Running is a great way to get and stay in shape. And if you’ve always just run shorter distances, then you are missing out on the many benefits that long distance running has to offer. However, if you are thinking of transitioning into covering more miles in your running sessions, there are some things that you need to know first.
While you may be able to retain a fairly fast speed when running a 5K, slower is better if you are running a longer distance. This will help you keep your energy and momentum up long after you would have normally quit your running routine, not to mention that it is easier on your body as you are going to be spending much more time on the treadmill or road.
Take Smaller Steps
Run small distances and you likely take fairly long strides to see how much you can improve your time. However, when running long distance, you are better off taking smaller, lighter steps as this helps to balance your body and is easier on your feet since they don’t take as much impact.
Vary Your Distances
Just because you’re entertaining the idea of running long distance doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t throw in some shorter sessions too. You’ll gain more benefit by varying the lengths of your runs, allowing your body to build both strength and stamina and providing you the best results.
Fuel Yourself Properly
One major difference between running short and long distances is the amount of fuel your body needs to complete the run. So, before increasing your distance, you’re going to want to take in some extra carbs. Aim to eat carb-heavy the night before long runs, and have a mini-meal that is heavy on carbs about two hours before you actually head out.
What distances are you setting out to run? I’d love to know, so feel free to comment!