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Struggle: can't run further

posted on 12/3/2016 Facebook Facebook

Genetically, there can be quite a few things setting you back here: how your body reallocates energy to fuel your runs, how well your body clears lactate, your endurance capacity, and Vo2 max.  

Endurance gene - ACE 
Elite endurance athletes (even middle-distance runners, cyclists, and rowers) usually have a specific combination of genes that makes them genetically and naturally better at long-distance events. If you have the power/strength version, endurance is harder for you to build up to.

Fat-burning gene - PPARA
Your body''s ability to switch from fueling your runs on fats instead of carbs combined with your distribution of fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers can help or hurt your performance. For endurance, you want to have a higher percentage of fatigue-resistant slow-twitch muscle.  

The hack: 
Getting better at running long distances comes down to how you periodize your training, prepare for training sessions and events, and recover after these workouts—all of which are relative the above genes. Periodization relates to how you divide and strategize your training plan, and it can strengthen weak points, help you overcome training plateaus, manage fatigue, and build a stronger body. If you''re only logging long miles, you''re not going to see a return in investment because you''re not increasing your Vo2 max or your lactate threshold. To optimize lactate within your body, you need to have a base endurance and incorporate high-intensity training. So, plan tempo miles, track intervals, hill repeats, strength training, and yes, long runs.

Also, if it takes you two days to recuperate from a difficult sprint workout or your legs to feel energized after a really long run, then you need to give yourself the extra recovery time in between difficult workouts to see the results you''re looking for. Make sure you''re fueling your body adequately for long runs, too; if you always exercise in the morning before breakfast, but feel wiped out mid-way through your run, then pre- and post-workout nutrition needs to have a greater emphasis

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