#AskAppy: How Do I Start Long Distance Running? July 13, 2017 – Posted in: How to, Lifestyle
Hi Yashi, Thank you for a really interesting question. Both, Aditi and I love running. Just a few years ago, we struggled to complete a lap around the park but with continuous effort, we’ve been able to put over a combined total of 1000 kms on our Nike Running profile while completing competitive races. So, we’re pretty confident that you can do so too.
Here’s our top tips for long distance running:
Find your base pace: An easy pace that you can run while holding a conversation without running out of breath. Once you determine this pace, the next step is to Target Time.
Do not aim to chase distance rather target time, say 15 mins, and then work towards increasing it to 30 mins whilst jogging with an easy pace. It’s completely fine to take walk breaks if you find it hard to run non-stop.
Avoid running every day of the week. You will need dedicated days to strengthening your body and working on your flexibility. 3-4 runs per week has worked wonders for us. Make sure you attempt a long run once a week. This is to test your boundaries and push it little by little.
Log your miles:
Use an App to record the miles you’ve run. We’re huge fans of Strava and Nike Running. Though your goal is to target time, it helps to know how much you’ve run per week. It will help you record your timing and improve on it.
Perform Speed drills:
Once you’ve consistently logged in runs for over 6 weeks, you will feel more confident to step up your pace and target distance. This step is for later. Speed drills are short burst of fast running, say 500 metres 5 times. You can increase this distance as you get better.
Register for a Race:
Even if you are a beginner, there’s nothing more motivating than an event lurking around the corner. It forces you to be serious and do your best. So go ahead and register for a 5k or 10k run. Make sure you train with all seriousness for all events.
Besides these points, here are some other tips that you MUST follow at all times. These are extremely critical for your progress and safety.
Running is an impact activity. You need to perform a dedicated warm up before you run. Every joint and muscles between the joints need to be properly warmed up. You can read more here.
Cardio workouts deplete water levels and electrolytes in your body. So it is critical that you hydrate yourself at all times. The amount of water you drink on a Tuesday can impact your Wednesday morning run.
Proper Running shoes and Gear:
To avoid injury while running it is vital to invest in good running shoes. There are ample options in the market these days. The shape/pronation of your feet will determine what shoes will be suitable for you. We use Skechers Go Run and Nike FlyKnit. Comfortable running gear will make your run enjoyable. Decathlon has great products at amazing prices.
Focus on form:
Yes, running must be done in proper form. This includes having a healthy forward lean, correct landing and engaging your muscles. Midfoot landing has given us great results. Think of squishing a bug with your midfoot on every step. Forward leap must engage calf, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Failure to stick to proper form will inevitably result in injuries. Think about form constantly till it becomes a habit.
Do not head home once you finish a run. Always stretch your muscles and relax your joints after every workout. This helps in speedy recovery and minimises soreness.
Join a Running group: Find a Running group in your locality and run with them. It’s much more fun to sync with a group energy. We do our long runs on Sundays in South Delhi. Hit us up if you live nearby.
We hope this information helps you. We tried to make this precise and engaging. Please let us know if you need further details. To know more, do check out magazines such as Runner’s World.