How to run longer

How to run longer

Ready to run more? Road or trail, get inspired with these tips.

How to run for longer

How to run longer

Ready to run more? Road or trail, get inspired with these tips.

BY : MARK COHEN  • run • 05.04.2023

Running is a product of routine. Two years ago, I could barely run 10km without stopping. On Sunday, I clocked another 50km week. So how to get from point A to point B?

Here are some ramblings on the ritual of running routinely and how to do it for longer.

Communicate intent with preparation.

Running requires leaning in. You must commit to it, which often means doing it at off-hours and on weekends. Doesn’t matter the distance – you can be an avid 5K-a-day runner or more. But most would agree there’s a certain amount of discipline required to make it a part of your daily life.

For me, running happens in the morning. I can run 10km easy on a glass of water, so the pre-breakfast time of day doesn’t bother me. But how to find that morning motivation? My run usually starts the night before with a well-rehearsed routine. I check my watch, lay out some kit, untie my shoelaces, find my keys and give my headlamp some juice. I make preparation part of the routine – a mental checklist to complete – so that I can simplify and do more running free of obstacles.

Trail running apparel for men and women

Lean into discomfort.

Running isn’t easy. Frankly, I’d be sceptical of anyone who says otherwise. As runners, we all love idyllic settings: the trail runs, the time alone, the chirping birds or even the city sounds… Is it cathartic? Yes. Is ramping up your mileage easy? No. Will every run be perfect? Likely not. 

Most runs that runners do are classified as base or junk miles, which translates to accumulative conditioning for your legs so they can get used to the effort of running 30 and 40km a week. 

Ironically, I actually think about how hard running is while running. I also focus on the joy that comes from doing hard things. A cold run. A wet run. A long run. There’s satisfaction in feeling spent and knowing you’re improving. 

Connect with people. 

Luckily ODLO has a lot of runners in the building. We also sponsor a trail running team. So naturally, there’s lots of opportunity to chat about running and join people on a run. I’m prepping for the Swiss Jura Trail 35km in May, so being surrounded by all this energy helps. A lot.

When asking Maxime Grenot from Team ODLO X-Alp about prep for a 35km trail event (he won the 55km race in 2022), his perspective boiled down to time. “You want to break it down to 3 to 4 hours of running a week: 80 per cent base and 20 per cent tempo.” So what’s that mean for most if your goal is just to run for longer?

Regardless of how much you run at this minute, the idea is to slowly increase volume – like, very slowly – while staying within this 80/20 ratio. It means most of your runs will effectively be volume with some speed or tempo work but always within this balance. You can go through an entire season running 20km a week with this ratio if that’s what feels right. You’ll build a very strong base from which to start running 30+ kilometres per week before you know it.

Tips for how to run longer

Build miles over time.

In that same vein, it’s key to track how you feel as you spend more and more time running. Make notes in your Strava or log your runs in a journal to track progress and check in. How are your legs? Any aches and pains? Knees and back feel loose? As you start running for longer blocks of time, be honest and scale it back if something doesn’t feel right. You know your body best. And if that’s the case, don’t look at it as a setback, but rather a reset before you tackle the next part of your program.

Take creature comforts along the way. 

A couple essentials I’ve found for runs lasting longer than 1.5 hours. Water. Food. A jacket that packs up in your fist. Most of these can be carried in a waist belt (this is a great one) or in a running pack (like this one from Scott). A good pair of headphones in your waist belt and a motivational or BPM playlist can also extend your runs by giving you a little extra boost when needed.

I would also suggest picking some kit (of course) that you feel good in. I’ve had the chance to run in a new product this season – the X-Alp Performance Wool trail tee – and I stand behind it if you’re into natural performance fibres on your runs.

So how to run longer? In summary:

  1. Embrace running’s routine.
  2. Find joy in discomfort. 
  3. Surround yourself with great people. 
  4. Be smart when it comes to volume. 
  5. Listen to your body. 
  6. Set goals and be realistic about them. 
  7. Treat yourself to kit you enjoy running in. You’ll do it more.


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