• Long distance running is physically demanding but very rewarding. However, if you’re just starting out, it can also take some getting used to. This article will provide you with 10 top tips that will ease you into long distance running when you’re a beginner.

     1 – Invest In Some High Quality Running Gear

    If you want to stay comfortable, avoid injuries and maximize your running performance, buying some high quality running clothing and shoes is essential. Investing in some well ventilated, moisture wicking clothing that you can wear while you run so will keep you cool and dry while buying some high quality running shoes will support your feet, protect against injuries and improve your overall running form.

    2 – Increase Your Mileage Gradually

    When you’re just getting started with running and full of excitement, it can be tempting to try and increase your mileage substantially every time you hit the road. However, by doing this, you’re going to set yourself up for injuries and have a negative impact on your long term running performance. So no matter how eager you are, make sure you increase your mileage by no more than 10% each time you run.

    3 – Pace Yourself

    Many people who are new to running start out fast and then quickly find that they can’t maintain this pace for the full distance and have to either walk the rest of the distance or cut their race short. To avoid this, maintain a slower pace that you’re comfortable with for your first few runs. Once you get used to running longer distances at this pace, start to gradually increase your pace until you find a speed that’s challenging but that you’re able to maintain for the entire run.

    4 – Rehydrate Regularly

    A lot of people who are new to running believe they only need to rehydrate when they feel thirsty. However, running causes you to lose a lot of fluids and these need to be replenished, even when you don’t feel particularly thirsty. To avoid dehydration, you should aim to drink around 500ml of water for every hour that you’re out running.

    5 – Refuel Regularly

    Running is a high energy activity and blasts through up to 1,000 calories per hour. So if you’re going to be running long distances, you need to supply your body with plenty of fuel to meet this caloric demand. To do this, make sure you’re consuming between 30g and 60g of fast acting carbohydrates (in the form of dried fruit, energy bars, energy gels or sports drinks) for every hour that you run after the first 30 minutes.

    6 – Listen To Your Body

    Long distance running is very strenuous and places a lot of pressure on your body. Therefore, you need to pay attention to any signs that your body gives you and slow down or take a day off from training if you start to feel any significant pain or discomfort during or after your runs.

    7 – Keep Yourself Motivated

    Running long distances can seem monotonous and without the proper motivation, it’s easy to get bored and discouraged. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep your motivation levels high during long runs. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to put together an inspirational playlist that you can listen to while you run. You can also try changing your running route regularly and running with friends.

    8 – Give Yourself Fitness Rewards

    Fitness rewards are a great tool for ensuring that you constantly improve when training for a long distance run and involve giving yourself a reward for achieving certain fitness goals. These fitness goals could include running a set number of miles in a week, achieving a certain pace or setting a new distance record and the rewards can be anything you choose. By incorporating fitness rewards into your long distance running training program, you’ll find that you feel much more motivated to run and much more satisfied with the progress you make.

    9 – Stretch & Strengthen

    While running is an important part of your training program, if you want to perform at your peak, you’ll also need to incorporate stretching and strength training into your regime. By stretching regularly, you can lower your injury risk and also prevent the onset of soreness after you run. By implementing strength training into your routine, you can maximize your running speed and boost your endurance levels.

    10 – Don’t Run Every Day

    When you start to see consistent improvements, you may be tempted to go out for a run every day. However, getting plenty of rest is just as important as training regularly and for the best results, you need to strike a healthy balance between the two. To do this, aim to have 3 days per week where you don’t do any running and keep physical activity to a minimum.

    Summary

     I hope this article helps to make your introduction into the world of long distance running a little easier. Now all that’s left to do is get started and complete your very first long distance run.