When it comes to running, perhaps you are more accustomed to going for short or middle distances. In other words, you run no more than 10 kilometers per workout, and so far you have found it to be beneficial in terms of helping you stay healthy, despite the busy workload of life.
However, recently you have been interested in challenging yourself and trying to prepare for longer runs, especially those over 10 kilometers. Perhaps you would like to do so as means of preparing for the next half marathon, to push yourself to become even more athletic and healthier than before. At the same time, though, you might not be so sure how to get started, let alone safely ease into it to prevent injuries from happening.
You might be at loss on how to get started, but have no fear: we are here to help! Read on to learn more in this article on how to prepare for a long run. We will give you tips and tricks on how to maximize your workouts to help you improve, and soon enough, you will be able to run your best in no time.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
You might be thinking that long runs require a lot of special items to maximize your experience. Surprisingly, you only need just a few items in order to make it work. Here, we list just a few items that you will need to do so:
Might come as an obvious, but you might be surprised to know that many runners end up buying the wrong pair of shoes which consequently can lead to foot problems and even injuries.
We have already covered some of the basics in our article on how to choose the best running shoes, but in any case, it helps to look at a few things: size, shape, arch support, cushioning, breathability, and durability. Considering all of these will better help you determine the right pair to wear and run comfortably in.
From running shorts to compression socks, investing in some of these specific athletic apparels can help make your running experience just a bit more efficient, if not down right comfortable and enjoyable. While they are not absolutely necessary, it does not hurt to try them out!
Especially if you are looking to break your personal record, it is a good idea to use a watch to time yourself, whether in total distance, mile splits, and everything in between. Racing against the clock motivates you to push yourself and become a faster, more efficient runner, especially in long distance.
Considering that you will be logging in more mileage, having a water bottle on hand will come in handy. A rule of thumb is to hydrate every 30 minutes or so, before switching to electrolytes after over an hour of running. Hence, investing in a good water bottle is advisable.
Following the workout, warming down is crucial, so it helps to have items like stretch bands and foam rollers around to loosen up muscles and prevent them from getting overly sore or injured later. While not 100 percent necessary, it certainly does help to have them within reach.
Now that you have the necessary items you need, it is time to start training for that long run! Here, we highlight the steps you will need to do to succeed:
If you set a specific goal, chances are you will more likely be motivated to follow through with it, instead of having a general idea in your mind. That said, write down what you plan to accomplish each week in a daily planner, making sure you cross them off every time you complete them.
If you normally run about 5 kilometers but would like to shoot for 10 kilometers and over, you will need to slowly build up resistance before you can reach that goal. Starting off too soon, going from zero to 100 in a short span of time not only puts you at risk for stress fractures, but also discourages you from continuing on with it when you do not see clear results in a short window of time.
Hence, it benefits to increase by no more than 10 percent of the mileage each week. By building up resistance over time, you will soon start to see the results!
Interestingly enough, you can improve your long-distance resistance by spicing it up with shorter, but more intense distance runs. When you do the same workout over long periods of time, your body starts to adjust to it, which makes it difficult for you to improve more.
Therefore, look into switching between long runs and workout circuit days every week, along with some weight-training and yoga added into the mix. It is all about balance, and in the end, it should help with your long runs.
It is not just a matter of working out to improve on long runs, but also it concerns your daily lifestyle. Nutrition is important, and eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein will greatly benefit you in the long run, literally and figuratively. Besides enhancing your athleticism, you can also improve the quality of your everyday life.
Besides getting a good night’s sleep every night, this also refers to knowing when to give your body a break, especially if you are feeling worn down. By doing so, you prevent injuries and burn-out from happening, which in the end will work out.
Overall, preparing for a long run is a huge commitment. However, by knowing what to expect and tackling it head-on, you can be sure to achieve your goals in no time.
Feel free to comment and share! Happy Running!