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How To Run For Longer | A Short Guide

How To Run For Longer | A Short Guide

Been bitten by the running bug? We hear you.

Running can be addictive. It's not just the physical benefits of running that are attractive, it's also the mental clarity that it provides as well as a purpose to prepare, to be healthy and have a goal.

Now, you're pumped up and ready to embark on your own long-distance running journey. But, how do you build yourself up safely to tackle marathon distances and dare we say, beyond?

In this piece, we'll delve into different training methodologies for increasing your running mileage and explore key considerations to ensure you do so safely and effectively.

Note, this is a short guide that gives you strategies and tips to be able to run longer. Always consult with a professional or your own specific circumstances.


First things first, let's talk mileage. As runners, we often measure our progress in the number of kilometres or miles we cover each week.

For the sake of clarity, we'll be referring to distances in kilometres.


Method #1: The 10% Rule

The 10% rule is perhaps the most well-known approach to building up your mileage as a runner. It's simple: take the distance you ran the previous week and increase it by 10%. For example, if you ran a total of 15 kilometres last week, aim to add 1.5 kilometres to your distance this week.

While this rule is conservative, some critics argue that it may be too slow for beginners and low mileage runners. However, adhering to this gradual progression can help prevent overuse injuries and allow for steady, sustainable growth in your running capacity.

Believe me, overuse injuries are not fun. They can be some of the worst and most frustrating sports injuries you'll encounter that take a long time to reverse.

Method #2: The Daniels Running Formula

The Daniels Running Formula is a book that contains a training methodology that was developed by  Dr. Jack Daniels, an American exercise physiologist, running coach and a coach of Olympic athletes. The formula says that you are to add no more than 1 mile per run per week. E.g If you ran 4 times last week, then add no more than 4 miles next week.

This method of increasing your mileage is definitely more scalable as compared to the 10% rule. Many competitive runners will run 7-10 plus runs in a week and that would probably be about a 10% increase in mileage. So, for lower volume runners, the amount you can increase may be more like 15-20%. This makes sense because adding even a small amount of total weekly mileage in low volume runners will tend to be higher than the very conservative 10% rule.

Remember, there must always been an element of 'gut feel'. One thing I've learnt from two decades in sport, is that you need to listen to, and understand what your body is telling you.

There's a really fine line between good sore, and bad sore.

Good sore is feeling a bit rigid, but nothing a bit of recovery can't fix. Bad sore, well you generally get the feeling that if you keep pushing on it, you're bound to get injured.

Know the difference and understand what your body is telling you.


At the end of the day, whichever methodology you follow, it's heavily dependent on your body’s capabilities and your overall goal + timeline.

For seasoned and experienced runners, there actually won’t be too many differences between the two methodologies. For beginner runners however, you’ll be building up your mileage to a certain point before more factors start to play a bigger role in your overall running journey.

For example, I saw a highly-competent runner post on Instagram last week about 'not confusing movement with progress' - which insinuated that just because you're running, doesn't mean you're making progress.

If you're early in your running journey - movement is progress. It's about repetition and consistency.

As you progress and you start looking to shave very small amounts of time off your runs, you obviously start thinking more strategically about your training and technique to get an edge. 



Maximise your current running level before stepping up to the next level. On average it takes about 4 - 6 weeks for the human body to adapt to training stresses. The last thing you want to experience is the pain and disappointment of an injury that comes with over-training (Tendonitis & Stress Fractures to name a few). 

What we tend to neglect is the fact that our cardiovascular fitness can increase at a much higher rate than our skeletal and muscular fitness. So, while we feel like the training runs that we embark on are low effort and far from being tough, unless given enough rest, our body is actually accumulating the stresses and the impact that's being put on it.


Let's say you are following a program that has you running three days per week, what are you doing the other four days? Your first step should be to make sure you are cross training at least a few of the other days.

New runners will benefit from regular cross-training. Like we said, your muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones can take up to 4 - 6 weeks to adapt to the impact and stresses of your increased running routine. Cross-training on your non-running days can help build aerobic fitness, strengthen your body for the specific demands of running and lessen the extent of any muscle imbalance picked up over your run training sessions. By balancing your weaker muscles with your stronger ones, you'll help reduce your chance of injury.

For a list of cross-training activities you can delve into, check out the list we made on our Instagram here!

Eat Plenty:

Every day you train involves minor amounts of muscular breakdown. When you are recovering from your runs, your body is healing those little 'injuries' and adapting to that stress. To heal and adapt properly, you need energy availability, or calories beyond the bare minimum necessary to complete its normal functions. So keep the calories flowing!

In general, athletes thrive off of diets high in good fats to fuel the aerobic engine, with plenty of protein to rebuild muscle and enough carbs to provide energy. But here's the thing - no diet is perfect. Don't let that stop you from trying your best to feed your body the right fuel that it needs. If you have doubts about how much you need, feed the machine more so the machine can roar - as they say.

And there you have it—a guide to safely and effectively increasing your running mileage. With commitment, persistence, and a mindful approach to training, you'll soon be chomping down kilometres like a seasoned pro.

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