With so many fun run events and marathons coming up around the world, we wanted to lean into the advice shared by Jaclyn Murphy, Head of Exercise Physiology and Senior Exercise Physiologist at Upwell Health Collective, to share her top 5 tips for when it comes to running long distances.
1. Increase your distance SLOWLY:
The number one mistake that everyone makes when they enter into long distance running is running too far and too fast too soon. This leads to injuries that can take a long time to recover from. Our aerobic fitness increases a lot quicker than our strength increases. This means that while we are often fit enough to run further distances and run faster quite quickly, there is a lag in our strength gains. To combat this avoid increasing your overall running mileage by more than 10% week to week or follow a running program designed to increase your running load gradually and safely.
2. Have a balanced training schedule
Having a balanced training schedule that includes running, strength training, pilates, yoga and rest can help to reduce the risk of developing an injury. When starting out running aiming for 2-3 runs per week is a good start. This leaves lots of opportunities to add in strength training, Pilates and yoga. Incorporating higher intensity exercise and lower intensity exercise creates a good balance and allows your body to recover ready for the next running session.
3. Not every run needs to be a PB:
Like increasing your running milage too quickly, running too fast can increase your risk of developing an overuse injury. Often when we start running we make the mistake of running as fast as we can every time we go for a run, this can lead to running too hard too often. To make sure that you can enjoy your run and run for a long time to come (as well as run longer distances) try slowing your pace right down. If your still unsure tray wearing and using a heart rate monitor and aiming for a heart rate around 60% of your maximum heart rate for most of your runs during the week. Likewise aiming for a perceived effort of 5-6/10.
4. Make time for rest:
While running everyday or most days of the week seems really appealing and an awesome way to start or end your day, it is not sustainable now or long term. If you are new to running aim for 2-3 runs per week and 2 days a week of complete rest or very low intensity activity such as KIC’s Mind & Body Pilates Masterclasses. If you are a seasoned and more experienced runner, running 4-5 times per week can be really healthy with 1-2 rest days or lower intensity days incorporated into your week.
5. Have FUN!
Running is great for building fitness but make sure to have fun with your running as well. Meeting a friend for a run and catch-up can be a really great way to make the time pass quickly. Changing your running routine and location can also help to keep your runs more interesting try taking your runs to the beach and running along the coastline or connect with nature by running along a new trail.
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