What is Distance Training?
What is Distance Training?NOVEMBER 2023
Unlike Joe Rogan, POSSESSED magazine doesn’t need to speculate about the existence of extra-terrestrials (or smoke DMT just to make sandwich)—we know they're real because we get a sack of mail from them every month. Case in point: last week, we received a letter from Huh (pronounced like a sigh), who lives inside a Kinder egg that fell out of Neil Armstrong’s pocket in 1969. Huh writes:
Possessed, this Huh. My Earth-speak suck. Sorry. Me writing from Kinder egg on Moon, and me have question. What ‘Distance Training’?
PS: Can I just get some stickers or something? You guys must have some free shit floating around.
Thanks for your letter, Huh, and what a great question! What is Distance Training? Let’s find out.
Distance Training is an activity humans perform to increase stamina over longer distances. You see, Huh, most modern-day earthlings are sedentary creatures. They travel to work seated in a car, they work seated at a desk, and they return home to resume sitting in front of their television. Basically, they’re slobs. But it’s not their fault. We had this thing called the Industrial Revolution a little while ago, which eventually led to everyone sitting in front of computers and being passive-aggressive. Consequently, most humans are unable to run more than a few hundred meters without dying, shitting their pants, or both, and that’s where Distance Training comes in.
If an earthling is Distance Training, chances are they’re training for a half-marathon, marathon, or something even longer. Presumably, they’re already running shorter runs (5—10km) a few times a week and finding them challenging but not too difficult. They’re used to it; their body is used to it; they’ve reached a plateau. If they want to increase their cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and mental resilience, they must factor in one special run each week: The Sunday Long Run. Now, this doesn’t have to be on Sunday, but that’s the day most runners do their long run. No idea why. Runners are weirdos. Anyway, several elements make up the Sunday Long Run, and we present them to you now, Huh.
Gradually extending your long run distance is critical. If you hit that Sunday Long Run too hard too early, you risk injuring yourself and setting your training back weeks or even months. You gotta build up slowly, Huh. For example, if the furthest you’ve ever run is 10 kilometers, don’t attempt to run 40 kilometers. Instead, run 12 kilometers and then go for 40 the following week. Just kidding. A general rule of thumb is a 10% increase in distance each week. Anything over that is a dice roll, and the house always wins. Snake eyes!
You must maintain a steady pace on your long runs. If you want to cover greater distances efficiently and not end up breathing like a sex pest at Forever 21, you must control your pace. The best way to do this is to monitor yourself with a running watch. A running watch is like a regular watch, only it tells you how far and how fast you’re running. A regular watch is a thing people used to tie to their arm so they knew what time it was. Nowadays, we use our phones. A phone is a little computer humans carry around so the government knows where they are and what they’re up to. Maintain a steady pace. Listen to your body. Monitor your speed.
Now it gets fun, Huh—Speed Training. While the overall goal of Distance Training is to run longer distances, it’s a good idea to incorporate Speed Training into your weekly routine so you can go faster and beat a bunch of people in whatever race you’ve signed up for. That’s the point of a running race: beating people. Ideally, all the people. We say we’re racing against ourselves, but deep down, we all know that we’re racing the other sentient beings so we might glimpse that joy we experienced when we won our first race: the sperm race. Pretty sure that’s what it’s all about. There are lots of different types of Speed Training techniques, but a popular one is Fartlek Training, which you can read about HERE.
Nutrition and Hydration
Well, duh, Huh, you gotta eat and you gotta drink. But what to do when you’re running 25 kilometers? Do you just run and hope the pizza pockets you had for lunch will get you through? No, you don’t do that. That’s the quickest way to blackout and stagger into oncoming traffic. You gotta eat and drink before, during, and after. We don’t have room to show you a chart of the Healthy Eating Pyramid, but we can recommend two things to take with you on your long run: Speed Swill® and Hell’s Bells Gels®. You can drink other sports beverages and nosh other energy gels, but Speed Swill® and Hell’s Bells Gels® are the shit, and anyone who tells you different is a plant for Big Sports Nutrition.
You could run every single day of the week, but eventually, you’d clap out like a whipper-snipper purchased at Aldi, and you'd get dumped at back of the garage with all the old paint tins and spiders. You’re better off scheduling days not to run. It’s up to you how many recovery days you have each week, but you must have them. And it’s okay to do some push-ups, attend a yoga class, or go flash mobbing* on those days, but take it easy. Let your body recover. Watch a movie or something. Or go to work! That’s a great idea: go to your job and contribute to society.
The final element of Distance Training is tapering, which is basically running about 50% less a couple of weeks out from your race (assuming you’re training for a race). We say two weeks, but everyone is different. Some runners take three weeks, others taper for a few days. But you must taper if you want your body to repair itself and be 100% race-ready come race day when you beat all the people at the race.
So, there you have it, Huh—Distance Training. If you’re considering doing Distance Training and have little to no running experience, it’s a good idea to engage the services of a running coach or a running friend who knows what’s up and can help tailor a safe and effective training plan.
*Please don’t flash mob.