Running does not require much in terms of gears, like shoes and clothes, and in terms of athletic skills. But one of the biggest challenges for new runners is learning how to increase running distance without getting injured.
Getting Started for Long-Distance Running
There are good reasons for training to be a long-distance runner. Distance running promotes good health and is fun.
The truth though is that endurance running, and training for it, is hard.
The first obstacle is your own mental attitude, and your body. When starting out, your breathing is hard, and your muscles start to ache. You get tired easily. An untrained body will resist the increase in exercise.
Aside from the physical training you have to make sure that you are ready mentally and emotionally.
These are reasons for you to stop, bit with a strong mind, you can continue and overcome the obstacles.
1. The secret is to start slow
You find that your lungs complain at first longer runs. But your breathing eases up as you continue to exercise regularly. The aching muscles eventually relax.
Keep the pace very moderate at first. You are building your muscle and overall strength in the long term.
First runs, short or long, are always hard. So to start, pick an objective not far and not too long either.
Run 3 to five 5 a week, with rest days in between. Then, you can proceed on your own, or with a running trainer. Running with a friend makes it more fun, too.
2. Running Gear
Good running shoes are essential. They should fit well, and do not cause injuries.
Avoid bruised toenails familiar to runners. Shoes shouldn’t be too tight, they should have a spare room with about a thumb’s space between your big toe and the tip of the shoe.
3. Proper Nutrition and Food
Distance running needs specific nutrition. Carbohydrates are on top of the list. Proteins are necessary if you are still building strong muscles.
Absence of carbohydrates results in low blood sugar and low muscle glycogen when running. That would weaken your endurance leading to muscle fatigue.
Water, lots of it, is also needed all the way. Make it a habit to drink fluids when you are thirsty. You consume body fluids continuously, evaporated via sweat as you run.
4. Building Endurance
When you become stable and comfortable with your running, you may start to increase the distance. Do it slowly by growing not more than 10% every week. You may begin to increase your speed, too, but carefully.
Goals will help improve your game and keep you going. So this is the time where you can set long-term goals for your running.
Your final goal might be running long distances or whatever are your aspirations. The vital aspect of learning is to go for that goal one easy step at a time, and the slower, the better. You can’t just be a long-distance runner overnight.
Bodies are different from person to person, so don’t compare too much to other runners achievements. You have to pace your mind with your body.
5. Keep a Detailed Running log
Besides a good pair of running shoes, another helpful tool is a training log. There are lots of apps to do this. They can record details of your running like distances covered, rest days, dates of changes in anything, comments on being tired or achy, etc. If you have a heart rate chest trap or arm strap or watch, you can record your pulse rate.
The log has all the details in front of you for you to review it, as well as for planning future activities. And also to keep you motivated.
These are some general thoughts to keep in mind if you decide to go for endurance running. You will learn the details later as you go: from friends and coaches, from magazines, books, and the internet. The most important thing is that you enjoy running enough.