Skip Nav
Wanna Do the Splits? 9 Poses to Make It Happen
Get Insanely Strong With This Intense 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout
Healthy Snacks
BRB, Filling a Bathtub With Siggi's Pumpkin & Spice Icelandic Yogurt

Long Distance Running Tips For Beginners

Tips For Tackling Long Runs

Many people sign up for races and marathons in the Summer, so Spring is the time to be training for them. If you're not used to running longer than three or four miles, here are some tips to help tackle longer distances.

  • Don't skimp on gear. Splurge on good wicking socks to prevent blisters, a durable and comfortable pair of sneaks, wicking clothes that are seamless to prevent irritation and chaffing, and a supportive sports bra. Good gear is so worth the extra dough.
  • Follow the 10 percent rule. The rule states: never increase your weekly mileage by more than 10 percent from the previous week. This means you want to gradually work up to that 18-mile run you have in your training schedule, rather than jumping right into it.
  • Slow down your pace. You may be used to running eight-minute miles when you run the three-mile loop in your neighborhood, but it'll be hard to keep up that pace when taking on a 10-mile run. As your body gets used to the increase in mileage, you can gradually begin to increase your speed.
  • Don't be afraid to take walking breaks. Longer distances mean you're on your feet for longer periods of time, so you'll notice your muscles becoming fatigued. Continuing to run with a tired body can lead to muscle damage or another injury. Allow your body time to build up endurance and have some time to recover by including short walking breaks at regular intervals.
  • Stay hydrated. During your run, sip eight ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. Plain water is fine if you're running an hour or less. If your run is longer, you'll need to replenish lost electrolytes, so drink Smartwater or make your own sports drink with Nuun tablets.
  • Consume quick carbs every hour. Aim for 30 to 60 grams of carbs every 60 minutes. Gu or Luna Sport Moons are great options.
  • Figure out what motivates you to keep going. When your mind begins to think about nothing but stopping, you'll need a way to inspire your legs to keep on moving. Running outside in a gorgeous setting, listening to a new CD, tracking your run with a heart rate monitor or iPhone app, or running with a buddy may give you the push you need to reach your goal.
  • Reward your efforts. Once you reach your goal, honor your efforts with a massage, pedicure, haircut, a new CD or running shorts, a sweet treat (something reasonable that won't undo all the good you did), or a night out with your favorite people. It may help to have the reward in mind before beginning your long run, so it can motivate you to keep on going.
Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
BlindArcher BlindArcher 4 years
"Follow the 10 percent rule" must be followed
herbal-pills-store herbal-pills-store 4 years
thanks for post
stilllearning2b stilllearning2b 5 years
I am so guilty of increasing mileage too quickly and then I pay for it with overuse injuries.  I've signed up for my first marathon this fall and my goal is to stick to that 10% rule!
runningesq runningesq 7 years
All good tips! To add: 1. Experiment with different types of nutrition/ hydration systems. I tried a cambelback, a belt with a single bottle, and a couple other things before settling on a 4-6 bottle Fuel hydration belt. 2. Experiement with what you eat/ drink. What works for your friend may not work for you and your stomach. I generally alternate sipping diluted gatorade and water, and I take a GU every 5 miles. Some people like sport beans, or chews, etc. It all provides pretty much the same nutrition, but tastes differently. 3. Try out an audiobook! I LOVED training with audiobooks. 4. Run some place where you normally don't run. It's hard for me to get in 20 miles in the city (the safer parts of the city just aren't that big), so I'd go to a trail that was shady, on crushed gravel, and next to a stream. (it wasn't a techinical trail -- it's a rails-to-trails trail). 5. Carry some cash in case of emergency and some form of ID. ALL runner and cyclists should have Road ID! If something happens and you can't speak for yourself, Road ID will tell the docs/ medics any allergies and contact info for emergency contact people.
Fitness Fitness 7 years
Thanks for adding those other great tips sassymolassy!
sassymolassy sassymolassy 7 years
These are all great tips! I echo the "splurge on good gear" because good running socks can make all the difference. I like smart wool or REI's organic running socks. Also, I'd say be SURE to get new running shoes every 300-500 miles. When you start feeling tweaks in your body, you know you've worn your shoes too long. I'm guilty of it. It's time for me to get a new pair. And fuel is tres importante! Both before, during and after. Make sure you give your body time to digest prior (something with carbs and protein), take fuel with you for long runs and be sure to refuel with carbs and protein right after a run.
How to Lose Belly Fat When Running
Workouts That Are Better Than Running
300 Calorie Walk Run Workout
Running Gear That Keeps You Safe
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds