Tips For Running Long Distance
1. Run smarter. The fastest runners also use smarter tactics when they race, they are not always necessarily the fastest. I have known far less ‘talented’ runners who out performed much more gifted competitors, because they ran a smarter race and didn’t go into oxygen debt in the first few miles of a race. Be smart and run a more economical race. That is one of the best tips for running long distance running I can provide you.
Don’t Stress Worry Less
2. Relax. I don’t even care to comment on how many times I have ruined my races by worrying. Fah-getabout it. It isn’t worth the mental energy. Trust the hard work you have put in and let the rest go!
3. Have fun. This goes along with #2 and should be taken just as seriously. Learn to have fun in training and at your races. One of the best tips for running long distance I can give.
Run The Tangents Well
4. Run tangents. Always run the shortest distance you can run in road races. Why run farther then you have to?
5. Train mentally. We spend ungodly amount of hours training physically and neglect probably the most important, mental training.
Focus On Your Race
6. Pace yourself. Forget trying to win the race in the first mile. How many times have you seen at least one runner take off like a madman (sorry guys but this is true…most of the time it is us, not the ladies doing this) and totally crash. Don’t be that guy!
7. Listen to your coach. Don’t think you know it all. I had disagreements with Lisa Rainsberger who coached me for 3 years. She was the last woman to win the Boston marathon (2.34.04 with a 2.28 PB). She has a framed picture and congratulatory letter from President Reagen in her house and has won the Chicago Marathon twice (among others). I look back and wonder to myself, ‘are you kidding me’, why would I have ever disagreed with someone THAT successful. A coach who has been there and done that knows more then you do (even if you are an established athlete), accept it and listen.
Don’t Settle For OK
8. Believe in big goals. There is no fun in thinking, living or running small. Dare to think about impossible things, times, races you want to run.
9. Read other tips for running long distance. There are endless amounts of advice on the net. Learn from those articles and posts.
10. Find a mentor or a coach. For me it was Lisa Rainsberger and Jack Hazen. The way they live their lives, their success continues to inspire me. Find that motivation in others.
11. Don’t sell yourself short. He runs this time. I am not talented enough. She is so much faster then me. Stop comparing yourself to someone else and devote your energies to someone FAR more important, YOU.
Forget The Comfort Zone
12. Challenge yourself daily. I have been running in temps between 100-125 degrees for the past 3 months in Afghanistan. I absolutely hate it, but know this is a vital tip for running long distance that I, too, must follow. The great distance coach and world-renowned exercise physiologist, Joe Vigil, put it like this,
He who would ignite a fire in others, must himself glow
I am a cold weather runner but I know despite being in Afghanistan where the normal luxuries I take for granted back home are absent, the temps can’t stop me from my goals and training objectives. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Go anaerobic the last 5 minutes of your run and don’t be intimated by it.
13. Seek to be a doer, not a talker. There is a big difference between the two. If your goal is to run 3.30 for the marathon or 20.00 for the 5K, do your utmost to commit to that goal, never waver from it, don’t talk about it. Talk is cheap and doing takes much more skill, use that skill!
Dial In Your Pace
Focus on your goal pace.
Runners don’t fail at obtaining their goal time because they lack ability, they fail more often times then not because they don’t spend the proper amount of time at that specific intensity.
It (poor racing) leads far too many runners into the belief that they are not talented enough, past their prime. Always remember, proper planned training will bring proper results, if you have the guts to endure trials along the way.
15. Be humble. There will always be someone faster then you.
If beaten, be a professional and shake that guy or gal’s hand after your race. Use it as fuel to motivate you to work on the things you did wrong in your last race and correct it in your next attempt.
16. Study great people. For me personally, three people I have studied intently are my wife, my professional coach of three years, Lisa Rainsberger and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Three extremely determined individuals who I admire greatly.
What made them successful? notice the difference between them and those that perform below their level. What are the differences you notice? Can you do better? I think you will find the level of enthusiasm they bring to the task is MUCH higher. They don’t talk, their doers. Grasp onto your own mentors closely. What can they teach you?
Think Outside The Box
17. Read. The more you learn, the more you earn and that saying isn’t specific to wealth creation alone. Mental wealth and the renewing of the way you think going into races and hard training can be drastically advanced by reading powerful running stories and biographies.
18. Race internationally. Not enough Americans do it. Try something new. Find a race outside of the United States (if it can be fit into your budget). I am aiming to race in an international marathon to break 2.19 next year. Make it an adventure, try a big race in a big international city. You only live once.
Don’t Listen To Negativity
19. Don’t limit yourself. If you have a goal in mind, do everything in your power in training to obtain it and never spend any of your time with even the thought that you will not achieve it.
20. There are countless tips for running long distance by countless people. You know your body and goals the best. Follow your gut and listen to your intuition. If something is telling you to get off the couch to lose weight and you want to try running out. Don’t hesitate. Train and live each day as if it were your last. We only have so many tomorrows. Go after your racing goals NOW.