How To Train To Run Further
Maybe you’ve recently started running, or you’ve been running for a while. The question is once you’ve become comfortable with a distance and want to push your limits further how do you increase your running distances? The good news is that there are safe and invigorating ways of breaking your current plateau.
Do a Proper Warm-Up – A good warm-up before heading out on your run can prevent the muscle tightness, side stitches and other discomforts that could prevent you from accomplishing your running distance goals. At the end of each workout, don’t forget to cool down for a minimum of five minutes to prevent over-exertion.
Stretch Mid-Run – Many runners experience muscle tightness so intense that they end their session early. If this happens to you, stop and stretch the affected muscle for around 30 seconds and then try continuing. This can be all you need to accomplish greater distances.
Alternate Your Run Days – Instead of running (for example) five days in a row, try alternating your days (e.g. three days a week) for up to 12 weeks. Recovery is an important part of training, as your body needs time to adjust and adapt to the increasing demands you place on it. Research suggests that a minimum of four to six weeks is required for proper adaptation to occur, which will enable you to run longer or faster.
Once the 12-week milestone is passed, review your progress. If you truly feel that you can run for more days, increase your run time to four days a week over the next four to six-week period. Evaluate your ability again and if, you feel up to it, add one day. Slow and gradual always delivers more sustainable results.
Vary Your Running Distance – Vary the distance that you travel during each session. Plan a different distance and different route for each run. This will keep your training more enjoyable and inspiring, and keep you from boredom-induced lethargy. Once you have some variation under your belt, choose one day to accomplish your longest run of the week, and use that day to elevate your mileage to the distance you aspire to reach. The other two run days will be shorter, preventing overexertion.
Increase Your Mileage Each Week – Veteran runners swear by increasing their total mileage by 10% each week. This increase is so gradual that you will adapt more easily and reduce the risk of burning out or injuring yourself.
Use Your ‘Non-Run’ Days to Cross-Train – Use the days that you’re not scheduled to run to lift weights, swim, do Pilates, and other activities. In addition to complementing your running, cross-training will build muscle flexibility and strength and balance your opposing muscle groups.
Monitor Your Run Pace – Pay attention to the pace at which you run. Stay at a comfortable intensity level when you are increasing your mileage. Use your walk breaks to recover, catch your breath, and relax your muscles.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site