Last updated on February 16th, 2024
Discover the essential steps to maximize your performance before starting a long distance running. These include donning breathable attire, selecting appropriate running footwear, preparing mentally, and more.
Participating in long-distance running has numerous advantages, such as enhancing mental wellness and physical fitness. Many individuals who engage in this activity witness positive changes in their cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and body structure.
Running long distances can be a fantastic method for maintaining fitness. However, if you fail to adequately prepare, the constant strain on your joints can have negative effects on your body. To ensure you get the most out of your runs and reap the full benefits, take into account the following training suggestions on your journey of long distance running.
Wear breathable and lightweight clothes
To remain at ease during lengthy runs, it is crucial to wear appropriate clothes. In regions with high temperatures, it is advisable to opt for garments that facilitate airflow and minimize heat in critical hot spots. Loose-fitting attire crafted from lightweight fabrics can offer unrestricted mobility while running.
Clothing with moisture-wicking capabilities is often an excellent selection to prevent excessive perspiration and maintain a dry state.
In chilly conditions, it is important to wear suitable attire to avoid losing too much body heat. Due to reduced sweating, runners can opt for thicker fabrics and snugger garments like tights to shield themselves from the cold.
Select correct shoes
When it comes to long distance running, runners depend on their shoes to endure the strain of countless miles while still providing the utmost cushioning and comfort. Those in search of the perfect running shoe for long distances should prioritize finding a pair that offers great durability, comfort, and affordability.
The shoe that suits you best will be determined by factors such as how your foot rolls inward when you run, the way you move while running, your level of experience, and the structure of your foot. When running long distances, it is common for feet to swell, so many runners prefer shoes with ample space in the toe area. If you are new to running, having additional padding in your shoes can provide relief to your joints as you adjust to a new training routine. On the other hand, experienced runners might find that they can manage with shoes that have a more minimalistic design.
Plan your training scheme
When you discover an activity that brings you joy, it's tempting to dive in headfirst. While enthusiasm is admirable, rushing into a new training routine without proper preparation can result in overuse injuries. If you're starting a long distance running regimen, it's wise to begin with slower or shorter distances and pay attention to your body's signals. As you become stronger, you can gradually increase your distances and speed. The duration of this progression may vary depending on your initial fitness level, but rest assured, you'll soon be in prime condition and feeling great.
Warm up and cool down
To maintain the health of your joints and muscles, it is vital to warm up and cool down before and after a long run. Prior to stretching your leg muscles, start with a gentle jog or do some jumping jacks. This will make your muscles more flexible and decrease the chances of getting injured. After your run, when your body is still warm, stretch your leg muscles to minimize any discomfort or pain you may experience the following day.
Ensure proper hydration
Maintaining comfort and good health during long distance runs is highly dependent on staying hydrated. When you become dehydrated, your energy levels decline and you may experience dizziness. To ensure proper hydration during your runs, it is important to focus on three main stages: hydrating before your run, hydrating during your run, and hydrating after your run. If your run lasts less than 45 minutes, you might be able to forgo hydration during the run. However, for longer runs, it is advisable to either carry water with you (a water backpack can be very useful) or plan a pit stop to replenish your hydration levels.
To ensure proper hydration, adhere to these guidelines:
- Before your run, drink 2-3 cups of water roughly two hours in advance;
- While running, consume approximately 1 cup of water every 20 minutes;
- After your run, drink 2-3 cups of water for every pound of weight lost.
Although individual requirements may differ, abiding by these recommendations can safeguard against dehydration, particularly in hot environments.
Embrace rest days
Embrace your rest days. They are crucial for preventing overuse injuries in your joints. Every runner should schedule at least one day of rest per week, and some may need more. If you're a beginner or recovering from an injury, start with only 1-2 days of running per week to allow your body to adjust. As you become more experienced and fitter, you can gradually increase to 4-6 days per week.