Running’s not easy, but is definitely something that runs through the family. Every year my brother and his wife run the marathon here and although, they don’t always finish on time, I have to commend them for their effort.
I can still remember the first time I started running back in high school when I could barely run a whole mile. But by the time I got to college, I was running nearly 7 miles everyday without stopping in between. I believe for me that 7 mile mark was my finishing point.
Completing such an achievement is possible by everyone and the most important tip I can give you is consistency and gradually working your way up overtime. Even if you can only do one mile tomorrow, use that as your starting point, and work up to 1.5 miles the following week. These aren’t the only steps you can take to complete 7 miles in one run however. There are many other factors that attributed to my success as I’ll mention down below.
Benefits Of Long-Distant Running
At the time I believed there were a few things that pushed me into starting off as a long-distant runner. I liked how fast it got me into shape and how I felt afterwards. There is no feeling in the world that can describe that kind of aerobic experience. That feeling of accomplishment is probably the biggest reason I got myself into long-distant running. I found that if I could accomplish my goals on the track, then I could accomplish anything in life.
This was a hugely motivating aspect that related to life in many ways and definitely seemed to increase my overall focus and attention off the track. I’m not going to lie, but I also loved finding myself gorging in sweat afterwards, which definitely attributed to clearer skin. Running seven miles a day can be seen as an aggressive goal to some, but is something you definitely become accustomed to over-time and in a way, can feel addicting!
There were drawbacks however, that I found myself constantly having to be aware of. Running that long can take a huge toll on your body so you definitely need to be careful. I found the muscles in my lower body gradually getting tighter over-time, especially my groins.
Without a great foam roller, I don’t think running that often would have been possible. I’ve now cut back on my running to 2 to 3 miles a day, simply because I don’t have the same amount of time that I used to. But if I were to do it all over again, here are my top tips for helping you become a better runner, whether its short or long-distance.
One thing I know that really, really helped me accomplish this goal was working on the muscles in my lower body. I can’t tell you how much this helped me with my running skills. This is probably right up there with consistency. Doing compound exercises made me run longer, faster, and was exactly how I was able to build up my stamina and endurance at a very fast pace. In a way, it gave me a sense of power on the track like nothing could stop me.
But I’m not just talking about any kind of leg workouts. I’m referring to those core compound movements. The ones that are notorious for building up multiple muscles at a time as well as your core. I never worked out much using the leg press or other types of resistant machines since I knew I could be making better use of my time.
Instead I focused all my effort on performing squats and lunges. If not for these exercises, there is no way I would have been able to achieve running 7 miles. I also made sure to consistently work on my calves as well by doing simple calf raises on a daily basis.
Another thing I believed helped attribute to running 7 miles was foam rolling my muscles after each and every run. This is tremendously useful for keeping your muscles loose and flexible which is a must for any runner. Long distant runners are well-known for getting muscle cramps and tightness in their lower body for obvious reasons.
If you’re going to go with a foam roller, I highly recommend going with the TriggerPoint GRID. Another reason I feel foam rolling really helped is because they helped me recover so much faster. I really think it’s one of the healthiest things you can do for your muscles.
Good Running Shoes Are a Must!
Always make sure you’re running in good track shoes. These give you so much more flexibility when running and keep you comfortable. I used to run with whatever pairs of shoes I had running around. Sometimes I’d go out running in basketball shoes, when I knew it was only holding me back.
As soon as I got a new pair of running shoes, I found running to be a lot easier and more importantly, provided the necessary comfort I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. And please don’t ask me why I was running in basketball shoes when I was attempting to run 7 miles a day. Lol!
Run Anywhere & Everywhere
The final piece of advice I can give you to running better, longer, and stronger is running wherever and whenever. I remember my running habit really first started in college when my jeep broke down and I couldn’t get to class. On some days I had classes starting as early as 8 AM and I didn’t want to be that guy to wake up his roommate.
So what did I do.. I used those 2 miles to run to class, bringing a change of clothes with me to change at the gym before class. I’m telling you that just by running from one place to another at different times of the day really helped skyrocket my metabolism and allow my body to become accustomed to this pretty sweet way of life. 🙂