Last Updated: July 8th, 2022
Do you want to get better at running long distances? If you are currently struggling, then this article will help you to improve your long-distance running. So, just read on…
How to get better at running long distances?
To get better at running long distances here is what you need to do:
- Slow down your runs.
- Select your running shoes according to your foot arch and pronation.
- Work on your core and lower part of the body, especially glutes and hamstrings.
- Don’t ignore long runs in your training.
- Do a lot of strength training and cross-training.
- Work on improving your lung capacity.
- Focus on your diet.
- Sleep well.
- Don’t overtrain or train your way to adrenaline fatigue and/or injury.
- Hydrate yourself properly, even when you are out for a run.
- Take precautions so that you don’t fall ill often.
- Work on improving your immunity for better health.
- Give yourself time to recover from a strenuous workout/run.
- Rest days are mandatory.
If you follow the advice above and take them to your heart, you will be able to see significant improvement in your performance in as few as 30 days and eventually become better at running long distances.
Whether you are a road runner, trail runner, run on sand or concrete, this advice holds true for every type of long-distance running.
How to start running long distances?
To start running long distances, you must start by running 5K. Follow a Couch to 5K plan if you are a complete beginner. Once you are comfortable running 5K, increase the distance to 10K, then to half-marathon, then a marathon, and the list goes on…
To start running long distances, you first understand what is a long-distance run?
What is a long-distance run?
Any running distance that is greater than equal to 3Km or 1.9 miles is considered a long-distance run.
So, basically, you will have to run 3Km in one session of running to get into running longer distances.
Then why did I ask you to run 5K?
The thing is, many of us, try to reduce the distance to a certain extent once they start training (if not doing professionally or with a trainer).
So my theory is to set a bigger target than is actually required. If we achieve the bigger target, then we will be doing more than that is required. Otherwise, if we fall short, then also, we would typically leave it near to the finish. In that case, also, we would have achieved the original target.
Actually, but it works…
Now the main question is, where will you find such a plan. The internet has a lot of nice plans to start with. Try out a couple of them to find one that you are comfortable with.
Also, there are specific apps that will provide you with this kind of training plan and will help you to keep a track of your progress.
Why test out these long-distance running plans?
The trainers who have created these plans have kept in mind an ideal runner with decent running abilities. However, you may not be at that fitness level yet…
If you start following such a plan, without testing, you will be discouraged very easily and you will not be able to achieve your long-distance running dreams.
How to increase running distance?
To increase the running distance you will have to first push yourself to run a bit longer. If your running distance is less than 1 mile, then first try to run 1 mile. From there move on to 5K and then to 10K and then to half marathon.
Also, to increase your running distance, you will have to improve your fitness as well. Here are some ways in which you can increase running distance. One will impact your running length directly and the others will impact the running distance indirectly.
10% rule of thumb
This is the same technique that I’ve mentioned above. This is more like a universal rule that we abide by. However, you may or may not be able to increase the distance by this much directly. If so, adjust the percentage increase according to your comfort level.
Also, if you are capable of going more, then you may increase the percentage by 2-3% more. Don’t increase it further as you may be risking getting injured.
Focus on speed improvement
If you can run the same distance in lesser time, then also, effectively you are increasing your running distance.
Here also you can utilize the 10% rule mentioned above but in place of distance use speed.
Also, if you are focusing more on speed, then you should include specific speed training and strength training in your routine.
Focus on increasing stamina
If you can last longer, then you can run longer distances.
Also, if you observe, increasing running distance is interlinked and is heavily dependent on one another.
If you are planning to increase stamina, then running extra distance will make it happen. Again if you have good stamina you will be able to run longer distances.
There are specific ways to improve stamina. Here are a couple of articles that may help you out…
- How To Improve Running Stamina In Under 2 Weeks?
- How To Increase Running Stamina By Food?
- How To Increase Running Stamina When You Are Just A Beginner?
- 17 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Running Endurance!
- Why is your running endurance getting worse? 5 tips to get your mojo back!
Improve your lungs capacity
If you can inhale more air than you are currently doing, it will help you to cover more distance without getting tired.
Also, if you focus on rhythmic breathing that will also help you to last longer running.
There are specifically a few breathing exercises that will help you to do that. Breathing techniques like deep breathing, diaphragm breathing, etc are very useful.
Here is how you can increase the capacity of your lungs:
Focus on Running Form
I can’t stress this point enough. If you want to increase your running distance, then focus on improving your running form.
Improving your running form will help you avoid running injuries. These injuries will make you stop running based on severity. However, this also means, that whatever stamina that you have built up before the injury will also plummet.
Also, improving your running form will help you to improve your energy utilization. In other words, you will start using your energy more efficiently, which in turn will help you to run longer distances.
How to last longer running?
To last longer running you will have to improve your mindset, endurance, and lungs capacity. Also, improving your running form will also help to have a more efficient energy utilization and thus last longer while running.
While running if you want to last longer then you will have to focus on a couple of things as mentioned above.
You can follow the techniques as mentioned above, but above all, focus more on your mindset. Before you want to conquer any distance, always think n your mind that you can do this.
This will help you to have more confidence in your abilities and also your mind will be more cooperative.
If you feel like your brain is giving up mid-distance, you can focus your mind on playing games. In short, divert your mind so that it doesn’t realize that it has run so much distance or the fact that your body is in pain.
How to get faster at running long distances?
To get faster at running long distances, you will have to slow down and run longer distances than you are used to. This will help you to improve your cadence and also will build stamina.
To get faster at running long distances, you will have to:
- Focus on improving cadence.
- Include more slow runs in your training.
- Focus on training your knees, hips, glutes, core, and hamstrings.
Trying to improve your cadence may be difficult at first. Focus on having short steps and try to run on your forefoot or midfoot.
Although, this transition is a bit awkward if you are a heel striker. However, if you deliberately try to run on the forefoot, you will be able to see a difference in a couple of weeks.
Also, interval training and for that matter HIIT can also be good ways to improve your cadence. Since you will be trying to run as fast as possible during a short interval of time, you will have no other way other than to improve your cadence.
Another way to improve your speed is to increase the distance that you typically run during your high-intensity sessions. This will help you to get faster but will take a significant effort from your side.
However, sticking to it will be worth your while and you will be able to see the changes in as little as 2 weeks.
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.