Practicing long-distance running right is a great example of putting in the right work and getting the right results. Training for a marathon is not a sprint, it’s a marathon in itself. You will need to focus on more than just the exercise (though that is very important obviously). Lifestyle habits will also help add up to better success. You will need to focus on diet, sleep habits, and more to train correctly. For those looking to gain muscle mass at the same time, additional practices will need to be followed along with traditional distance training.
Exercising for distance running is different than training for a sport, weight-training, or aerobics. This type of training mainly focuses on building cardio, but you should still incorporate core exercises, high-volume weights, and body-weight exercises into your routine as well. There is also a difference between running a marathon and running a 5K. As the distance you will be running increases, you need to tolerate and train for different things. For a shorter race, it is your cardiovascular health that is more important, but eventually you need to train your body to handle the longer distances and increased stress by building muscle and skeletal resistance. Your joints will adjust, your bones will strengthen, and supporting muscles will form due to the planned stress you put on your body.
Commonly known as “pyramid workouts,” interval training involves running at different rates, different speeds, and different distances, in an effort to ensure you train for cardiovascular health and muscle groups. Sprinting is a great way to strengthen your musculoskeletal system, and in this workout you practice sprinting, jogging, and slow jogging or walking. You will want to make 10 laps total, but if you must start with 5 and take a break after, that is fine. Start with briskly jogging 200 meters, then sprinting back 100, then slow jogging or walking for the last 100 meters. At this point you should have returned to your starting spot. Repeat this 5 times. Feel free to mix it up for yourself.
Core workouts can be a great help in encouraging a sustainable run stride and endurance. Some great options for supporting workouts include:
- Elbow-Ups – Using a pull-up bar, hold yourself up with your elbows slanted, and lift your knees up so you’re at a 90 degree angle, then pull your knees up to hit your elbows, and lower them again into a 90 degree angle, and repeat. Feel free to use arm supports to hold yourself up.
- Weighted Sit-Ups –Using a decline bench for sit-ups, weighted if desired by holding weight behind your head, start light.
- Weighted Oblique Pull-Ups –Using an incline bench, begin these by sitting against the bench. Lean on your side, hold a 10-20lb weight in your hand facing the ground, and gently lower it to the ground then raise it back up, working out your obliques (“side-abs”).
- Planks – hold for 90 seconds, or side-planks for obliques. Side-plank dips optional.
In our next article we go over retaining muscle, a distance workout regimen, and some basic nutrition information. If you would like more information about training for long distance running, visit STR8 Training in San Marcos, TX.