Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

How to Get Better at Long Distance Running

Are you seeking how to get better at long distance running? If so, welcome to rundreamachieve. You have most certainly come to the right website. There are a lot of people seeking answers to this question. I always tell my visitors and the runners I mentor to have patience and think long-term. The reason being is that it takes time in order to master long distance running. We all can work on our overall leg speed but running fast over long periods of time is an art form. Furthermore, just about anyone can run slow for a matter of seconds to several minutes. It takes a combination of proper training anaerobically as well as aerobically in order to run well for long distance events.

In addition, you also want to pay attention to your nutrition. There are far too many athletes who are not consuming enough protein in their diets. Also, it is very easy to run low on iron and ferritin which we lose through sweat. You can have all of the motivation in the world but if you run low on this your oxygen carrying capacity will be diminished. Thus, your cells won't be able to function at optimal levels. So, how to get better at long distance running also means paying attention to the small details of your preparation. I can guarantee that most of your competition will slack in these areas. Remember, the goal of the rundreamachieve brand is to help you to work smarter and use leverage. How many hard working athletes do you know who don't always get the results they are seeking? I have known many over the years.

How to Be Better at Long Distance Running

Focus on quality versus quantity. Remember, it isn't about the volume of mileage you are putting in as much as it the quality. How often are you training at, near or far below your goal race pace? I knew for me to improve upon my debut marathon of 2:43:36 and run under 2:22:00 I needed to make some drastic changes. There is a massive difference in being able to sustain 6:14 versus 5:25 mile pace over the marathon distance. I started doing my long runs at faster, varied paces and ended up running 2:19:35 for the marathon. I also dropped my half marathon personal best from 1:10 to 1:07:06 using this same tactic.

In addition, I also started practicing ingesting more fluid during my long runs and drinking more during my races. One of the biggest mistakes I see athletes making in long distance running events is not drinking enough or taking in sufficient calories during their races. You cannot expect to run a personal best neglecting your nutrition and ingesting enough fluid during these longer races. Furthermore, it essential that you give your muscles and brain what it vitally needs during your race. So, don't pass up aid stations when you see them during your race whether you are in a 5K or a marathon. Sit out water bottles during your long runs in training and practice drinking. I made major mistake earlier in my career not taking this tactic seriously. I started setting big personal bests from the 5K to the marathon when I changed up how I was drinking in the race. So, how to be better at long distance running isn't just about the hard workouts we do. It is also about the tactics and strategies the best runners use and emulating their success.

How to Run Longer Without Stopping

Focus on doing one, Vo2 max workout per week. Why? Well, these workouts are highly anaerobic. You will only be able to sustain these efforts for a few seconds to a few minutes. That being said, you will also be training at speeds that far exceed what you are aiming to hold in your race. The benefits of these styles of workouts will make race pace feel less aggressive. In addition, you will gain confidence because you will be hitting splits in the race efficiently. Lastly, you will be able to sustain pace longer during your race and slow down less than your competition. Again, the overall goal is to slow down less than those around you in the race. So, you want to utilize what you have far more of (fat storage) and call upon what you have less of (carbohydrate storage) when you need it most.

It is the latter stages of your race where you really want to call upon those essential glycogen stores. You don't need to experience the so-called “wall” in your race if you have trained at proper paces in training. Remember, it isn't about working harder. Higher mileage doesn't always equate to faster races. Your goal is to run under your specific goal race pace more efficiently than your competition. Again, be patient with your build up. It takes time to start training effectively at faster paces. So, build up your easy, base mileage first. Focus on doing 5-6x100m strides three days a week and do no more than that aside from your easy miles or kilometers. Once you have built up between 4 to 8 weeks of easy running then move into a 16 week block of training. I have numerous courses and training plans here at rundreamachieve to help you get to the next level in your races. So, click the link below to learn more about them.

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How Can I Run Longer without Getting Tired?

Train faster. In addition, slowly build up your training mileage to higher volumes. of course, easier said than done. I totally understand that the process of success is much more difficult than the end result we seek. That being said, with time, anyone can run faster for longer periods of time. Mental training is also vitally important for success in middle to long distance running. How often do you visualize yourself performing well in a race or crossing the finish line in the time you are seeking to run? I was very consistent with seeing myself running a 2:21:59 time mentally while I was still a 2:43:36 marathon. So, you have to see yourself doing what you want to do prior to it becoming a reality. Below is a picture of me achieving what it was that I seeking to do which was to run a marathon under 2 hours and 22 minutes. I surpassed it running under 2 hour and 20 minutes.

How to Get Better at Long Distance Running
Finishing in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon

Closing Thoughts

So, my overall goal for you is to help you run faster over shorter as well as longer distances. Focus on what you can control. You can't do anything about the past. Poor races and challenges are part of the process to the path to success. I, too, had several disappointing races and workouts prior to running my personal bests. You are welcome to visit the about page to learn more about some of my past races and experience if you wish. Would you like to have more one-on-one coaching and mentorship with me? If so, perhaps our membership community is something you would be interested in. I, too, invested in private coaching over the years and I credit it to the time you see above.

I have always believed in the power of studying from someone that has done what I wish to do. You bypass many of the mistakes other runners make by doing this. Also, correct leaks in your own training that have not always worked for you in the past. I hope this post on how to get better at long distance running has been helpful to you and wish you continued success.

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