The secret to running further

We’ve all been there. Running along, panting hard and struggling not to stop, when someone glides past on their 20th mile having barely broken into a sweat. How do they do it?

The secret to running further

Up your strength

If you want to be able to run further, your muscles need to be able to cope with demands, so it's vital you include strength training in your running regime. If you start by strengthening your core, you'll find the rest far simpler, as this will help improve your posture and stance too.

It's also worth checking that your shopping list is packed full of protein rich foods that'll build leg strength.

Play with speed

Interval, or Fartlek training is highly effective at not only making you faster, but helping you go further too. It'll make you a far more efficient runner, and you can see a change in your overall fitness in a short space of time.

Interval training increases type-two muscle fibres (the ones that help you run fast); as well as strengthening quadriceps; improving the strength of the ventilatory muscles (which will help you breathe more efficiently); and preparing you mentally for racing - whatever the distance.

Invest in your long run

Ensuring you fit one long run a week in your training plan is really important, but it's equally important not to overdo it. Your distance should only be increased by about 10 per cent a week - pushing too hard could lead to injury and have an adverse effect.

If you're training for a marathon, or ultra, it's not the norm to run the full distance in training. 'I very rarely train over 30 miles in a 12 week training programme, as it takes so long to recover from running such long distances', says ultra runner and Hoka ONE ONE ambassador Marcus Scotney. 'Time on feet is more important than distance.'

Eat energy

What, and when you eat can have a massive effect on your performance. You'll need to opt for slow release foods that provide sustained energy to help you keep going for longer, such as a mix of carbohydrates like oats as well as home made smoothies.

Don't rely too heavily on gels and energy drinks as these can be packed full of artificial ingredients.

Run happy

When you hit the wall it can be hard to muster any positive thoughts, but push through it. Marcus recommends putting a big smile on your face. 'Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match. So smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.'

So next time you feel like giving up, literally grin and bear it, you'd be surprised by how much it can help.