The first time I decided to do a long distance race, it kicked my butt because I had no idea what I was doing. Even though humans were built to run long distances, if you don’t do it correctly you will find yourself in pain, injured, or burned out. By following these tips you can help yourself get in shape, maintain your form, and continue to improve without problems occurring.
Tip 1: Land on Your Front Foot
A mistake new and old runners alike make is planting their feet on their heels. This can easily lead to problems in your gait and long lasting pain or injuries, especially in the shins and knees. By landing on the front pads of your feet and then letting your foot roll onto the ground, you decrease the amount of impact on the rest of your body.
If you have never ran like this in the past, it may feel strange at first. However, if you can change your gait you will prevent many future problems.
Tip 2: Buy the Right Shoes for You
Every runner has a different opinion regarding what kind of shoes to buy. When buying your shoe, it is best to go to a running store where you can ask a professional for their advice.
You should always think about how much space you like in your toe box, whether you do more trail, road, or indoor running, and how much cushion you want in your sole. I along with many other runners personally prefer a shoe that is a half size too big, because once you run for a while your foot will swell, and then your shoe that normally fits fine can feel too tight.
Tip 3: Don’t Listen to Music
Many people love listening to music while they work out because they feel as though this motivates them. However, many professional and serious runners will argue that music acts as a distraction to running. Having different beats in your music can automatically make an unseasoned runner go slower or faster without even realizing it.
You should try to keep your pace consistent and focus on your breathing, not what song is coming next. Plus, running is a great time to reflect on life and problem solve. If you are listening to music, this won’t happen.
Runners are generally in it for the long game. If you have never done a long distance race before, you will probably start out your runs going way too fast, and then get burned out really quickly. Start your run slow and keep it at a conversational pace so that you can truly go the distance.