The benefits of long-distance running are well documented. You are helping the environment at the same time! However, there is a lot more to running than just getting fit. The benefits of long-distance running include:
Long runs help prevent depression. I’ve run several marathons and by far the best thing that cross-training does for me is reducing the feeling of sadness that I usually feel running. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be a full marathon; you could easily do half of a marathon a week and feel almost no change in your moods. There’s a reason that marathons are called a race, it’s because they’re fast! I’ve probably heard that a hundred times before but what I’m talking about is a psychological benefit.
You improve your mental well-being and clarity. Running is great for reducing stress and anxiety. You will find that you have more energy, a clearer head, and you have a greater sense of accomplishment from finishing a marathon. When you’re running far enough, you’ll experience less anxiety, too. The result is a more balanced emotional state which can reduce stress and anxiety.
Build bone density
Long-distance running helps build bone density. That’s right, I said it. It builds bone density. Runners that do sprint usually break a bone in their feet or ankles if they’re not careful. Sprinting not only strengthens the bones but also stimulates bone formation. Studies show that those who do sprint recover faster from injury than runners who don’t. Also, to prevent such an accident from occurring, it is important to choose the right running shoes.
You increase your body’s fat-burning effects and lose weight while running. A lot of research has been done on how the various benefits of long-distance running affect fat burning. Overall, participants in sprinting sessions burned more calories, which means they had to work harder to lose weight. Sprints seem to have a slightly higher impact on the metabolism compared to walking or jogging.
Your heart benefits. Runners tend to be in better shape overall and their cardiovascular system works at peak efficiency. When you run long distances, your heart works harder and stronger to pump blood around your body and get it to all the places it needs to go. It also pumps oxygen-rich blood to vital organs in your body. Over time this helps keep your heart and lungs healthy. Those who run long distances report less resting heart rate and better overall health.
If you are trying to lose weight or increase your cardiovascular conditioning, you should start by running a half-marathon or a marathon. To help improve your technique, there are plenty of coaching clinics and DVDs available. You can also get a head start on your training by following a half-marathon program first, and then increasing your distance and speed as your conditioning improves.
You will lower your chances of developing some of life’s ailments. Some people might think running long distances is just an aerobic workout. The thing is, you are working many parts of the body at once, whether you’re running fast or walking. That’s why your endurance level increases and why many people say they feel healthier after a run. It’s also why many people say that they get a better night’s sleep when they run.
One of the benefits of long-distance running is that it helps to develop your aerobic endurance. Your cardiovascular system becomes stronger because it is forced to use more of your leg muscles to keep up with the increased speed of your pace. The more your heart works, the more oxygen it has to deliver to your muscles, allowing you to build endurance.
There are numerous positive benefits of long-distance running. However, if you are a beginner, you might want to start with a half-marathon first, to determine how you do. You can also take a look at the suggested course for the marathon or half-marathon. The important thing to remember is that you should always strive to maximize the overall physical benefits of your exercise program. If you are already doing more than enough to lose weight, reduce your risk for disease by exercising, or just getting in shape, you should consider increasing the intensity of your physical activity.
If you have been an athlete, you probably know the benefits of long runs, but if not, you should. Elite runners can maintain their endurance for up to 24 hours. There is no “best” time to begin an endurance training program, but most experts agree that it is best to do your workouts gradually. If you do too much too quickly, you can jeopardize your progress.