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Lately a lot of people are asking me, how they are supposed to work out if they intend to run a marathon or if they just like running longer distances, and not just short interval sprints.

Some time ago, I also liked running longer distances and my workouts were different.

A lot of people make the mistake to go to the park or the stadium and just run… they run slowly, until they run the kilometers or the time they set as a goal. Tell you the truth this is just a waste of time and effort. If you want to get in better shape, by running more, you will need to change your steady, slow running workouts!

That is why today I will share with you how I used to train and what helped me get in better shape for running. Besides that now I am training with a woman who is preparing to run a marathon, and she has a tremendous progress by training this way. That is why my advice is to really give it a shot!

First of all, do not ditch weightlifting! Strength is the basic of all other physical skills. You can’t imagine what some squats, lunges and deadlifts could do for your performance.

Besides that when it comes to long distance running, you should emphasize on strengthening the stabilizer muscles, as well as doing the basic, compound movements with a full ROM. The reason behind this is that with long distance running, you have less range of motion, unlike the ROM when sprinting. This leads to an imbalance between the anterior and the posterior chain, because with long distance running you do not activate your hamstrings and glutes as much as your quadriceps. And as you know this imbalance could lead to injuries, knee and back pain.(read here here and   here)

Stabilizing muscles are important because when running long distances, these will be the muscles that will get exhausted first. This will immediately lead to poorer running mechanic and probably won’t allow you to reach your optimal, best time!

Besides that if you read a little more on the internet, you will find a lot of researches, which point out how strength training improves running economy and the time till exhaustion. For more information read here.

My advice would be to strength train, doing squats, lunges and other lower body movements with a full ROM. Thus, you are activating the posterior chain, making it stronger and avoiding the imbalance I mentioned earlier.

You should incorporate different kettlebell movements, because kettlebells are a great “tool” for increasing your strength and endurance and in the same time for strengthening the stabilizing muscles. Do a lot of swings and snatches.

Do lunges, squat variations and deadlifts.

My advice is, at the beginning of the training cycle, stick to 5 sets of 5 reps for the bilateral movements, and 3 sets of 5 for the unilateral movements. The weight should be about 85% of your 1RM.

With getting closer to the competition, decrease the weights to approximately 65-70% of your 1RM and increase the reps to 10-12, by respectively decreasing the rest between sets.

I encourage you to strength train three times a week.

When it comes to your running workouts, my advice is to work out as follows. You will use the interval training method, but it will be adjusted to your goals, i.e. long distance running!

Sample workouts:

400m sprint- 1 min. rest

800m max run- 2 min rest

1200m max run- 3min rest

1600m max run- 4min rest

2000m max run


5 times of 5 minutes max distance + 3min. rest

What you are supposed to do is in the time frame of 5 minutes run the maximum possible distance.


400m sprint – rest as much as it took you to complete the sprint

5min. max distance- 3min rest

400m sprint – rest as much as it took you to complete the sprint

5min. max distance- 3min rest

400m sprint – rest as much as it took you to complete the sprint

5min. max distance- 3min rest

400m sprint – rest as much as it took you to complete the sprint

5min. max distance- 3min rest


5km run for time with a tire

Tie a small tire for yourself. Pick up a tire that is not too heavy and won’t interfere with your proper running mechanic. It would be better if you have a running parachute, but not everybody has one, so the tire will do it.

The idea is that you don’t need to run massive distances every single day. You could prepare yourself for long distance running, with shorter but more intense workouts.

This kind of workouts will improve your endurance and strength.

I and some of my clients had great results with this training method.

Give it a try!

Even if you are not preparing for a competition, but you just prefer longer distances, and not short sprints, my advice is to try these workouts. They will help you improve your performance, as well as your appearance!

Do you prefer long distance running? How do you train?

P.S. If you liked this post, please share it with your friends! I’d greatly appreciate it!

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Ines Subashka

Инес Субашка е основател на IFS - зали за кондиционни тренировки и мобилност. Автор е на 6 книги за здравословно хранене и движение. https://inspiredfitstrong.com/bg/za-ines/bio/

Ела да тренираш в някоя от залите ни

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