Long distance running training begins with setting a goal for yourself. Decide on the distance you want to reach and the time you want to cover it in. Whether it is a 5k, 10k or a marathon, aim for achieving that distance in the best possible time.
- Make a training schedule. Decide on the days and times you want to begin training and stick with them.
- Decide on wether you are going to train indoors on a rink, or outdoors on a trail or track. Try not to run in city traffic. There are too many distractions and negative influences that can impact your running.
- Wear running shoes that are comfortable, durable, lightweight and measured to your style of running. When long distance running, always opt for running shoes with the most cushioning and flexibility. Replace old shoes that have lost their cushioning.
- Dress appropriately. Wear running apparel that is proper for weather conditions. Lightweight shorts and shirts should be worn in warm and hot weather. Running pants and waterproof jackets should be worn in cold and wet weather.
- Diet. Eat foods that are a balance of protein and carbohydrates. Protein is needed for muscle strength and carbohydrates for energy.
- Always do stretching exercises before each run. Stretching is important to loosen muscles and prevent injury.
- If possible, find a running partner to keep you motivated. Running with someone is also helpful if you can carry on a conversation without getting winded. It is an indication that you are running at an efficient pace.
- Concentrate on your stride rate. Use a short, efficient stride with your arms parallel to the ground. Do not run with your arms down at your thighs or high at your shoulders. Count how many times you put down your right leg for 30 seconds, then multiply it by 4. Your stride rate should be around 180 per minute.
- Increase your mileage gradually with each run until you have reached your distance goal. Each run will increase your stamina.
- The most important advice for long distance running training is to stay hydrated. Carry or have access to water to replace the fluid you normally lose when running. Do not wait until you are thirsty. If you wait too long to replenish yourself, you may overheat and not be able to finish your run. Plan on periodic water breaks to keep yourself hydrated.
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