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8 tips to nail your first long distance run

As we enter into the running season, many of you may be watching friends, family and colleagues completing long distance runs and thinking, could I ever do that?

The good news is, anyone can do a half or full marathon if you put the hard working and training in, but it’s surely not an easy challenge!

So what are the things you need to know to boss the biggest run of your life?

Running shoes on the floor


1.     Make a realistic training plan

This is step one and make sure you do your research here to make a training plan that works for you and your body.

Every single person is different; so it’s essential to read around and speak to professional personal trainers and runners if you need to.

Make sure you are incorporating exercise into your day in a way that works for you, and start with shorter runs building up your miles.


2.     Mix up your exercise

Of course the end goal is to build up your running ability to ace a long distance in the time most doable for your body, but it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t get bored.

Try incorporating some other aerobic exercise like swimming or cycling and some weight training.


group of young people running on treadmills in modern sport  gym


3.     Be prepared to brave the elements

Yes, you will need to get out and get going come rain or shine!

Bad weather is such an easy get out clause when you had planned to get outside for a run, so if you really can’t face it, get yourself on a treadmill and do the equivalent.


4.    Find the kit that works for you

It can be quite exciting kitting yourself out with jazzy sportswear for the first time, but make sure you aren’t choosing fashion over practicality!

Yes, those zebra striped trainers might be the one, but will they support your body for 13 or 26 miles? Go for a kit with pockets too, so you can turn to your music or podcast of choice for motivation.


Woman Lacing Running Shoes. Close-up


5.     Listen to your body

There is a fine line between pushing yourself to your limits, and taking it too far.

Remember, an injury is only going to set you back, so always listen to your body and make sure you stretch properly before and after exercise.


6.     Pre race nerves are normal

As it's that moment where you think ‘can I really do this?’ Even the most seasoned of runners have moments of self-doubt, they are completely normal!


Confident Strong Girl Prepared To Run, Stands At The Start, Long Distance


7.     Be ready to overcome some serious mental barriers

Which leads me perfectly onto the next point, the hardest barriers to overcome when training for a half or full marathons are the mental ones.

It kind of becomes a real task in getting to know yourself! Dig deep and push forward.


8.     Believe in yourself- it does get easier!

People will say this throughout training, but this really is true, it will get easier.

Every time you find yourself running a little faster, or for a little longer, you know progress is being made. Believe in your ability and believe in yourself, and you will get over that finish line.