If you’re looking to move up to long distance running, find out how you need to change your routine so you can reach your goal.
Choose the Right Distance
In athletics, a ‘long distance’ run is considered anything over 5k or 3 miles – and there are plenty of distances that qualify from half marathons right through to full marathons.
If the furthest you run is 5k then try to stay at the lower end of the scale and move up to a 10k training plan. But if you’re comfortably running a 10k race without any recovery problems, then half or even full marathon training could be a good goal – all it takes is a few changes to your training.
Choosing the distance is vital – if you know what you’re aiming for you can set up a training plan designed to help you build up your distance and reach your goal.
Set Your Milestones
If you’re trying out a longer distance for the first time, it can be useful to set a few milestones along the way.
These act as smaller – and easier – goals to aim for during your training which can help you monitor your progress and provide extra motivation during your training program.
For instance, running for over an hour is a big step towards good long distance running. Or maybe try running to a landmark one mile away – that way you always have a goal in mind.
Think About Your Pace
It’s natural that as you increase the length of your run, your pace will need to change. Your 5k pace for example, would be hard to sustain over a full 10k at the start – so slow down your running until your body is used to the new distance.
A good way to work out what pace you should be running is to use a training plan like on the Runkeeper™ app– you input the pace you’d like to achieve and the program will build you a plan with a pace assigned for each run.
Lessen the Impact
It goes without saying that as you increase your distance, you’ll be taking more steps. And that means putting more strain on your joints as you pound the pavements.
There’s also the increased risk of blisters as you run for longer – so make sure you have a well-fitting and comfortable shoe. Team it up with a real running sock that maximizes the benefits of the shoe.
Try to choose a running shoe that’s designed for your gait so whether you have a neutral style, over-pronate or under-pronate the cushioning is designed specifically for the way you run.
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