16 August 2004

How can I learn to be a long-distance runner?

Many ordinary people run marathons. They don’t run it at a pace of 3min/km, but at 5 – 7 min/km.

Many ordinary people run marathons. They don’t run it at a pace of 3min/km, but at 5 – 7 min/km. Most healthy people with a sense of self-discipline can participate in half-marathons and marathons and revel in their personal achievements.

If you’ve never been quite the fastest athlete in school, but want to be fit, your training may lead to your first 10km race and your first half-marathon. This training will also help you to lose weight if you are overweight.

The ideal body type: The thinner and shorter, the better. However, anybody can start a gradual and progressive training programme.

Physical requirements: A long-distance athlete must have extremely strong core muscles for good balance and posture, a good sense of rhythm and good lung capacity. Who should opt for another sport: If you are very muscular, bulky, overweight, lack self-dicipline, or have very limited lung capacity, rather opt for another sport. If you have self-disciplne, you can do it.

Type of exercise needed: Lots of cardiovascular exercise and strenghtening expercises for the muscles of your stomach, trunk and back. You need to start running or cycling at least three times a week to improve your cardiovascular fitness, and gradually include fartlek runs and speed drills.


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