5 Tips to Become a Long Distance Runner

by Ola Kacprzynska

Long distance running isn’t as hard and as painful as it sounds. Believe it or not it can actually be a pleasant workout. I’ve been running for a while now, four years. I joined track and field last year, and this year I’m also running in Cross Country. Throughout my experience I have been given a list of tips from my coaches, as well as learned from my mistakes. Here are my top 5 tips.

Number One:: Shoes

Shoes are really important because they are the ones that support your muscles as you take each step. Make sure that the midsole, the bottom thick part of the shoe, is thick because that’s crucial for your legs. When I joined the running team last year, my shoes weren’t as good, the thick layer was ‘used up’ and too thin, so after a while my knees started to hurt. That’s why shoes are important when it comes to running.

Number Two :: Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition and Hydration are significant keys to running.

Nutrition: Eat full meals, you need nutrition to have strength in your muscles to run. Eat at least two hours before a run, so you won’t throw it up. Eat a solid base in the morning, for instance: eggs, sandwich, a rich oatmeal with fruits and yoghurt, etc. Lunch should also be rich, so pasta, or a rich salad, potatoes with meat, will do perfectly fine.( just a small hint: sweet potatoes are one of the best foods for runners 😉 ) Then for dinner try to not eat so much, because it’s not healthy to go to bed with a full stomach. Moreover, it’s essential to have small snacks throughout the day like almonds, or other nuts, fruits, dark chocolate.

Hydration:  Being hydrated throughout the day is also important for you and your body. Specialist advice at least a liter per day; however it depends on individual’s weight. The reason behind the significance of drinking water is that, when you run, you sweat, and to not dehydrate yourself you need to drink a lot, not only while running.

Number Three :: Clothes

Proper Clothes are also important in running. When it’s warm weather wear shorts and shirt , because if you would wear longer sleeves you would over sweat and dehydrate your body, which is not the right way to more lose calories with less exercise. However, when it’s a cooler weather, you have to wear long sleeves because if it’s cold then you can have muscle pain. This is because, when you’re running your muscles are warm but when a wind blows, the muscles become cold and less flexible, thus they become sore, and there is a greater chance of injury.

Number Four :: Stretching

After a run, stretch your muscles. This is the final part of every running session or work out. Your muscles are warm and and now you can stretch them, in order to decrease the soreness the next day. This isn’t crucial but it does help after running.

Number Five :: Exercises

To be a decent runner doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run everyday. Take a break two days per week and sometimes, instead of running, do a workout session. Work on your core, arms, and legs. Core is essential since you use these muscles as you run, and they help you run more efficiently and stronger. You may think that arms aren’t useful in running, but you’re wrong. As you run you swing your arms opposite to your legs, and they are also the ones that help you push yourself and run faster. Thus the stronger the arms the easier it is to run. Legs, well obviously, you’re using them to run, so the stronger they are the bigger steps you can take and push off farther.

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