Running Tip: Increasing Distance

Are you training for a half marathon, a full marathon or even graduating to a 10K but are scared of increasing distance in your training?  It can be intimidating and rightly so.  You are challenging yourself to push both your mental and physical limits and it’s no easy task.  If you follow my blog you know I don’t follow traditional training methods.  I use them and adapt them to my own unique needs and apply them to my training to increase distance (which I’ll be doing this summer).  These are rules I follow and rules that work.

Training Tips to Increase Your Distance

  • Mix Up Your Cardio – Mixing cardio gives your legs and body a break from the heavy impact of running.  It also breaks up the monotony of running every day.
  • Work The Ladder – Increase distance on bi-weekly or weekly timeline, only increasing your distance by 10% of what your baseline is.  But be mindful of your own body.  Runners often increase mileage too quickly.  Make sure you give yourself ample time to recover after the big increases.  I typically amp my mileage up every two weeks.
  • Strength Training – It can help improve overall performance and adding heavy resistance exercises can make you faster during the final sprint of a race.  But it also helps the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles to withstand the impact running has on it.
  • Speed Training – Essentially, shorter, faster repeats train your body to burn less fuel while going further. It’s like getting better gas mileage for your legs.  So when you do shorter speed workouts, you’ll want to run them a 1-2 minute pace faster than your goal pace for half or full marathon pace.  The idea is that pace then feels “easy”.

Increasing Distance


Start training here, with these four tips and I guarantee you’ll see results.  I’ve utilized the ladder myself for training and it takes longer to get to those big numbers, but getting there is easier and my recovery is faster.  Mixing up the cardio has been a key factor in increasing my overall pace, but also giving me the gas to push harder at the end instead of crumbling the last 3 or 4 miles of a race.  The strength training has made it easier to run with better posture, allowing my diaphragm to open and breathing easier.  I do a mid-week 5k every week and every week I push it to see how fast I can go.

Without an hardcore focus on any of these alternate training options I’ve gotten stronger, faster, and pushing distance has become a far less challenging task.  It takes awhile to figure out what works for your body, but with distance training patience is truly a virtue, and taking your time to get it right is necessary.  Good luck to you on all of your challenges!

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