How to train for long distance running

October 29, 2018

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d run a half marathon, and get a place for London Marathon, I would have laughed!

I’ve always toyed with the idea of running, but just thought I couldn’t. In school I did cross country, and ran 5,000 metres at sports day, but when I left school, running kind of faded away.

On the odd occasion, I’d feel inspired to run, but the novelty soon wore off. However, in 2017 I was inspired by a fellow blogger. I loved watching her running journey on Facebook and was slightly envious of her achievements.

Being slightly overweight I found the motivation I needed. I set out one day with a plan of seeing how far I could run. I was overambitious and thought I’d easily manage 5k, but 0.5k in, I had to stop!

Undeterred, I pledged to try again. I managed to run slightly further. Not quite 1k, but it was an improvement all the same.

I continued like this for months. With each run, I’d set new challenges. Just one more lamp post, then the next time, I’d aim for the next lamp post.

Before long I was running 5k on a regular basis. A friend then asked me if I’d like to sign up to a 10k run with her. I was very nervous, but agreed.

In hindsight, I should have trained properly, but I didn’t and I ended up paying the price. The next few days after the 10k were agony. My legs were stiff and achy.

I knew then that if I ever wanted to run further than 5k, I’d have to train properly for it. I searched online for a beginner training plan, and followed it religiously!

If you want to start running I’d recommend running 1k two to three times a week, and then when you feel confident running this distance, gradually increase by half a kilometre each week. So you’d do two 1k runs a week, and one 1.5k run. Then the following week, you’d do two 1.5k runs, and one 2k run, then continue pattern to help build your distance up gradually.

By following this method I was soon running 10k as easy as I was 5k, so I signed up for a half marathon.

It’s also important to ensure that you eat right. Good nutrition will help to fuel your runs, giving you enough energy to power through and avoid ‘hitting the wall’.

By following a good training plan and eating right you can get to the stage where you can run an event like the Great North Run next year.

On a final note, many people often think that running is a free sport. However, you’ll soon learn that the right pair of trainers, running tech etc all adds up!

Are you a runner, or do you feel inspired to start? Let me know in the comments below.

In collaboration with Dot Dot Loans.

 

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