Long-distance running is not easy. It requires a lot of stamina, patience, and perseverance, and it can take a little while to get into the swing of doing it.
When you do get into it, though, it’s incredibly rewarding and a very beneficial form of exercise.
Anyone can start long-distance running whenever they want, but in order to get better at it, there are lots of things you can do.
Long-distance running isn’t a casual kind of exercise; it requires a lot of preparation, lifestyle changes, and commitment, but if you are willing, you will reap the benefits.
If you want to get better at long-distance running, then you have come to the right place.
We have put together a list of some tips and tricks that will help you get better at running long distances, so read on to find out everything you need to know!
Tips on How to Get Better at Running Long Distances
It is not easy to increase running distance for a beginner runner. Here are some tips on how to run long distances without getting tired:
1. To Become a Better Long-Distance Runner, You Must Build Endurance and Be Patient
- Incorporate long runs into your training routine.
- These runs should be slower than your race pace but cover longer distances.
- Focus on increasing your endurance by adding a mile or two to your long run each week.
This might seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but we cannot stress how important it is to be patient on your running journey.
No one starts off being able to run 10 miles, they build up their stamina and muscles, and over time, they get there.
It’s common for beginner runners to be eager to jump into intense training immediately (I’m guilty of that too, which led to foot injuries slowing my progress). Starting slowly and building a foundation is essential to preventing injuries and achieving long-term progress.
Patience is incredibly important to have as a long-distance runner.
Our minds tend to move a lot faster than our bodies, and it can be incredibly frustrating when your body can’t quite do what you want it to.
This is why practicing patience will help you, both mentally and physically.
Patience will help you deal with having to take things slowly at first, and it will keep you calmer when you can’t quite run as far as you want to yet.
Running is meant to be exhilarating and positive, not an awful experience!
2. Maintain Your Running Routine to Improve Your Long-Distance Running
- Establish a schedule: set specific days and times for your running workouts.
- Treat them as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
- Start slow and gradually increase
- Consistency is key to forming a habit.
In order to get better at running long distances, you have to be consistent in your training.
You can’t just run once a week and expect to improve. You really need to run a few times a week.
Each time you run, you get stronger, and you will be able to run for longer distances each time, especially if you are consistent.
This is why planning and actually sticking to a routine is so important. Work out which days you can dedicate proper time to your running routine and stick to it.
It’s fine if you have to break the routine once in a while for other obligations, but you do need to prioritize the running too!
3. Always Warm Up for Your Long Runs, and Remember to Rest!
- Warm-up, rest, and recovery are essential to a well-rounded running routine.
- Rest days allow your body to repair and adapt to the stress of long runs.
Warm-ups are incredibly important for any exercise because they wake your muscles up and help you to avoid injury.
If you start running before you warm up, you won’t feel pain or discomfort straight away, but you will pay for it later!
Warming up can help you avoid injury, and it will make you avoid muscle cramps so that you can run for longer.
It also means that you don’t have to spend as much time in recovery, which can drastically affect the progress you make when running long distances.
Warm-ups don’t have to be too intense, either. Simple stretches and even a ten-minute walk count as a warm-up, so find a style that works for you!
4. Stay Hydrated on Your Long Runs
- Stay properly hydrated throughout the day and during your runs.
- Dehydration can impair performance and hinder recovery.
- Drink water consistently and consider electrolyte-rich fluids for longer runs.
This one might seem like a no-brainer too, but you would be surprised at how many people get into long-distance running and forget to stay hydrated.
Long-distance running expells a lot of water from the body, so it is important to replenish it as much as you can.
Whenever you go for a long-distance run, even on really cold days, make sure you have some water with you.
Dehydration can really catch you out, and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Rehydrating will also give you more energy, which will allow you to run for longer.
5. Get The Right Kit for Long-Distance Running
- Invest in good-quality running shoes and comfortable clothing suitable for long-distance running.
- Visit a specialty running store to get fitted for the right shoes that suit your running style and foot mechanics.
When you get serious about long-distance running, it is incredibly important that you invest in the right kit.
As you will be running for a long time, it is super important to get the right shoes.
If you were driving a car and you didn’t have the right tires, it would severely impact the performance of both the car and your driving, and this is exactly what happens when you don’t have the right shoes.
The running shoes you wear should always be good quality and comfortable. Your running clothes should be moisture-wicking, which will stop rubbing and control how sweat sticks to you.
With the right kit, you can run better and for longer!
6. Get Better At Running Long Distances With Proper Sleep & Nutrition
- Sleep and nutrition play vital roles in supporting your running performance, overall health, and recovery.
- Fuel properly before your runs.
- Eat a small meal or snack that includes carbohydrates and moderate protein before your runs to provide fuel and optimize performance.
- Experiment with different options to find what works best for your body.
- Refuel within 30-60 minutes after your runs with a combination of carbohydrates and protein to aid muscle recovery.
When we say you will be required to make lifestyle changes as a long-distance runner, this is one of the things we mean!
It might seem a bit dramatic to include sleep and nutrition on this list, but you would be surprised by how much they impact your ability to run properly!
There is a lot of time spent in recovery when it comes to long-distance running, and when you don’t get proper sleep or nutrition, it can make the recovery process harder.
Sometimes, it can elongate it, which means you will be running less.
You don’t have to be over the top with your sleep and nutrition though.
All you have to do is make sure that you are getting adequate sleep every night, and you also need to make sure you are eating healthy.
Start off small. Even just an extra hour of sleep or an extra nutritious meal a week is better than not making any changes. Work your way up to a more intense routine!
Our sleep and nutritional needs may vary, so it’s important to listen to your body and make adjustments that work best for you.
The Bottom Line
Long-distance running is incredibly challenging, so how do you get better at running long distances? Well, it can be made a lot easier when you know how to cater your lifestyle to it.
If you want to get better at running, remember that practice, patience, and consistency are the keys to your success.
Listen to your body, and pay attention to any pain, discomfort, or signs of overtraining. Adjust your training intensity if needed. It’s important to strike a balance between pushing your limits and avoiding injury.
Keep in mind that becoming a skilled long-distance runner takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see progress right away!