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Running Longevity Strategies

By March 13, 2023July 17th, 2023No Comments
running longevity

Hi All!

This morning on a Zoom coaching call, a runner asked me this question:

“What are the most useful strategies for running longevity?”

In this post I want to share some high level thoughts about this.

Running longevity is the ability of a runner to maintain a consistent and healthy running routine for a prolonged period of time.

Some fundamentals for running longevity are:

  1. Minimizing your risk of injuries and burnout
  2. Being healthy and staying healthy
  3. Finding enjoyment in your running

Let’s discuss this further:

  1. Minimizing your risk of injuries and burnout.

Many runners experience frequent injuries, overtraining and even burn out, which prevents them from training consistently. Overuse injuries are often caused by too much training load (volume & intensity) too soon. Gradual adaptations of your body AND YOUR MIND are needed here.

Some of the important components are: the right training approach, injury prevention strategies, enough recovery between runs, proper nutrition and the correct footwear.

Gradual, consistent progress over longer periods of time surprises many athletes. It’s not the overnight hero success story everyone wants to hear, but it sets you up for much more longevity in the sport.

  1. Being healthy and staying healthy

Health first and your running improvements will follow. Think long term vs short term here. Too many times I come across athletes who decide to go for long / hard training runs or races, when they are not feeling well, are half injured or not excited to run.

Training schedules are a great outline for your overall running volume, when to add speedwork, when to take a step back week and when to peak.

That being said, it’s also important that we adjust our training on a daily basis, based on how we feel. Did you have a poor night’s sleep? Maybe dial things back a bit. Feeling strong on your run? You can consider running a bit longer. Flexibility is key here.

  1. Finding enjoyment in your running

To set yourself up for success with running in the long term, enjoying your runs is so important.

Many people see running as a punishment, this is often caused by the NO PAIN NO GAIN mentality.

Once athletes experience the positive effects of slowing down their running pace on some of their runs, this often opens a new world of finding joy and excitement about running.

If your runs are becoming a chore and you don’t feel like running, pay close attention to this. What could be causing this?

Taking a few days break from running can often bring back the spark. Running with a friend or local running group can help. Mixing up your running route, or running some local trails can go a long way too.  

In closing

Runners who prioritize these factors can increase their chances of staying injury-free and enjoying the physical and mental benefits of running over the long term.

Have fun out there on your runs!


Floris Gierman
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