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

Workout Wednesday: Commit Today 5k – Take Your First Steps Into Fitness

UNC Campus Recreation has a brand new specialty fitness program – the Commit Today 5K Training Program. This class is designed to teach brand new runners the basics of running, and to eventually help them complete their first 5K. The 5K is often considered a landmark for many new runners, and could be part of your fitness journey. runners Designed for beginner runners, the program will take you through each level of progressive running fitness. The workouts will be appropriate to the level of the program, and they will never increase dramatically. Over 4 weeks, participants will be guided through workouts of increasing distance and duration. Participants can join 3 possible groups, depending on their desired outcome – walking, jogging, or running the 5K. Students and employees at UNC of all ages are welcome to participate. The atmosphere will be positive and welcoming, with coaches providing encouragement. If you’re not a newbie runner, but still want to get involved as a mentor, email This is a great opportunity to share your passion for running with others! The program runs Thursday, April 3 – April 24, 2014. The workouts will take place every Thursday at 5:15 pm, and will last an hour. To register, stop by the UNC Campus Rec Main Office with $15. The first 50 people to register will receive a free T-shirt – so don’t hesitate! Registration closes March 31st. Not all of us born with genes like those of Usain Bolt, the world’s “fastest man ever.” But that shouldn’t stop you from exercising to increase your fitness level. I know from experience that the first step feels like the hardest. I first started running in 7th grade as a beginner in cross country at my middle school. Although the onset was hard, my body adjusted and I eventually came to love the sport, with the help of my team and coach. This program will give you that same experience. We’ll provide the workouts, education, and encouragement – you provide the commitment. Ready to get started? Begin your running career here.

Workout Wednesday blog posts are written by UNC Campus Recreation staff members. Each Wednesday we’ll be swapping blog posts with the Tarheel 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