I’ve recently taken the bold step of getting my Mo Farah on and….. no not eating quorn, but going out for some long duration running. I’m not a massive fan of long duration cardio (or quorn for that matter). Although it certainly has it’s place (unlike quorn), I think when training for fat loss your valuable time could be better spent lifting heavy, but at the moment for me it’s an absolute must. I’m now a month away from doing a tough mudder 12 mile assault course and although it’s not 12 miles in the same way as a continuous run would be, with the event expected to last between 2-3 hours some endurance in my legs is a must.
I’m not much of a fan of long distance runs, my biggest distance so far was just over 7 miles in 50 minutes and the major issue for me is not so much the physical effects but the mental. Simply put, I find it a bit boring. I had to find ways to try and make it a bit more interesting. Here are some tips to try and get the most, mentally and physically, from your running training.
- If you’re a bit of a gadget geek, try one of the GPS trackers such as Runkeeper or Endmondo. These free apps will track your route, pace and elevation. For me this is a great motivator, trying to keep a certain pace, knowing how far I’d gone, really kept me pushing forwards and travelling further than I would have otherwise.
- Run with friends. Although my pace was a little slower then when I ran on my own, I found getting miles in a lot easy when I was with friends. The time simply went a lot quicker as we were chatting as we went and before we knew it I’d done 6 miles and still felt good.
- Next best thing to running with friends is some music or even better an audiobook or podcast. There’s now hundreds of podcasts available to download to your phone with something for everyone no matter what your interest, most last about an hour so with a few of these ready to go you should have plenty to listen too.
- Take some amino acids and simple carbs before you go. Long duration cardio is going to burn a lot of calories and the last thing you want is to start using all the hard gains you’ve made in the gym to energise your run. Some liquid aminos will help prevent this and some simple carbs (e.g. jelly babies, jelly beans) will give you a source of energy your body can use.
- Stretch, when you get back from your run the first thought is usually shower/collapse or drink. But take the time to do at least a couple of stretches. Quads and calves usually get very sore after a long run so make sure you AT LEAST do a good 2 min stretch on each muscle.