Last week we looked into the type of track and field events which are part of the short distance categories. Staying on the same topic, this week we are going to explore the opposite end of the scale and see what the longer distance events entail. So, if you want to find out more about long distance track and field events and how you can get involved to reap the multiple health benefits of the sport then keep on reading.
Types of Long-Distance Events
Like the short distance running events we covered in the previous post, long distance events start in a similar way. The start of the race sees athletes take to their lanes on a track and take place on their boards ready for the race to begin. These boards give the runner the best chance at a clean and strong start as it allows them to push off with great force for a speedy beginning. These boards also ensure that they are steady before the race begins as to avoid any false starts.
When it comes to the Olympics there are many different types of long-distance running events which take place. Like the short distance events, the long-distance track events are split into women’s and men’s races where the sexes compete separately. The types of events you can come across in the athletics competitions are:
Why to Get Involved
Running is great for your health whether you choose to pursue it professionally or casually which is why we see so many people taking up the sport in both aspects. Here are just a few positive health and mental benefits in which this type of track event could benefit you in the short term and long term:
- Improved heart strength
- Enhanced cardiovascular system
- Heightened respiratory control
- Increased muscle strength
- Improves flexibility
- Great for stress relief
- Fantastic way to exercise mindfulness
- Excellent for weight loss
Training and Requirements
Long distance running events require an immense level of training to improve your stamina so that you do not deplete your energy resources before the race has even finished. And because of this the training regimes are strict in respect of building up this stamina. For example, you will find that running long distance regularly is a great warm up for any big events as you will accustom your body to coping with the length of running. This is why we often see marathon runners practice their mileage consistently before a race to ensure that their body is well prepared.
Along with ensuring that you are running enough to build up your stamina, you would also need to make sure that you are eating healthily as to ensure that your body is well fuelled before a race. Having a balanced diet is ideal but many athletes have their own opinions on what types of foods best prepare them for a big race.
So, you are tempted to give long distance running a go? There are a variety of ways in which you can join in with the long-distance running community effectively. One way in which you could make a start with your new sporting venture is to join a local running club which has a specific focus on long distance preparation. As well as this you could also join a local athletics club where you can benefit from a more catered type of training.
If you prefer to go it alone, you could also start going out on regular runs around where you live and gradually increasing the distance to build up your stamina. After this you can sign up to local running events where you can compete against other runners to get an idea of what to expect from competitive long distance running too. This will then give you the idea of what type of long-distance runner you are, whether you prefer a less competitive cross-country style or a highly competitively athletics event.
Have You Tried Long Distance Track Events?
In this blog post we have discussed the variety of long-distance track and field events which take place during the Olympic competitions. As well as this we have included the health benefits of training and how you can get involved. But now we want to know your thoughts on this sport, have you ever tried long distance running or are tempted to give it a go after reading this post? Let us know over on our social media pages and don’t forget that you can kit yourself out with high quality sportswear from our online store – Sports Fitness.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury