How to Be a Good Distance Runner

Have you ever wondered how all those marathoners can run as far, and as fast as they do? Distance running can be tricky at first but given enough effort and time you’ll get it down, whether or not you’re running a 5k or a marathon. Breaking it down, they’re only three really big contributors to distance running which are diet, exercise and sleep.

Many people don’t understand how important a diet really is when it comes to sports, and more importantly distance running. Not drinking enough water before a race can add minutes onto your time. What you want to do is constantly sip water starting three days prior to race day or until your pee is clear. This will ensure you’re full hydrated before a race. As for food, you obviously want to stay away from junk food as much as possible and eat very lean meats for protein such as chicken breasts or salmon. Piling on the calories isn’t a bad idea either because distance runners burn off so many you need to constantly be energizing your body.

Exercise is probably the most important of the three. It is the base which you build off. In order to become a distant runner, you need to train your muscles to not necessarily train your muscles to be fast, but to be able to work for a longer period of time. You do this by running for a certain amount of time instead of a distance at a certain speed. Starting off it doesn’t really matter how fast you go, but that you run continuously the entire time without stopping. For workout plans that are based on training for a 5k click here.  Just follow the plans and you’ll be a long distance runner in no time.

Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects of running. Back in high school I was never a great distance runner, I was average, but not good. It wasn’t until my senior year that I realized how important sleep is. I had morning periods off so I was able to sleep in. I dropped my 5k time by almost 2 minutes! Sleep is required to rest your muscles and your mind for the next day. Doctors recommend getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night for best results. If you sleep much longer your body won’t benefit and will actually make you feel more tired.

They’re tons of contributors into distance running but these are easily the three most important, if you want to be a legit distance runner, whether it be for a marathon or a 5k race. Although it may be hard to keep up with all of these things, once you get into the habit it gets easier and you’ll be a distance runner in no time. So what’s your goal? 5k, 10k, marathon?

Michael Janzer

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2 thoughts on “How to Be a Good Distance Runner

  1. Distance races are so miserable haha! Especially with my bad back, it starts acting up after 2 1/2 laps. Making my time waaay slower than it should be. But I have more distance endurance than the average sprinter but it’s still garbage haha. I do know that diet has a way bigger effect on distance runs as well. If you have a poor diet you’ll feel it early on in the race and start cramping in the chess and your arms and legs will be fatigued.

    Ever had a cramp early on in a 5k? It sucks!

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