Finding a Steady Pace: Tips for Long Distance Runners
Can you go the distance? If you’re looking to get into long-distance running, you might be a little overwhelmed. Whether you’re training for a specific race or you just want to push yourself to achieve new fitness goals, it’s a great way to boost your running abilities. However, long-distance running is most successful when you know how to pace yourself correctly. Check out these tips for long-distance runners to find a steady pace that works for you.
Learn a New Pace
If you’ve been running shorter distances up until now, you should expect your pace to change as you transition to longer distances. Because you’re traveling so much farther, you’ll need to get used to running at a slower pace than you’re used to. Those who are new to long-distance running shouldn’t expect to get impressive finish times right off the bat. Instead, it’s better to focus on finding a slow and steady pace that allows you to cover the distance without getting exhausted or putting yourself at a greater risk of being injured.
Stick to It
Once you have an idea of what pace would work for you, stick to it. That’s easier said than done for many runners. If you’re feeling good, it’s hard to hold back and keep running at a pace that feels “slow” to you compared to your pace when going shorter distances. Wear a watch with a timer or carry your phone in a running belt to make sure you stay on pace.
You’ve probably seen plenty of advanced strategies for long-distance runners. One example is negative splits, which means pacing the second half of a long-distance run faster than the first. This is a great strategy for elite distance runners, but it’s tough for beginners. Those who are new to long-distance running should aim to stay with a pretty consistent pace throughout the entire run. That way, you can train your body to get used to a certain pace that works for your body.
Increase Distance and Pace Slowly
Give yourself time to work up to a long-distance running goal. If you try to go from 5-mile runs to 10-mile runs overnight, you’ll likely end up sore, exhausted or possibly even injured. Increase the distance in small increments over many days or weeks until you reach your goal. The same rule applies to your pace. If you get used to running at 10:00 per mile, for example, you may be tempted to run at a faster pace. But remember that small changes in pace add up quickly when you’re running long distances, so make sure any per-mile pace increases are small.
Know When to Stop
Last but not least, always listen to your body. As you build up to running longer distances, you may need to walk or stop to stretch occasionally. Take breaks when you need to, and stop your run if you’re in pain. Use these tips to improve your running abilities and achieve new fitness goals. Don’t forget to bring along a FlipBelt Hydration Belt for hydration along the way.