Workout Wednesday: Run the Distance

Running is no joke.  Adding miles to your “usual distance” is not done overnight.  You may be new to running or you may have completed a few half-marathons and are reaching for a full one.  Endurance is built the same way for runners with all levels of expertise (or lack of).

A student runs through a pool of winter light in the afternoon at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. – Dan Sears, UNC Chapel Hill

If you’ve been stuck logging the same amount of miles for the last few months, it’s time to step it up.  Challenge yourself to go farther.  Here are some tips on how to build endurance.

  • Strength Train: To go farther, you need to strengthen those muscles.  With power in your legs and arms, you can go the distance.
  • Go Slow: Add distance to at least one run per week, but slow down your pace.  Running slow and steady will help you build up to added miles.  Then once you have the distance down, you can focus on increasing your pace again.
  • Sprint Work: Adding in a day or two of sprints every week can really help your endurance.  Like strength training, it’ll build muscle and make your “normal runs” feel easy, allowing you to go farther.
  • Ab Work: Sure, you use your legs when you run, but endurance comes from your core.  Getting strong abs will give your better running posture, making a long run effortless.
  • Fuel Correctly: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – your body needs carbs prior to cardio.  This will create the energy you need to go for miles and miles.
  • Mantra:  So much of running is mental.  I always have a few mantras in my head to push myself when I feel like I can’t go anymore.  My favorite – Don’t quit when you’re tired. Quit when you’re done.
  • Pump up the Jams: Sometimes running is, er, boring.  Load up your iPod with some fast-paced songs and you won’t even think about how far you’re going!

For some other running motivation – check out these blog posts on Map My Run, Tips for Beginning Runners and The Marathon Club.


Workout Wednesday blog posts are written by UNC Campus Recreation. Each Wednesday we swap blog posts with the Tar Heel Tone Up blog so that readers can view more diverse post topics that will benefit their health and wellness. Workout Wednesday blog posts can be found both here and on

Life Lessons Learned through Half Marathon Training

Here are the life lessons I have learned by training for a half marathon.  (*Disclaimer: You do NOT have to be a runner to benefit from reading this post!)

You have to run the 13 before you run the .1 – I am a very impatient person.  Part of me would love to tell you that I found a short cut on how to run mile 12 without running miles 1 through 11, but unfortunately, I haven’t found the secret yet.  So, instead, I have started to become comfortable with having to run each mile, in succession, every time.  It reminds me of how most of the time in life, I am ignoring all of the amazing things around me or getting frustrated with not being “far enough” along.  Training reminds me to be present in each moment. Continue reading