Pro Tips To Increase Your Long Distance Running

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!

Increase Your Long Distance Running: Write down a training schedule and stick to it

long distance running

We are aiming for steady, stairstep-style increases in our mileage, with occasional drop downs, 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 clear training schedule 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!

Increase Your Long Distance Running: Prioritize balance

long distance running tips

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!

Increase Your Long Distance Running: Keep your run mechanics consistent

long distance running training

Form is often the first thing to go when we get tired. However, maintaining proper technique throughout a long run 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 reenforce solid running form!

Increase Your Long Distance Running: Invest in your footwear

long distance running technique

When it comes to long runs, footwear is so important, as any flaw in your running shoe is only going to be exaggerated on a 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.

Increase Your Long Distance Running: Incorporate mobility work

how to run long distance faster

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!

Increase Your Long Distance Running

Huge thank you to Reebok for sponsoring this post! If you’re in the market for a long distance running shoe, check out the Reebok Floatride. It’s definitely got the cushion and support we’re looking for to increase those miles! #feelthefloatride

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  • Tricia

    Love the shoe. In distance running I’ve heard that not only is cushion important but the weight of the shoe. What is the weight of this shoe?

  • Careful suggesting cushioned shoes “minimize impact” because the exact opposite is true. The more cushioning the higher the impact. Why? Because your body is trying to find the stable ground and has to impact harder to get through the cushioning and find the ground. Cushioning might “feel” better on long runs and might actually be a good thing to recommend because it helps people run further with their feet feeling better, but let’s try to stay scientific.

    Secondly, when talking about excessive pronation and supination, is caused by imbalances higher in the body. Typically knee/femur, hip, spine, and shoulder imbalances. Things like internal femur rotation will cause overpronation and external femur rotation will cause underpronation/excessive supination. Don’t forget things like thoracic kyphosis or rounded shoulders also has a direct affect on foot movement and needs to be looked at. Finding a special shoe or insole is only treating the symptom, but the cause of the faulty foot movement.