What should be considered when you want to do long distance running.
Getting into long distance running is no joke. I know, and I am writing about it because there was a time I tried it when I was still in school. Being actively engaged in sports, especially in basketball, table tennis and tennis, I was confident I had what it would take to get into long distance running. I thought the stamina I had was enough. In other sports you could be engaged in them for hours but remember, it is not continuous. Some pauses, rests or time-outs are involved in other sports. In long distance running, to earn a respectable finish, you cannot afford to run a slow pace. Definitely no rests or pauses.
Track long distance running involve 5,000 and 10,000 meter events, 5-kilometer and 10 kilometer runs, several rounds a flat track oval. It is part of track and field events. For the 5k, I have written an article specifically about it, focused practically on 5k fun or seasonal runs, not on the event type. This article is more about longer runs like cross country and marathon.
The body should be well conditioned to take continuous jarring and pounding for at least half an hour or more, depending on the race distance. The feet, knees, waist and trunk sustain the most stress and strain. You should not feel the insides of your body to be moving up and down independently. If so, it simply means your abdomen muscles are not holding them enough in place for such an activity. For beginners conditioning and training, the basics could be found on the 5k article I have written. However, training for long distance running will be on the upper limits. Your endurance will be tested here. Same goes for your threshold for pain and possible exhaustion. Leg cramps and dehydration will be a major concern here, so proper diet and nutrition is of utmost importance. Again, cross-training should always be part of the training regimen as the benefits are invaluable.
The body-build or frame of an individual is important. Heavily built people would be putting more stress on their legs, joints and feet. Reducing weight to ideal proportions without sacrificing health and fitness can be considered. Maintaining it is a must, should an individual pursue a career on long distance running. Determination is what will hold one to do this type of running. It is hard to integrate this for those who have regular jobs because training and conditioning is very demanding. Students can go for this especially if they will be granted scholarship by representing the school in competitions.
As a note here, I did not succeed in trying because I could not cope with the demands of training and the diet I was told to take regularly. I have a small build and did not to reduce weight. So, for beginners or those planning to get into long distance running, consider what was mentioned here. It will really take a lot of guts, perseverance and sacrifice to just finish a real long distance run. Should you decide to make a go for it, make sure you have a medical clearance or certificate on health and fitness.