Long running provides a lot of benefits, but only if you do it properly. Running seems like a simple exercise and it is, but you’ll want to maximize the results each time you go out there. Here are some suggestions you should always keep in mind, whether you’re doing it for the first or tenth time.
When is a Race Considered a Long Run?
It’s a long run if the distance is at least 1.86 miles or 3 km for beginners. Appropriately, long runs can also be defined depending on the distance you are currently running. So you may consider 6 miles as your long run if you are currently running 3 miles only. In any case, as an intense aerobic workout, it demands mental strength and stamina.
What Not to Do and to Do Before, During and After a Long Run
Runners use different routines, but the following general guidelines is a good way to start your training.
Two hours before running, eat some food with 1 gram of carbohydrates per pound of your body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs. you’ll want to consume 150 grams. Your intake of protein, fat and fiber has to be kept to a minimum because they take a long time to digest. For drinks, you should have 17 to 20 ounces. 30 minutes before working out you should relax, drink a little bit of water but not so much your stomach feels too full.
During the Run
Start slowly and pace yourself. If you can only say a single sentence before needing to catch your breath, you’re running too fast. 45 minutes into your run you should begin taking fluids every 45 minutes or so.
The last 15 minutes of the race is the toughest. The nearer you get to the finish line, the faster fatigue starts to set in. You have to increase your focus and ensure the intensity is as high as possible. For the best results, you should try to maintain your pace or increase it if you’ve got the energy.
After the Race
The first thing you should do is drink fluids. It can be chocolate milk, water, sports drinks etc. You have to do this within 30 minutes after completing your run. There are a lot of recovery drinks to choose from, but for best results you should take one with carbs and protein.
Carbs is necessary for replacing glycogen and enhancing your immune system, while protein helps in muscle repair. it doesn’t matter if the carb / protein combination is taken as drinks or solid food as long as you take them.
An hour after your run, you should remain active. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, as walking or stretching will do. Doing this keeps your muscles from tightening up. It might seem like a lot of work when the one thing you want is to lie down, but being active is the right approach.
Running for long distances is one of the most enjoyable exercises you can do, and it really makes a huge difference in terms of your health. The idea of running for more than a mile might seem impossible at first, but with the guidelines given here, you’ll gain optimum results. 😉