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How to run longer – 8 tips for the beginner runner

Publish date 08.08.2022

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How to run longer – 8 tips for the beginner runner

Are you panting after 10-20 minutes of running? You are tired, your muscles refuse obedience, and you are wondering how to improve and run for even 1 more minute. 

How to run for longer? What can be done so that increasingly longer running is not associated with torture? Read the following tips, enforce them, and then longer runs will come easier. 

How to run longer, when you are a beginner runner? 

It is assumed that the first runs after years of a sedentary lifestyle will not be long. Even the first 10-20 minutes of constant running may cause trouble and panting. Yes – you will run longer distances as your condition increases. However, by improving and implementing a few additional, and sometimes mandatory elements the process will be much easier. Here are the tips on how to run longer.

I How to run longer for beginners? – CHOOSE YOUR TIME 

Consider what time of the day will be the best for your body and you for running. Probably your body will have the best capacity and willingness for training around 4-6 P.M when after a long day is warmed up and in a state of readiness. However, around this time of the day, you are coming back from work, or you are still at your workplace. Of course, nothing is impossible with a willing heart and if you really want to use this time slot for running, arrange your day so that you can do the training: For example:

  • eat light lunch at work, 
  • run from work to your house / get off the public transport a couple of stops earlier and walk those kilometers back by running. 

The afternoon hours between 4 and 6 P.M are the time when you will feel and run the best. Your body is warmed up and ready for many athletic challenges. 

Morning – it’s an early time of the day and sometimes is the most conducive to squeezing in a new activity during a day filled to the brim with responsibilities. Unfortunately, very often, you have to fight with yourself to get up. What is more, your body is not warmed up – it is half-awake. In the end, if you do not prepare adequately for the morning run then: 

  • you will have shallow breathing,
  • you will be tired faster,
  • headache may appear,
  • legs and arms will rebel against you. 

Remember that in the beginning, you will have to test different times of the day to be able to decide which one will be the best for you and your body. When you find the hour that is a compromise between your body’s reasonably good capacity and the free time you can devote to training, it will be easier for you to improve your capacity. Thus, you will be able to run longer and longer.

II EAT A PROPER MEAL AT THE RIGHT TIME 

How to run longer? Don’t neglect good nutrition. Now that your body needs more energy and your muscles need to increase their endurance and grow, you should provide yourself with the right nutrients. Remember that the time of the meal also matters. So:

  • Running in the morning – eat something light, that contains mainly carbohydrates 15-30 minutes before running. Let it be a quickly assimilable product with a high GI (glycemic index.) 

For you – a beginner runner who does not yet do long distances – a simple banana will be best. You might as well go running on an empty stomach, which promotes better shedding of excess calories. 

NOTE: Are you running first thing in the morning without a meal? Do you feel weak or tired after just a few minutes? Remember that everybody is different. For you, it may be a sign that you need to put something in your stomach, in order to run safely even at a short distance. 

  • Running in the afternoon/evening – eat a meal that contains products with low GI 2-4 hours before training. When you eat a big dinner an hour before, it will make it hard for you to run. Your stomach will work intensely. Besides, the combination of training and digestion often leads to indigestion and stomach ache.

In case you are wondering how to run for a longer time, now you know. Good, healthy food will give you plenty of energy and allow you to run longer.

III How to run longer? – DO NOT SKIP THE WARM-UP 

Perhaps, as a beginner runner, you underestimate the role of the warm-up performed before each run. If you skip this part of your training, you need to know that you are not only putting yourself at risk of serious injury by doing so. Not warming up also means a harder, tiring run right from the start. If you do not prepare your muscles they will be tired after a few minutes. Not only muscles but also your respiratory system. 

Quicker painting is guaranteed – you do not provide muscles with an appropriate amount of oxygen – this is why muscles start to not work properly. While after a few minutes breathing should calm down and muscles should get used to the sudden effort, nothing will repair the damage previously done. Your body will not be as efficient as it could be. Run will end sooner than you would have wanted. 

To sum up, proper warm-up: 

  • raises body temperature – it prepares the body for training and other exercises,
  • increases movement in joints,
  • helps prepare the nervous and cardiovascular systems for increased oxygen intake,
  • relaxes and lengthens the step,
  • reduces the risk of injury.

Warming up will improve your endurance and allow you to run faster. It is important that you warm up those muscles that will take an active part in running. This means that you should not skip warming up your legs, arms, body, and even neck. Always start with the upper parts and “go lower and lower”. For example, you can start by turning your head from side to side, and end up by pinning on your toes, jumping up, and light jogging.

Professionals sometimes spend from 30 to 60 minutes warming up. You find at least 5-10 minutes for it. 

IV How to run longer? – Wok on your techniques

Running done correctly (when it comes to technique) will give you longer, rewarding training. When you are running, hunched over will make you more tired, if only because you’re limiting your lungs’ space to take in a big enough inhale.

How should you run?

  • Run upright. Your head should be an extension of your neck. So don’t lean it forward and look ahead.
  • Put your arms to work. They are to move along the torso, not across it. They should also be bent at the elbows.
  • Do not clench your hands into a fist. This creates unnecessary tension, which can affect faster fatigue. Relax your hands.
  • Lift your legs, bend your knees. It is not uncommon to see runners dragging their feet. This does not favorably affect rolling and coasting, as well as the distance covered.
  • As a beginner runner, you can land on your heel. However, when landing, put your foot underneath you and bend your leg slightly at the knee.

V MAKE YOUR MUSCLES EXTRA STRONG

Thanks to strong muscles you will go further and further. Therefore, during the week, do at least one separate training unit that focuses solely on strengthening muscles. You can do such exercises at home or at the gym. Remember also that a runner needs not only strong leg muscles for running – strong torso, deep muscles, arms, and foot muscles are also very important. Thus, work on these muscles! Learn about appropriate strengthening exercises for runners. If you want to increase muscle endurance, use a light load and a high number of repetitions of the exercises (even about 20). 

VI STRETCH AND LET YOURSELF RECOVER 

Probably, as a beginner runner, you will not avoid so-called muscle soreness. Micro-injuries will form in muscles that are not used to the effort. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself proper recovery time. Don’t run every day. Take a day off between training, make sure you get enough sleep, and eat the right food to provide your muscles with protein. 

Stretch after your workout. In this way, you will increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. What is more, it prevents muscle soreness, or at least reduces its intensity. That way, you will also shorten your recovery time. If you want to know how to recover after running, read our article: Recovery after running – how to improve it? 10 running recovery tips

Hence, just as you spent 10 minutes warming up before a workout, spend the same amount of time stretching, primarily of the leg muscles. 

How to run longer? tips
Stretching is very important. Thanks to it you prevent injuries!

VII How to run for a longer time? – Increase gradually the distance covered

If you are wondering how to run for longer, remember – don’t push yourself too hard at the beginning of your running journey. What is more, do not set big goals. Let your body gradually get used to the effort and increase your fitness. A hard start may be the reason for your injuries that will disable you from running for a long time. It may also effectively discourage you from making further attempts. Listen to your body. Every 10 minutes longer runs treat like a success and the next level in your journey. 

VIII Pay attention to your shoes 

It’s something that beginners may neglect. Unfortunately, bad running shoes may not only discourage you from running but also lead to knee or hip pain and even missing a nail on a toe. Running shoes are the only expense worth incurring right from the start (although ladies will also need to invest in a good running bra). You will know good running shoes by the fact that they will be very comfortable for you. Their size is to be a size larger than you wear in everyday life. Your foot shifts and swells when running, and your toes need to have room to work. Don’t delay in buying the right shoes.

We hope that this article answers your question on How to run for longer. Remember, that without a proper pre-workout meal, there is no way to do a long, intense run.

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