Long-distance running, or endurance running over distances of at least five kilometres (3.10 miles). Physiologically, it is largely aerobic in nature and requires stamina as well as mental strength. Among mammals, humans are well adapted for running significant distances, and particularly so among primates.
The endurance running hypothesis suggests that running endurance in the Homo genus arose because travelling over large areas improved scavenging opportunities and allowed persistence hunting. The capacity for endurance running is also found in migratory ungulates and a limited number of terrestrial carnivores, such as dogs, wolves and hyenas.
In modern human society, long-distance running has multiple purposes: people may engage in it for physical exercise, for recreation, as a means of travel, for economic reasons, or for cultural reasons. Long distance running can also be used as a means to improve cardiovascular health. Running improves aerobic fitness by increasing the activity of enzymes and hormones that stimulate the muscles and the heart to work more efficiently.[ Endurance running is often a component of physical military training and has been so historically. Professional running is most commonly found in the field of sports, although in pre-industrial times foot messengers would run to deliver information to distant locations. Long-distance running as a form of tradition or ceremony is known among the Hopi and Tarahumara people, among others.
In the sport of athletics, long-distance events are defined as races covering three kilometres (1.86 miles) and above. The three most common types are track running, road running and cross country running, all of which are defined by their terrain – all-weather tracks, roads and natural terrain, respectively. Typical long-distance track races range from 3000 metres to 10,000 metres (6.2 miles), cross country races usually cover 5 to 12 km (3 to 7½ miles), while road races can be significantly longer, reaching 100 kilometres (60 miles) and beyond. In collegiate cross country races in the United States, men race 8000 or 10000 meters, depending on their division, whereas women race 6000 meters. The Summer Olympics features three long-distance running events: the 5000 metres, 10,000 metres and marathon (42.195 kilometres, or 26 miles and 385 yards). Since the late 1980s, Kenyans and Ethiopians have dominated in the long-distance competitions of international multi-sport events