5 Long-Distance Running Tips For Beginners

by Adora Wong
FITNESS  |  May 06, 2018
  • Take your running game up a notch
    1 / 6 Take your running game up a notch

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    There are so many benefits to long-distance running — improvement of the cardio system, strengthening of the heart, and an enhancement of your body’s ability to burn fat as a source of energy. Keep these tips from Dr Edwin Chong, Head of Sport Physiology at the Singapore Sports Institute, in mind as you start increasing your mileage.

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  • 1. Polarised training
    2 / 6 1. Polarised training

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    Polarised training is where you perform on 80:20 ratio of low to high intensity training.

    Studies have shown that combining large volumes of low-intensity training with careful use of HIIT is the best for developing endurance performance.

    More often than not though, it’s not the type of training that contributes to the success of endurance training, but striking the right balance between multiple training methods for endurance performance.

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  • 2. Increase training mileage gradually
    3 / 6 2. Increase training mileage gradually

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    In preparation for a long distance run, you should undergo systematic training to induce adaptation in all areas of the body.

    A general rule of thumb in long distance running is to increase the training load, in this case distance, every week, by not more than 10 per cent at time.

    However, if you’re starting at a single-digit mileage after a layoff, you can add more than 10 per cent per week until you’re close to your normal training load.

    (Also Read: Six Outdoor Running Routes in Singapore)

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  • 3. Have sufficient rest
    4 / 6 3. Have sufficient rest

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    Your body adapts to the stress of training during rest and becomes stronger in the process. You risk injury and overtraining if you do not allow your body to rest and adapt.

    New runners need at least two days off from running each week, whereas more experienced runners need to rest only one day every week.

    If you prefer to stay active on a rest day, stick with gentle and non-running related activities such as easy swimming.

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  • 4. Cross training and resistance exercises
    5 / 6 4. Cross training and resistance exercises

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    Runners are encourage to perform some cross training and resistance exercise to make them a stringer and healthier runner.

    Performing 15 to 30 minutes of resistance work two to three days a weeek will be sufficient for most runners.

    Performing low and non-impact activities like cycling and swimming will help to build supporting muscles used in running while giving your running muscles and joints a rest, preventing injuries.

    However, the surest way to run better is to run. So if your time is limited, devote most of it to running.

    (Also Read: This is What My Marathon Training Plan Looks Like)

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  • 5. Fuel up
    6 / 6 5. Fuel up

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    Since different people have different metabolic responses and hydration strategies, experimentation have different regimes during training is recommended.

    It’s also important for runners to learn/practice how to eat and drink on the run without choking or having to stop.

    You can also teach your body what it feels like to run with a full stomach, and how to take in more fuel but process it efficiently. The gut is a trainable organ.

    A version of this story first appeared in CLEO. Offering an insider perspective on everything a twenty-something woman in Singapore wants or needs to know, CLEO Magazine is now available in both print and digital formats. Visit www.CLEO.com.sg to subscribe.

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