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Are you facing your first 10K? Are you going to participate in a half marathon? Do you dare the marathon? A perfect preparation is essential to face any of these tests and also, to reach the finish line in great conditions, it is essential to put into practice some basic advice to overcome a long race... Keep them in mind!
Running for hours demands physical and mental strength. It is not something you can improvise and requires prior, well-planned training aimed at increasing your endurance. Estimating a certain number of kilometers as"long distance" depends on the level of each runner. It is possible that for you, 5K ? ten K is already a remarkable journey and to overcome it requires an essential care for which you will have to prepare yourself thoroughly.
Nutrition, equipment, rhythm or breathing are many factors that influence the moment to overcome a long race. Knowing them is basic to achieve your running objective: to resist and reach the goal.
The keys to running long distances
Those kilometres you face are a real challenge and to face them with a positive mentality is essential to take the first step. Trusting in one's own possibilities, being able to visualize the finish line successfully, imagining the career by dividing it into small stages that, of course, you can fill out... are easy mental preparation exercises that can be very helpful even before you get going. In this sense, many are the runners who include yoga and meditation as part of their training in order to overcome a long journey.
In addition to the psychological preparation, when the time comes for the big test, look at the following tips that will help you reach the finish line in a long race, read on!
With enough energy
You can't beat your first marathon or devour miles and miles if your body doesn't have the energy it needs. In this sense, what you eat in the hours before the race will influence your performance and endurance. Carbohydrates are indispensable for a long race. Cereals such as oats, wheat or rice, which provide slowly absorbed carbohydrates, should be present in your diet before you eat them. With them, your body will get energy as it needs it. Without enough"fuel" you will not be able to fill a race that may last for hours.
If what you eat matters, the liquids you drink, even more so. Take into account the loss of water and mineral salts caused by running a significant number of kilometres. Properly hydrate yourself, even if you take small sips along the way, is basic for any runner facing a long-distance race. A good hydration is essential to ensure the arrival to the finish line avoiding fatigue or dizziness.
Set your pace
It is unthinkable to expect to participate in a long race at your full speed. Knowing how to share the effort is fundmental to pass the test. You should find a pace at which you can run comfortably, always and at all times slightly below that maximum level you may have reached during training. You can make slight alterations in your rhythm by running, combining speeds and even establishing a few seconds in which you will be walking, to give your body time to recover. Remember that your first objective is to fill the gap. If you're going too fast, you'll probably wear yourself out before your time.
Getting your muscles to get all the oxygen they need to take every stride is another key to getting through a long race. Hence, breathing well is so essential in running. Breathe in through your nose, filling your lungs with air and breathe out through your mouth. If at any given moment, you notice that you are short of breath, replace this deeper breathing with a shallower one, this is breathing (inhaling) through your mouth so that you get an extra amount of oxygen that will be sensational for you to continue moving forward.
Make a good recovery
Once the challenge is over, give your body the minutes it needs to recover from a tough race. Strengthen your hydration and do not forget to do some stretches to assist muscle relaxation. A good massage can also be a great reward for your lower extremities that have earned it!