Tips for Becoming a Better Long-Distance Runner

An attorney with over 15 years of experience, Kyle T. Kirts practices probate, traffic defense, juvenile, and landlord/tenant law in Dayton, Ohio. Outside of his professional responsibilities, Kyle Kirts maintains his fitness by participating in 5K running events.

To improve your results, follow these tips when preparing for a 5K or any other long-distance race:

Remember carbohydrates—In the days leading up to a long race, you should incorporate more carbohydrates into your diet than normal. Eating foods such as bread and potatoes before a race will help maintain muscle health and provide more energy. An hour after completing a race, long run, or hard workout, you should consume more carbohydrates to re-energize.

Follow the two-hour rule—You should eat a meal no less than two hours prior to participating in a long run or distance race. This gives food the proper amount of time to be digested and will ultimately prevent abdominal bloating and cramps, as well as vomiting.

Invest in good running shoes—Old or ill-fitting shoes do not provide the proper amount of support needed for running, particularly on hard concrete or roads. The wrong shoes can affect both your running technique and your joints. You should purchase new running shoes after you have run 400-500 miles in your old pair.

Build your endurance—Without developing good endurance, participating in long-distance races will be difficult. When preparing for races, you should do one long run per week to build stamina. Another good way to build endurance is to incorporate stretching into your routine. Stretching helps prevent injury and reduce the stress your body endures after long races.


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