How To Get Your Mileage To The Double Digits
When you need two numerals instead of one to log how far you’ve run in a single outing, you’ve hit a major milestone: many recreational runners never make it that far. The reason you should bother striving for 10 – beyond the bragging rights – is that going long, no matter how slowly you’re moving, is the best way to increase your endurance. More endurance often means faster race finishes. And long, aerobic efforts can help you lose weight and keep it off. Trouble is, if you go too far, too soon, too fast, you could end up injured.
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Here’s how to join the 10-Kay Club without getting hurt.
Plan on doing a long run every other weekend, adding about a half kay each time. In between, maintain fitness by running or run-walking for at least 30 minutes every other day. On long-run days, choose a route that loops past your car or home so you can stop for water and snacks.
Your long-run pace should be about two minutes per kay slower than your shorter-run pace. If you usually run continuously, take walk breaks (30 seconds after every minute of running) on long runs. If you use a run-walk strategy the rest of the week, shorten the run periods and lengthen the walk periods to go long.
RELATED: Walk Breaks for Faster Running
On your long-run days, if you’ll be out for more than an hour or so, have a sweet snack of 30 to 40 calories every three kays. A few gummy bears work well. Make sure to wash snacks down with sips of water, and drink more whenever you feel thirsty.
Have a snack (about 250 calories) with carbs and protein within 30 minutes of completing your run. To soothe tired muscles, consider soaking your legs in a tub filled with cool water. Log an additional 2,000 to 4,000 steps of walking after you’ve finished your run to prevent soreness in the following days.