A “long run” means something different to everyone. It’s totally individual, dependent on experience, how your body’s feeling, and what you’re training for. Luckily, we’ve got some tips below to increase your long distance running, no matter what the mileage is!
We are aiming for steady, stairstep-style increases in our mileage, with occasional dropdowns, for maximum results in our long distance running. In order to do this, we need to make a plan!
For beginning runners, try to increase your mileage by 20-25% each week. For more experienced runners whose long run distance is upwards of 10 miles or so, aim to increase by 10-15% each week.
Write down a proper beginner running plan incorporating these increases and hold yourself to it.
Every 4th week, decrease the volume of your long run a bit to allow ample recovery for your body!
Ever go for an epic long run on the weekend, only to then spend 6 days recovering from it? I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at some point.
Instead, we want to try to balance our long runs with our shorter runs so that we’re always making progress.
In fact, your long run distance should only make up about 30% of your weekly mileage.
And on that long run, be sure to control the intensity. It should be conversational throughout.
A good exercise we like to use here at The Run Experience – take 10 nose breaths every 10-15 minutes while on your run. If you’re unable to do that at any point, you may want to slow your pace down a bit!
Form is often the first thing to go when we get tired. However, maintaining a proper running form is actually going to make it easier in the long run!
Drills are a great way to enforce our mechanics mid-run. Coach Holly’s favorites: the lateral shuffle, carioca, and high skips.
After every 30 minutes of your long run, throw in 2 x 30 second passes of one of those drills.
Because these drills are not running, they help to wake up those muscle groups may have fallen asleep by that point in your run. Get everything firing again to reinforce solid running form!
how to run properly
When it comes to long runs, footwear is so important, as any flaw in your running shoe is only going to be exaggerated on the long run.
The two most important things to look for in long distance running shoe are cushion and support.
We want as much cushion as possible in a long distance running shoe so long as it doesn’t throw off our mechanics. Minimize impact with a generously cushioned running shoes to preserve your body over time!
As far as support goes, find a shoe that addresses how your foot strikes the ground when you run. Do your feet pronate and roll inwards as they strike the ground, or supinate and fall toward the outside?
Find a shoe that gently corrects any natural tendencies to make sure you’re striking the ground on a balanced foot.
Longer runs make mobility work that much more vital, and we need to get the work in immediately after our run!
Mobility work helps to repair your body, slow your heart rate, and improve blood flow. And most importantly, it’s going to help us open up our hips and ankles.
Leg swings and hip circles are two favorites of ours. After your run, stand on one leg and swing the other leg back and forth about 20 times.
Keep your swinging leg relatively straight the whole time to ensure you open up that hip flexor that was just put through the ringer on your long run.
After 20 swings, kick the leg back into a long lunge stretch, and move your body gently in circles.
This is a stellar way to get into both legs at the same time – hamstrings and glutes on the front leg, and the hip flexor on the back leg.
Make the time for this mobility work after your run… your body will thank you!