Long distance running can not only get you fit, it works to alleviate stress and can clear your mind like few other activities. Don’t just grab an old pair of sneakers and hit the pavement though, follow these long distance running tips that are recommended by top professionals.
Maintain Realistic Expectations
Expecting too much of the human body can get you into trouble, particularly if you’re new to the world of long distance running. While charts may roughly indicate the best distances for you individually, it’s best to base your expectations on your rate of progress instead of any preexisting formula. For example, complete a test run without any pressure. See how your body feels the next day and get a good idea from that how much you might start increasing your distances by. The general rule of thumb is not to raise it by more than 10 percent from your previous week’s total miles logged.
Dress For The Occasion
Considering the pounding your body may take during any run, it’s imperative that your feet be equipped with a great pair of sneakers. Although some cross-trainers may suffice, it’s best to purchase a pair that are specifically designed to absorb the impact of running. This can prevent blisters and other foot problems from arising and will definitely keep you more comfortable throughout the trip.
Hydrate Yourself Frequently
Your doctor will tell you how important water is when running, but if you’re running further than 13 miles, I suggest you also replenish electrolytes with a drink like Gatorade or Nunn.
Grab A Few Carbs Now And Then
Physical fitness experts advise you to consume approximately 50 grams of carbohydrates during every hour of your long distance run. A quick energy bar or trail mix should do the trick, just pace your rate of consumption to your total distance, in order to avoid going over or falling under the recommended amounts of food.
Stretch And Warm-Up Properly
Ask any experienced runner about the importance of warming muscles prior to a run and you’ll likely hear a lengthy speech. They’ll probably share a story with you about the time they didn’t stretch out first and the price they paid for it. Make sure you ease your whole body into the program, not just your legs either. This includes doing circular reps with your head, bending and turning from the waist, as well as getting your cardiovascular system up to task.
Plan Your Routes In Advance
Experts recommend that you know where you’re long distance run will take you well ahead of time. This can keep you safer both in terms of who you might encounter and what surfaces your feet will be forced to endure. Use Google maps or Street View to scope out your territory first.
All adrenaline aside, no list of running tips for running long distances would be complete without this one: Listen to your body and pace yourself. When you feel an ache or cramp, don’t just run your way through it, as you could have an injury. Stop and figure out what’s going on with your body and take the necessary steps to avoid making the situation worse. All you may need is a short rest or large gulp of water, but if you don’t get it, your run will be ruined. Never compromise your physical well-being for anything, including the thrill of the run.
Keep Up The Motivation
Sometimes runners reach an impasse with the sport, and staying motivated becomes a challenge. Knowing what inspires you will help, such as a certain CD or scenic route. Reminding yourself of why you began running can also keep you going strong, so make a short list and hang it up somewhere visible, like on your fridge or locker. Many people find that hooking up with a running partner gets them in the groove again, especially if it means adopting a protege.
Running can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your life by far, especially if you approach it like a professional. Use these long distance running tips to get started on the right foot!