Long-Distance Running Tips

Exercising comes in various forms — it could be taking up a team sport, lifting weights at the gym, or an evening jog in the park. But for those who don’t run often, running can seem like an intimidating activity. Especially for beginners, running can be physically demanding, with the struggle to maintain a good pace and stamina.

But you don’t have to be panting just from catching the bus. We spoke to Vanessa Lee, a 26-year-old New Balance athlete and professional female runner, to learn her top tips for those who are training for their first long-distance run. Whether it’s a 2km run to kickstart your fitspo journey, a 10km run at a stadium track or even a full 42km marathon, these tips serve as a guide to achieve your personal running goals.

1. Run with company

run tipsTop: NB Sleek Medium Support Sports Bra
Bottom: NB Sleek Pocket High Rise Legging 26’’
Trainers: Fresh Foam X 1080 v13

Like most activities, running is best enjoyed when you’re surrounded by a supportive community. Vanessa shared that this tip is perfect for beginners who are afraid of starting out alone — “it just makes running a lot more fun, especially if you’re a little competitive as well.”

“Running with friends also helps to pass the time way faster, and it makes me feel happier when we all achieve our running goals together.”

2. Be consistent with a routine

Top: NB Sleek Medium Support Sports Bra
Bottom: NB Athletics Fitted High Rise Short
Trainers: FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4

Easy to say but tough to accomplish — being consistent. It can be difficult to hit all of your running goals at once, especially if you are embarking on your very first half or full marathon. Vanessa herself trains six times a week, finding time after work to clock in her training sessions as well as personal running milestones. 

“Everyone starts off somewhere,” Vanessa shared. “When you’re consistent, running gets easier. From there, you’ll slowly build towards running longer and faster.” 

Vanessa also feels that many people have the misconception that running means you have to chiong very hard and fast, which is why not many people like the sport. “But running is really just about enjoying the process and experimenting what works well for you.”

3. Research online for a structured training guide that suits you

If your new year, new me resolution was to take running more seriously, Vanessa recommends finding a structured training guide. 

“You can even look for a coach if you really need to, or read up on articles online. The Internet is free, after all.”

But if you find yourself really struggling with not knowing what to do, Vanessa also added that there are many running groups that you can be a part of for personalised guidance. She suggests the New Balance Running Group, where participants are welcome to join their training and talk to the coach there. 

4. Wear clothes and shoes that make you feel comfortable and confident

run tipsNew Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v4

While this may sound like a straightforward tip, Vanessa stresses the importance of wearing whatever makes you feel both confident and comfortable while on a run.

“Singapore used to be pretty conservative, so some people might feel self-conscious about their outfit when running. But I think we’ve grown out of that stigma — whether you want to run in just your sports bra or a comfy pair of biker tights, that’s all up to you.”

Shoes are just as important too, as different shoes are made for different levels of performances. It depends on one’s specific running needs and how they run, but Vanessa personally prefers the SC Elite, Rebel, and the 860, all designed for running with their lightweight material. 

The New Balance FuelCell series, which consists of the SuperComp Elite and Rebel, are both focused on running and racing. Crafted with FuelCell technology and featuring a streamlined mesh upper with race-inspired accents, these will add an element of fun to both your casual and intensive runs. 

run tipsNew Balance Fresh Foam X, 1080 v13

Vanessa also mentions the Fresh Foam X series, which has the 1080 and 860. These aim to aid runners — both beginners and professionals — in their running adventures, featuring a new outsole design targeted to increase forefoot stiffness. With this extra cushioning, it’s a comfortable option for those who are looking to clock mileage during training.   

“The New Balance 860 is great for people with flat feet and requires extra stability. But the perfect shoe really depends on how you run and the support your feet need.” 

5. Stretch thoroughly before and after every run to prevent injury

run tips

Stretching might seem like unnecessary movements, but don’t underestimate their effects. After going through a bad injury in the past, Vanessa emphasises stretching before and after each run. When incorporating running into your daily routine, you don’t want to over exert yourself and suffer from the after effects the next day. 

“Make sure your muscles aren’t overly tight. Stretching helps to loosen them up, and you can even opt to use a foam roller or go for a massage.” 

6. Train in intervals to increase your stamina

For those who got the basics down and are looking to increase their running speed and intensity, the best way to do this is to train in intervals. To put it simply, this means sprinting for a set distance and recovering by jogging or brisk walking, then repeating several times. 

And if you want to train even harder, Vanessa also suggests training in intervals on slopes. This helps to build your leg muscles and burn extra calories, improving both your strength and running speed.

7. Find your personal post-run recovery method

After going through a satisfying run, it’s key to find your personal post-run recovery method that gives your body the rest it needs. Vanessa identifies three main forms of recovery: food, sleep and cross-training. She herself abides by these to ensure she’s raring to go for multiple runs a week.

For the uninitiated, cross-training is an active recovery method that gives the muscles that you used a break while you work out other muscles instead. 

“Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out which post-run recovery method works best for you.”

These Long-Distance Running Tips Will Prepare You For Your First Run

run tipsVanessa Lee, New Balance athlete

While some may say “just run only what, how hard can it be?”, Vanessa has shown us that there are many lesser-known tips and tricks that can help make running a healthy and enjoyable experience, rather than a dreaded exercise. 

“Running is actually such a broad sport, and many people don’t realise that there are a variety of different things that work for different people. So I would encourage beginners to enjoy experimenting themselves first — Do you like running with music? Or do you prefer running alone? Enjoy the process of self-discovery, and eventually, you’ll enjoy running too.”

New Balance’s Run Your Way Campaign Aims To Make Running Accessible To Everyone

run tipsNew Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13

No matter if you’re a beginner trying to incorporate running regularly into your routine or an active runner aiming for longer distances and faster speeds, New Balance wants to celebrate the individuality of all runners by encouraging everyone to run in their own way. 

For those on the lookout for new kicks to get you going, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 come in different colourways and are available in unisex designs. The best part? They also include supremely soft cushioning and an increased midsole stack height to allow you to run longer and more comfortably. 

As Vanessa shared, there’s no such thing as the right way to run. New Balance’s Run Your Way campaign aims to change the definition of running — distance does not matter, it is defined by you. As long as you run, you are a runner. 

Each of us has the freedom to choose our own style, habits, routines and motivation. Which is why New Balance is holding a Nagoya Women’s Marathon in Japan on 10 March 2024, open to both competitive and personal performance runners. A total of 20,000 runners will take part in this competition, all running together to inspire others to run in their own way too.

run tips

Representing Singapore for this run? Lifestyle influencer Shannon Wong, a casual runner and fitness lover, Melissa Foo, a content creator and competitive runner, as well as Vanessa Lee herself, a New Balance athlete who’s also a Team Singapore athlete.    

So the next time someone wants to jio you for a run, don’t be afraid of not being able to keep up or run as fast as professional athletes. Take pride in your running and embrace all the benefits that the sport can offer you.

Find out more about New Balance’s Run Your Way campaign here!

This post was brought to you by New Balance.
Photography by Shawn Low.