.
We doubt anyone can jog 26 miles at once. You need to be marathon conditioned to do that.
So to do long distance running, take breaks every 5-6 miles. You’ll need to mark out distances on your route for your occasional breaks.
Sets and Reps Mentality.
Consider a 5 miles jog to be 1 set. After you do that, rest for a few minutes. Then get back up for the next set.
Doing that lets you do long distance running in short areas. You don’t have to map out a 26 mile track to run across.
Instead, you can do 5 miles from home to a certain store. And then run those 5 miles back home for another set.
If you want to do long distance running, do so in cool temperatures.
Long distance running can overheat your body. And a body too hot means fluid loss through sweat.
The water loss leads to dehydration faster, and this shorten your running time. Because with dehydration, you suffer from lack of focus.
What to Do.
Long distance running should be done from midnight to early morning. But you shouldn’t do it mid-day or during sunset.
Mid-day and sunset are when atmospheric temperatures reach their highest.
This advice applies to runners in mild outdoor temperatures. But if you run in-doors, you need to follow a different routine.
Get a Treadmill.
You can control indoor temperatures with air conditioning. And you can also control internal humidity.
This creates an ideal condition for your body to run long distances. Not to mention, you have more time flexibility as to when you want to run.
You can also get a treadmill, even if you live in a cold country.
You see, a treadmill lets you calculate running distances automatically. So you can better time your breaks. And you can better judge the distance you run.
With a treadmill, you keep electronic tracking of your performance.
Final Tip – Drop the Weight.
If you’re overweight, don’t do long distance running.
It’s too much strain on your knees. Long distance running will cause you joint problems if you haul around too much weight.
Instead, go on a weight loss program. Drop as much weight as possible.
Long Distance Walking.
This should be part of your weight loss plan.
Walking long distance isn’t like running. The weight of your body doesn’t clamp down on your knees in bursts.
Instead, you slowly load your knees while taking each step. And this is healthier in the long-run.