I found these tips from Leo from Zenhabits quite interesting. I still have to designate a long run per week. I think I’ve got no trouble running 5 times a week at least 5km. On Saturday or Sunday, I should run a long run. Probably something like 10K.
- Gradually increase your running until you can do 30-40 minutes of running at a time, 4 days a week. Do this increase gradually, as you should be mostly running for 15 minutes at a time by the end of Step 4 … just increase by 5 minutes each week.
- Sign up for a 5K. If you can run for 30-40 minutes, you can complete a 5K. Sign up for one (there are races almost every weekend in many places) and participate with the idea of just finishing. Have fun doing it!
- Once you have increased your running to 30-40 minutes at a time, designate one run a week as your “long run”. Try to increase this by 5 minutes each week, until you can do an hour or more. This is your endurance run, and it is a key to most running programs.
- Once you’ve got endurance, you can add some hills to your program. Add hills gradually, by finding a more hilly course, and eventually adding hill repeats — run (kind of) hard up the hill, then easy down the hill, and do 3-5 repeats.
- After hills, do a little speed workout once a week. Do intervals of a couple of minutes of medium-hard running, with a couple minutes of easy running. Make these speed workouts shorter than your normal runs — if you run for 40 minutes, do 25-30 minutes for your speed workouts. Be sure to warm up and cool down with easy running for 10 minutes.
- Tempo runs are good workouts when you’re ready. That means a 10 minute warmup, then 20 minutes or so of running somewhere between your 10K and half-marathon pace. That means going the pace you think you can race for an hour, but only doing it for 20-30 minutes.
- Run with a group, or run alone. Don’t always run alone or with a partner. Mix things up.
- Find new routes. Don’t always run the same routes. Try running on a track, in a different neighborhood, on a treadmill, on trails.
- After you’ve done a few 5Ks, sign up for a 10K. Then a half marathon. Then a marathon. But do one step at a time.