Long-Distance Running Tips – Four Shining Examples You Need to Know
Ask any personal trainer and they’ll all tell you the same – long-distance runners on the whole never seem to take on-board how important it is to focus on running form with the same importance at their overall fitness. Just as would be the case with a sprinter, form can be responsible for adding or subtracting valuable seconds from every hundred metres covered and can also contribute to the onset of injuries.
So with top-performance in mind, here are four of the most important tips offered by experts for anyone looking to take their long-distance running to the next level:
There’s a very big difference between long-distance running and sprinting – something that should be factored into the overall running style you adopt. Sprinters pound the pavement aggressively creating heavy impact and relying on their calves to act as shock absorbers and keep them moving. This is all well and good for a short distance, but no good for long-distance running as the damage done would be huge. Instead, with longer runs it’s all about gliding and reducing impact to the highest possible extent, distributing pressure between far more muscles groups and prolonging stamina.
Tip one therefore is to be aware of the impact your feet are making with the ground.
Training Other Than Running
Don’t just rely on running as your exclusive method of training. When looking to improve your long-distance running, you’ll gain so much more by including an array of strengthening and stretching exercises to build and develop the muscles you’ll be counting on. From lunges to squats and pretty much anything that gives both your core and your legs a comprehensive workout, be sure to mix it up and don’t limit yourself to running, sprinting and jogging only.
Focus on Posture
Running long distances without causing damage to the body is nigh-on impossible if you don’t have good posture. As such, you not only need to focus on the muscles that promote good posture – neck, back, shoulders etc. – but also practice standing and running with good posture even if it feels unnatural at first. The slumped position you’ll begin to fall into without even realising it once your body starts getting tired actually increases fatigue and puts a strain on your body. By contrast, running with a strong and healthy posture allows you to go on for longer and reduces the likelihood of injury.
Don’t Forget the Rest of your Body
And finally, never forget that in order to make all of the above possible you also need to pay attention to other parts of your body, particularly your arms and core. Your arms, stomach and back play hugely important roles in your running activities and it is only when all are on top form that you yourself will be able to hit your very best. Even if this means incorporating no more than a few sets of crunches and weight-lifts in your standard everyday workout, the difference made to your overall performance and endurance can be sizeable and rapid.
By Lisa Morton