Do you want to run longer but your legs give out too quickly? Certainly, running longer is a mental game about breaking your limits, but endurance and hard work come into play as well.
Set Your Landmarks
To run longer, don’t hesitate to leave your comfort zone. Go explore new routes, new places, and turn it into an adventure! Try to avoid routines: it’s far more mentally tiring when you keep repeating the same workout in the exact same place all the time. Breaking your limits is a mind game. Make yourself a pump-up speech with phrases like “I can”,” I will”, etc. Make your own landmarks: a tree, a signpost, a turn, etc. It doesn’t matter what you choose, but use them to break up your run with visuals – running 20km is a lot easier when you think that all you have to do is run 200m to the next landmark.
Distance running is a physical and mental test. Ideally, run your set distance without stopping. But nobody will blame you if your stop and rest once your legs stop listening to you. Just adopt a brisk walk for a few minutes and get your strength back. Don’t hesitate to use the run/walk method by incorporating walking into your longer runs. However, for this method to be efficient, the time you spend running should be more than the time you spend walking. Every time you run, try to beat your previous time.
Eating requirements when Jogging
Eating before, during, and after a jog is extremely important. Don’t forget that exercise and nutrition are intertwined. Running on an empty stomach won’t affect you for 35 – 40 minutes, when you still have sufficient reserves, but you’ll only be able to maintain an “endurance” pace.
In the morning, have fresh fruits, whole wheat bread with some butter, oily fruits such as avocados?, and/or a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie. If you don’t have time, just have some fruit 20 minutes before you leave. At the end of the run, steer yourself towards a light meal with seasonal and oily fruits.
Your body doesn’t need too much when exercising for less than an hour, but if you’re aiming for sessions that last a few hours, take a sports drink and a gel. No fruit this time, because of the fiber. Hydration comes first, think about drinking water regularly even in winter, as the cold temperatures dehydrate you extremely quickly.
Jump Rope for Endurance Training
Jumping rope and burpees are very good exercises if you want to stay in the comfort and warmth of your own house while working on your endurance. The former is well known to boxers and runners for its numerous benefits. The jump rope can help you tone quickly without putting on too much muscle mass.
It’s also a great way for improving your hand-eye coordination. Just don’t underestimate how hard it is for beginners. The burpee is another high repetition exercise known for burning your energy and, like the jump rope, it works your muscles while building stamina.
One last last piece of advice for maintaining your motivation, especially in winter: focus on your goal(s)! Athletic or not! Even if your running goal seems unreachable, remember, impossible is nothing. Just don’t forget to reward yourself once you DO reach it.
Good luck on making your runs longer and remember: after some time, it gets really fun