Distance running is a very popular activity. It isn’t just an effective endeavor for physical fitness. It is also a great way to make acquaintances and meet new friends. However, one can’t just merely step into the world of distance runners without being prepared for the sport—whether that’s physical or mental preparation. This is why training is important.
Some people who decide to go into running somehow want to just kick up the dust and run their hearts out. Of course, that’s not very ideal. Going all-out right from the get-go, especially for people who haven’t had some measure of exercise for a long period of time, could prove to be very taxing on the body. Just like runners aren’t born, you don’t simply jog around in your back yard today and participate in the Olympics tomorrow.
The key is to identify where to start your distance running regimen. For most people who haven’t exercised in a long while, it would be better to start with walking for the first few weeks, slowly building up the effort and then proceeding to a mix of walking and minimal running. After several weeks of building up run-walk times, then one can proceed to a full blown running that could span from three to over 10 miles. Some people can start with run-walking right away, while some can maybe run right off the bat depending on one’s endurance and physical condition. Again, the key is to find out the appropriate starting point for your program.
Many experts advocate the “10 percent rule” when training for running. The rule states that runners should add around 10 percent more mileage each week of training. This figure is based on intensive research that found it to be the optimal increase for a steady, effective and safe week-by-week progress. Moreover, abiding by this rule is also a great way to minimize the risk of injury due to over-exertion.
This incremental method for distance running training should prove to be very doable for most people. The biggest deterrent for would-be runners here is that it will take a long time before one can consistently run at a very high level of effort and speed. This is where patience and discipline are tested to the limits, especially for people who want to shave off weight quickly or get to their quickest pace as soon as possible. It’s hard to keep motivation in check while still keeping in pace with the program you or your coach set. Still, it will be easier to get tangible results through this step-by-step training method.
Finding the right program that fits you as an individual is essential to training for distance running. The program will have to address key aspects of your body. These aspects will range from age, gender, weight, health issues, previous injuries or illnesses, and the amount of exercise you’ve had prior to the running program. You can always consult with a running coach if you want, for an objective and professional assessment.
When you follow the guidelines set for your training, you’ll be able to accomplish the goals you’ve set for your distance running activities. It’s all about finding the right pace, and with an adequate training and buildup of strength and speed, you can make sure that you’ll get to the finish line.