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Essential long distance running training tips

Essential long distance running training tips

Whether you’re new to running or building up to run a marathon, these essential tips will help you on your running journey.

1. Find a training buddy

If you are running solo, you're more likely to give up. Find a friend to run with and you'll keep each other going. You'll also motivate each other to go for that run when you'd rather be curled up on the sofa.

2. Start slow

You should be able to hold a conversation while you run. If you find you can’t talk, you’re going too fast and will burn yourself out quickly. Also you won't be able to chat to your training buddy - with any luck the chat will take your mind off the distance and before you know it you'll have run further than you imagined. So slow it down; you may be surprised at how much longer you can keep it up for. 

3. Aim to increase your distance by 10% a week

For example, if you run a total of 10k in your first week, aim to run 11k the following week. If you manage 25k in one week, go for 27.5k the following week. If you push yourself much more than that you risk injury. The key is to build up slowly and steadily.

4. Eat sensibly before you run

This may sound obvious, but you need to stock up on some carbs before you head out, ideally an hour beforehand. Don’t eat too much though or you will feel sluggish. Try a couple of slices of toast with peanut butter on, or toast and a egg.

5. During the run

If you’re running for longer than an hour, you may find it helpful to have a handful of raisins or an energy bar to snack on. This will keep your energy levels high and stabilise your blood sugar levels.

6. After the run

Eat a mixture of carbs and protein. The carbs will replenish energy levels and the protein will help to repair tissue.


Hydration is key. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your run. If you run dehydrated you won’t get far. Dehydration kills your energy levels so keep yourself topped up.

8.Train to help your run

Supplement your running with yoga, pilates, strength training or cross training. They all help to build strength and muscle and will help you avoid injuries. They will also boost your fitness levels. Yoga and pilates will aid your recovery too with beneficial stretches.

9. Take a break

Take time to recover and rest. Pushing yourself too hard and too fast will only set you back. So listen to your body and look after yourself!

the author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running ultra marathons. In addition to training for her epic runs she finds time for strength training, Pilates and Yoga. .