Running longer distances is a natural progression for many runners. A longer-distance run increases your endurance, allowing you to continue running longer distances. Your shorter runs may also be easier and faster because of your increased endurance. Running longer distances also adds variety to your running regimen, making your run more interesting and challenging. There are some tips you can try to make increasing your distance easier.
A slower speed on your long runs allows you to conserve energy so you can push farther than usual. Slowing your pace may be a challenge, but starting off your long run at a faster pace may cause you to run out of energy before you reach your distance goal. You might have difficulty keeping up your normal pace through a longer run, according to the website Fitsugar.
Goals motivate you to reach longer distances or maintain a certain pace while running. Both short-term and long-term distance goals keep you moving forward in your program. Training for a specific race or distance is a logical way to set goals and motivate yourself. Once you determine your long-term distance goal, break it down into smaller goals based on your current running distance. For example, if you want to run a half marathon and are currently running 5Ks, your short-term goals will gradually increase mileage until you near the 13.1-mile mark.
A gradual increase in your running distance allows your body to adjust to the increase. It also helps you avoid injury and keeps you from becoming frustrated. Listen to your body as you increase your distance to avoid injury. If you cannot run the entire distance, some stretches of brisk walking allow you to catch your breath so you can finish.
Space Out Long Runs
Long runs too close together don't give your muscles adequate time to heal, according to Running Planet. This may result in injury or burnout. The site recommends one long run a week if you're running less than 10 miles. For runs between 11 and 17 miles, go every other week. Even longer distances may need two or three weeks between long runs.