How to Go the Distance


by Hailey Brady, BS, ACSM-CPT

Whether you’re training for a race, out for a leisurely walk, or a seasoned marathoner, we’ve all experienced fatigue in our workouts. At times it may be physical fatigue, other times it may be mental. Check out LifeStart’s tips that are sure to help you go the distance in your next walk, bike or run.

Use your music as a guide

Every now and then I find myself struggling to complete a long run. It can be discouraging to look at my watch and see that I still have 5 miles left. Just like that my breathing begins to become more labored, my legs feel a little heavier, and I start to slow my pace. I’ve learned to combat this mental block by challenging myself to stop looking at my watch every few minutes. Instead, I use my music to guide me and push me to keep running. I pick a song and tell myself I will jog at a relaxing pace for the duration of the song. Next song, I run at my race pace, and the following song will be a walk/jog. I continue this cycle of jog, run, walk until I’m either back in the groove and maintaining my run, or my run is complete.

Use your watch/ timer as a guide

If you’re a fan of HIIT, prefer to get your workout over with quickly, or enjoy competing against yourself use your watch to guide your run. Begin with a light jog/ warm up pace for at least 5 minutes. Starting on the minute begin to run at a challenging pace for 1 minute (you should be winded by the end). You can choose to go 1 minute (challenging running pace) on, 1 minute off (walk) or break it up however you prefer. Here are some examples :

  • 1 minute challenging pace (work)
  • 30 s light jog (recovery)
  • Repeat for duration of your run/ walk/ bike


  • 1 minute walk (easy)
  • 1 minute jog (moderate)
  • 1 minute challenging (hard)
  • Repeat for duration of your run/walk/bike

Know that something (no matter how small) is better than nothing

It’s easy to find an excuse as to why you cannot make it out for your run or workout. All too often I see clients convincing themselves that they do not have enough time to workout and make healthy choices. In the end, it’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time, prioritizing the healthy choices, and making it a part of your everyday routine. With that said, I always stress that any workout is better than no workout at all. That may mean you squeeze in a 20 minute jog around the block in the morning, a bike ride to the park with your kids, or a few pickup basketball games at your gym. While 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise would be preferable, 20 minutes is still better than 0.

Break it up

Looking ahead in my marathon training I see the long runs slowly creeping towards the 20 mile mark. With a 9 hour work day, it might seem impossible to fit that in. For the most part I save my long run for the weekend. In the event that I can’t, I may have to break it up. That may mean 10 before work and 10 after work, 5 on the treadmill and 15 outside, etc. the point is, you have to make it work! While you shouldn’t apply this to every long run, you may need to break up your run every now and then to fit it into your schedule. The same can be said for a shorter run or workout, break it up! If you can’t crank out 3 miles all at once, do a 1.5 mile walk/run on the treadmill  and take a break. Then get outside for the other 1.5 when possible.

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