Are you training for a long-distance race? Whether you’re running a marathon, an ultra-marathon, or just going out for a long run, here are some of our top tips to make the most of your longer runs, both in training and on race day.
- Get the right gear
If you're going to be spending hours in your kit, you’ll want to invest in some good quality, comfortable gear. It’s worth spending some money on a comfortable pair of running shoes that offer the right kind of support and cushioning for you. Some comfortable bottoms – whether these are shorts or leggings – are also crucial. Like with shoes, you’ll want to find some bottoms that offer the right level of comfort and support for how you run.
It's also important to dress appropriately for any weather conditions that might arise when out running. Make sure you've got appropriate clothing on hand just in case it gets cold at night or wet during the day when out on foot! A lightweight waterproof or a nice long sleeve will always be a good idea for when the weather turns and the rain comes.
- Slow down to speed up
When running longer distances, it’s very easy to over-do it and end up injuring yourself. It may sound counter-intuitive but by slowing your pace down and doing longer, slower runs, you’ll build up an invaluable base fitness which will not only help prevent injuries but will also help improve your fitness, stamina and speed.
Running slower to help you run faster is the core of many many high-level running coaches’ strategies so be sure to take note from the pros!
- Look after your muscles
You’ll be putting your body and muscles under a huge amount of strain when training for a long-distance race so make sure you look after yourself! Stretching before a run will help to warm up your muscles and get the blood pumping. This will not only provide the short-term benefit of getting you pumped and ready for the run but long-term, will help to reduce injuries and be good for your heart and lungs.
- Stay hydrated
While running, you can lose 500ml to 1000ml of water so it’s vital to keep yourself topped up. Have a big drink of water before you head off and if you can, drink while you’re out running. Not only will this help to keep you cool but will also make your run more enjoyable – no one likes running when they’re parched!
Having a sports drink can also be highly beneficial. You’ll use up a lot of your body’s store of electrolytes (all the important salts that are good for your muscles) so a hydrating sports drink will help to get water back in yourself and top up those important electrolyte stores.
- Train with others
While running alone can be amazing and do wonders for your mental health, sometimes it can be nice to mix it up Running with friends, family and teammates can be a great way of spicing up your training and making it more fun.
Having someone running alongside you to talk to is also a great way of distracting you which will make the run feel much easier!
- Give yourself time to recharge
Your time spent not running is just as important as your time spent running. Studies show that it can take up to 4 weeks to full recover from a marathon, so make sure you’re giving yourself enough time for your body and mind to rest and recharge. Running does take a toll on your body and if you don’t take the time to recover, muscles soreness, fatigue and injuries can creep in. You should aim to take at least one day off a week to give your body a chance to recover, reset and get ready for the training week ahead.
We hope these have been useful tips and can’t wait to see how you get on in your next long run. Please do tag us on socials (@ZONE3Official on Instagram and Facebook) so we can share how you’re getting on!