Long-Distance Running Tips for Beginners

So you run every once in a while, but now you’re ready to try your first marathon. Where do you begin? Here are a few long-distance running tips for beginners to help you get started.

First, what is considered long-distance running? Travel for long in runner circles, and you’ll meet everyone from dedicated 5k specialists to marathoners, to ultra-marathoners. They’ll all claim to be “distance runners.” So what, exactly, does this term mean? The answer is…it’s subjective. Many dedicated 5k runners consider themselves distance runners, but so do 26.1-mile marathon runners.

If you’re a new long-distance runner, also be sure to check out ways to prevent runners injury, as Harvard Health details here. Also, if you’re a beginning runner, I encourage you to check out 5 Tips for Beginning Runners on our page. Now, here are a few tips to get you started on your long-distance runner journey.

Equip the Right Gear

Your feet and running shoes are going to get to know each other well. As a runner new to long-distance, you might be tempted to drop an excessive amount of money on a gimmicky shoe that purports to perfect your form, prevent injury, or give you superpowers. Please know that there is no magic shoe. Go to a running store, and pick the pair that makes your feet the happiest. Just make sure you get the right gear before getting started!

Keep Your Training Balanced

Long-distance running quickly becomes a way of life. The training involved should match one’s fitness level, and it is important to set challenging goals, but ones you can reach, too! The rule of thumb should always be to build strength, endurance, and cardio gradually. Achieving this requires a regular balance of long runs during the week and adequate rest. Plus, lifting a bit of weight can complement the cardio and boost one’s overall fitness level.

Start Where You’re At

Sometimes when people start long-distance training, they worry because they might only be able to do 3 miles now, so training for a marathon that’s 26.2 miles seems out of reach. The thing is, it isn’t out of reach at all. You need consistency and a good chunk of time, and you’ll see your body can do amazing things! A good rule of thumb is to limit mileage increases to about 10% each week. Make those increases manageable!


Hydration is essential to long-distance marathon training. All the tips in the world won’t help you if your water intake is inadequate. Adequate hydration will look different for everyone, but make sure you’re getting enough water for your body to go the distance.


Did these tips help you? Was there something I missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, please be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul Newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday.

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