Long-distance running seems overwhelming for a beginner marathon runner. After knowing about the distance it seems undoable task and runners start wondering how to run long-distance marathons.
Many runners join running groups in their locality to get tips for long-distance running. These groups help beginner runners to be physically and mentally fit for running long-distance running through proper training.
Before diving into the techniques and tips for running long-distance running let’s have a look at what is long-distance running.
What is long-distance running?
Long-distance running ranges from 3 km through 5km, 10 km, 20 km and up to the full marathon which is 42.1 km (26 miles and 385 yards).
Long-distance running also includes ultra marathons which are 50 km plus. You usually have to be eligible for participating in ultra marathons.
Marathon is considered as a physical activity but in reality, it also tests your mental ability while completing the distance. A runner needs to be mentally fit for long-distance running.
If you want to participate in long-distance running you need to have a proper training plan as you cannot get ready for marathons overnight.
Just like any other sports, there is a process to get ready for the race day. Through proper and committed training plan you will be aware of running techniques for long-distance running.
Here are some important tips which will help you to run long distance.
Tips for long-distance running.
- First Be Mentally Ready.
- Proper Hydration & Nutrition.
- Pace Yourself.
- Proper Training Plan.
- Keep Refuelling During Runs.
- Pro tip: Do Not Compete With Others
First Be Mentally Ready.
If you have ever attempted to run a long-distance race then you may be aware of how your mental ability is also tested in long-distance running. While running a runner has to surpass numerous mental obstacle.
Before going for long-distance running, it’s better to be mentally prepared first. A runner should develop a mental approach before running long distance marathons.
Race day is always full of surprises, unexpected challenges come up which a mentally strong runner can only face it.
According to experts “learning to take the right approach during physical training is the first step towards building a strong mindset for long-distance running”
Don’t keep on thinking about the finishing line, just stay positive and try to go with the flow.
Keep on repeating some affirmations to keep yourself motivated. Like Yess! I can do this, keep going!
Proper Hydration And Nutrition
If you are having an amazing physical training but overlooking nutrition and hydration plan then you are missing on an important factor for a successful long run.
Nutrition and hydration are ignored my most runners in their preparation for long-distance running, and without them, you won’t have the appropriate amount of energy to complete long-distance running.
Long-distance running is the intense run where runner burns thousands of calories, hence a runner should focus on nutrition and hydration to sustain long-running without any injuries.
While running runners need a high amount of carbohydrates to maintain blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates and protein intake are important for refuel and repair the muscles post-run.
Hydration is important for runners to enhance their running performance. Hydration avoids injuries, cramps, removes waste from your body and keeps you energetic during long-distance running.
Always remember, it’s not a sprint its a marathon! So pace yourself accordingly.
Marathon pace could differ from person to person depending upon one’s ability and experience in running.
Long-distance running is more about consistency than the speed. While running long-distance marathons a runner should have consistent pace throughout the distance. The increasing pace at early-stage and then crossing the finishing line with dead legs doesn’t make sense.
While training you should run 60-90 seconds slower than your planned race pace. This helps you to run in a better condition on race day.
HAVE A PROPER TRAINING PLAN
Training is the most crucial part to prepare for your first long-distance running. A proper training plan will make you physically and mentally fit for long-distance running.
There is an old saying that the more you sweat in training the less you bleed on the battlefield.
A proper training plan must include:
- Sunday – Long Run.
- Monday – Rest Day.
- Tuesday – Speed Training.
- Wednesday – Recovery Run.
- Thursday – Hill Training.
- Friday – Strength Training.
- Saturday – Flexibility & Mobility Training.
Most runners skip the mobility and flexibility training, but flexibility and mobility training has immense benefits on your long-distance running.
If you are a beginner runner who is not aware of long-distance running training, then you should join a running group in your locality.
This running group will improve your running technique and will motivate you to stay committed to the training plan.
A training plan helps you to boost your running performance in numerous ways. It also helps you to track your running progress. You will notice a gradual improvement in your endurance and ability to run long-distance races.
Majority of people think a marathon is just about running and you don’t need to have any proper training plan to complete it. Those who believe in this misconception have a tough time complete long-distance running and may face lots of injuries.
KEEP REFUELING YOURSELF
All the above-mentioned tips for long-distance running are pre-run tips, now let’s talk about the tip you need to remember on the Race Day.
Even if you followed all the above-mentioned long-distance running tips flawlessly, still race day will always surprise you.
Change in weather, sudden drop down in energy level, an unexpected injury, etc. are the challenges which are absolutely out of your control.
Hence, to withstand these challenges you need to keep on refuelling yourself during the run.
Long-distance running is an intense activity which demands a high amount of energy, runners need to keep refuelling their body for completing the distance.
Refuelling helps you with required nutrition and hydration which provides you with energy to boost your running performance.
Lack of refuelling during the runs will increase the chance of Hitting The Wall.
Hitting the wall is a term used in running when a runner goes out of carbohydrates which leads to decline in glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. This will lead to sudden fatigue and loss of energy.
You can carry some energy bars, nuts, energy gels, etc. to keep your energy level high to complete the long-distance running.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
This is the most crucial tip for all the beginner runners out there. I have observed that few runners thrive hard to be better than their fellow runners.
Running is an individual sport and in running you just have to keep chasing the better version of yourself.
Trying to get better than others won’t help you to improve your running form or boost your running performance, it will only demotivate you when some other runner is performing well.
The best way to get better at running is staying committed to the training plan, believing in yourself and never give up!
First, always be mentally ready for long-distance running. Plan and train accordingly to boost your performance and to avoid injuries. Follow your training plan dedicatedly and focus on hydration and nutrition.
And always remember the most important tip for long-distance running NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS. You are an amazing runner just step out and practice!