Now the festive period is over, some of us will look to begin our training for the long-distance running season to begin.


Some of you may be complete newbies to running, others maybe entering January having been in this very position time and time again. There is no clear-cut definition for long-distance running for it can be 10km for one person and an ultra-marathon for someone else. But what does remain consistent throughout is the need for effective training, planning and motivation. Therefore, this blog will aim to outline the simple yet necessary information required for someone to successfully complete a running challenge!



When training for long distance it is important to utilise a variety of methods within the allocated period to allow for development and progression.

Training plans should incorporate at least 3 runs a week (varying both between distance and time for which will change week on week).

In addition, 2 weight training sessions, targeting both upper and lower body will benefit muscular endurance and injury prevention (Saunders et al. 2006).

Active recovery is vital for our body’s development and progression. Completing an activity that differs from running, yet still requires a form of movement is essential during training. Activities such as; walking, swimming or cycling are a great alternative during active recovery days.



Having a plan in place for training allows room for accountability for the individual. The satisfaction of ticking off week by week mileage enables structure and accomplishment (Pierce, Murr and Moss 2012).

Having a set race/event date and working backwards from that point means the start day of training can be set in stone!

Suggestive training timeframes:

5km= 8 weeks

10km= 10 weeks

Half marathon= 12 weeks

Marathon= 20 weeks






Finding the motivation to run can be hard. Especially if you are starting your training in January. It’s dark, cold and wet and no one wants to venture out after work. Here are a few simple tips that might help you begin your running journey;

  • Try and get your first run in at the start of the week, either Monday morning or evening, you will be setting yourself up right!
  • Get an event in the diary so you have something to strive for.
  • Running with a friend will encourage you. As well as this, running with someone else prevents you from cancelling as no one wants to let the other one down!
  • Make your routes interesting or have a desired finish point for a reason (eg. Running to the next town for milk as you’ve ran out, then getting a lift back). Logging your mileage won’t seem like a chore if you are incorporating errands too.


So if you now feel like you want to create a challenge for 2020 and enter yourself into a running event, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to preparing yourself for race day;



Follow a training programme that incorporated distance and timed sessions

Don’t forget about supplementing your running with weight training

Train in similar clothing and the same trainers to what you will be wearing on race day

Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by with the length/accumulative distance in the plan

Look after your body and seek maintenance soft tissue work during training

Don’t pressure yourself to run far and fast to begin with. Training within your ability will show improvement a lot more effectively if you manage your expectations

Remain hydrated and sufficiently fuelled throughout training, especially when the miles increase

During race day try and stick to your training miles/km split times to ensure you are running as comparably to training

Keep hands, fingers, feet and toes as warm as possible along with applying Vaseline to sore lips and chafing





At Injury Active we challenged ourselves to take on a half marathon. Having completed that I now have the running bug and have 3 half marathons planned for 2020 already! I’m certainly learning as I go along and am always transferring my sports therapy knowledge over to my running training. If you feel like you could benefit from more information on this then please do not hesitate to get in contact. Alternatively if an injury is preventing you from achieving your 2020 running goal then please get in touch.

Happy New Year!



Liv J

Olivia Freeman

BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST

MSc Strength and Conditioning





Pierce, B, Murr, S and Moss, R, (2012), Runner’s World Run Less, Run Faster, Revised Edition: Become a faster strong runer with the revolutionary 3-run-a-week training program’, Rodal, USA: New York.


Saunders, P. U, Telford, R. D, Pyne, D. B, Peltola, E. M, Cunningham, R. B, Gore, C. J and Hawley, J. A, (2006), ‘Short-term plyometric training improved running economy in highly trained middle and long distance runners’, Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 20(4), 947-954.

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