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When an athlete determines to learn the art of running, and even jogging, they must figure out what distance best suites their needs, their time schedules, and their desires. Obviously running 2 or 3 miles takes less time, and effort, than running 6 or 10 miles. It also takes a different mental attitude to complete 6 miles.
Running tips for long distance can help a runner transition from running a couple of miles each day to bringing in that one or two long distance runs each week to increase caloric burn, increase athletic ability and improve your chances for completing those races successfully.
The first thing a runner should understand is that you can’t go from running 2 miles to 10 in just one short week. This is a building process that requires weeks, if not months, to reach those high mileage weeks without incurring an injury that will sideline the athlete for weeks.
Unless you are racing or training at an elite level, the first several miles of your long distance run should be at a slightly slower speed than you anticipate running the last half. It’s best for your body and your mental game to be able to speed up as the run progresses and not to have to slow down because you’ve worn yourself out before the run has been completed. Finishing the run moving faster than you started will help to improve your mental and emotional anticipation of the next long distance run, instead of dreading something you had to push hard just to finish.
Another running tip for long distance is that long distance runners should always stay hydrated, drinking water throughout the day, whether they are running or not, to protect their kidneys and to flush out toxins and waste products. Long distance runners require a good amount of hydration to complete their runs with good performance. The more dehydrated you are when you start your run the more the performance suffers and the more water and fluid will be required during the run.
Another running tip for long distance is to give your body 2 days rest between long distance runs. This equates to two long distance runs a week. Between these runs you can intersperse runs that are shorter and have different goals. In a long run you are increasing your running base but on other days you’ll be able work on your speed or hill work.
Long distance runners and sprinters require the most support for their feet. Make sure that the shoes you are wearing haven’t lost their cushion and support so that your legs and hips don’t receive more pounding than is necessary.
Keep diversity in your long distance runs, you’ll have more fun and find that it’s more distracting. This distraction will help to decrease the discomfort you feel over the long distance and keep you focused. Run on different routes, at different paces, with different partners to keep your mind focused on the results you are trying to achieve.
Incorporate an off-season into your long distance running schedule. Take one to three months off each year and use other aerobic activities to keep your body in good cardiovascular shape. This change will keep your mind sharp and your body from injury.
Remember to stretch and strengthen sport specific muscles for long distance runs. Keeping your hamstrings and quadriceps strong and lengthened will help improve your stride, your ability to run distance and decrease the soreness you may feel after a long run.
And the last, and fun, running tip for long distance runners is to use massage over their lower extremities after a run to decrease the amount of lactic acid build up in the muscles. Lactic acid is a by-product of metabolism. Quite a bit of lactic acid is built up over long distance runs and it is deposited in the muscle until the blood can clear it. By massaging the muscles and staying hydrated you can help to release the lactic acid and therefore decrease the muscle stiffness and soreness after a long run.
Beginning a long distance running program can be fun, exciting and hold potential for improved times and performance at the shorter distances. Runners who are attempting to increase the time and distance run should take good care of their bodies and have realistic expectations...
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