person training to run faster
August 1, 2022

How to run faster: 10 tips to increase your average running speed

Wondering how to run faster without getting tired? Follow these ten tips to get started. Have you reached a plateau in your running? Maybe you haven’t broken your weekly parkrun best in a while, or maybe you’re just not seeing results despite how hard you’re training? Don’t worry! It’s completely normal. Whether you’re new to running or you’ve been running for years, there’s many things you can do to inject a little bit of speed into your training - helping you run faster. This blog post will highlight ten tips on how to run faster, from weight training to enjoying a lazy day on the sofa. And yes, the odd bit of Netflix will help you run faster.

How to run faster

Many people think the key to running faster is running more often. And while this is a good starting point, you should combine running more often with structured training for the best results. Keep reading to find out more about each tip, helping you increase your pace and break through that plateau you may or may not be experiencing.

Here’s our ten tips for how to run faster:

1. Many runners avoid lifting weights for fear of becoming “big and bulky.”

We hear it time and time again, but unless you’re following a proper “gym bro” training split and eating a diet excessively high in calories, weight training will only make you a stronger and faster runner.

2. Introduce interval training

Interval training mixes periods of high-intensity running with rest periods, whether walking or gasping for air. Interval training teaches your body to run faster, becoming more efficient and improving your

aerobic and cardiovascular fitness. Want to try a basic interval session? Run 4x 800m repeats with a 400m jog recovery between intervals. Aim to run these intervals above your current 5k pace, but ensure to sustain your effort to the end.

3. Add tempo runs and practice fartleks

Your tempo pace is a moderate to hard intensity that you can sustain for up to 40-minutes. If you’ve ever raced a 5km race, it’s a few seconds slower per mile than your current time. Tempo runs teach the body to run more efficiently, filling the body full of lactic acid and improving your lactic threshold (allowing you to run faster for longer without getting as tired). Fartlek sessions (Swedish for “speed play”) are much less structured sessions. Get creative with it - run to the next car as fast as you can, jog to a lamp post, run a hard effort to the next tree, and so forth. There’s a lot of “play” in these sessions but that’s what makes them so great.

4. Run hills

Ah, hills, who doesn’t have a love-hate relationship with these beautiful yet gruelling beasts? If you’re looking to run faster, we’re sorry to say it, but you should be running more hills. Hills strengthen the legs, the aerobic and cardiovascular system, and we’re about to state the obvious: make running on flats seem a lot easier!

5. Improve your eating habits

Wondering what to eat to run faster? If you currently recover after a run with a bowl of coco pops and a cup of tea, then improving your eating habits may help you run faster. Likewise, it’s not just recovery that’s important - you need to fuel adequately before a run, especially before heading out the door before a Sunday long run or those harder interval Sessions. If possible, limit processed foods (sorry coco pops), sweets, cakes, biscuits, and ready-made meals. Eat whole foods where possible, but remember to treat yourself occasionally.

6. Stretch regularly

Runners are known not to be the most flexible bunch. But even so, we know the importance of stretching. Adding as little as ten minutes of stretching daily helps prevent injury, allowing you to train harder to become a faster runner. You should also perform dynamic stretches before running and static stretches after running to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury.

7. Prioritise sleep

Ah yes, you may be upset over the coco pops, but you’ll like this piece of advice: prioritise Sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends healthy adults get between seven and nine hours of shut- eye each night. Sleep is when your body recovers, repairing muscle tissue and regenerating cells. And in other words, good quality sleep is needed to increase adaptation - making you a stronger and faster runner.

8. Run with a group

Running with a group isn’t for everyone; some people prefer to go all Forrest Gump and run solo. And that’s absolutely fine. But running with a group is a great way to run faster with less effort. When running in a group, you can tackle an interval session for the added motivation or let the miles fly in by joining a group for a Sunday long run.

9. Stay consistent

Results don’t happen overnight. If you’re searching for how to run faster in a matter of days, we’re sorry to break it to you, but it’s not very realistic. Instead, you need to remain consistent with your training - incorporate a mix of training sessions into your routine to become a faster runner. Expect results in four to six weeks - you’ll only get faster from there.

10. Don’t forget to take rest days

Seen as sleep is so important, why not set a later alarm on your rest day? And if you’re thinking, “wait, rest days?” Then you’re in for a shocker. Rest days are important for recovery - paired with quality sleep, it’s how the body recovers. You should include at least one rest day a week, but if you’re just starting out, we’d suggest two to three, maybe running every other day, to begin with? Failure to take rest days increases your risk of picking up an overuse injury, prevents your body from recovering (and becoming faster), and may drain your motivation for training. So, do yourself a favour and kick back once in a while! Your body will thank you for it with a little added pace on your next run.

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Rainproof your run

Rainproof your run Explore the six key pieces that’ll turn wet weather runs into a breeze. From water-resistant headphones to a wet-wicking cap, nothing can dampen your stride with these in your kit.

As we prepare to transition between seasons, the weather never fails to throw a curveball. With rainy days on the horizon, we’ve rounded up the top six training pieces that’ll waterproof your routine.

Brooks Ghost 15 GTX trainers. Upgraded with waterproof materials, this even lighter-weight GTX version of the ever-comfortable Ghost 15 trainer blazes through drizzle and downpours alike.

Sealskinz Waterproof running socks. Keeping wet feet, blisters, and frostbite at bay, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without ‘the sock that started it all’ during downpours. Each one is hand-tested to confirm it stands up to tricky weather conditions.

Brooks Canopy jacket: A jacket that’s windproof, rainproof, lightweight, and easy to pack away can be a tricky balance to strike – this one ticks all those boxes and more, as it stows away into a built-in backpack. It promises not to add weight or restrict movement.

On Weather Vest. When you can’t rely on the climate, you can always count on this weightless vest, which promises to weather-proof every run. Its lightweight design makes this a dependable alternative to a rain jacket throughout those Indian summer runs.

Ciele GOCap Elite waterproof cap. Performance and protection unite with this any-weather cap, which is packed with waterproof properties. The COOLmatic fabric helps to regulate your temperature, wicks away moisture, and enables rapid drying – all in one seriously cool design.

Shokz OpenRun headphones. Offering IP67 water resistance, eight hours of non-stop listening time, and crystal-clear sound quality, getting caught in the rain is a pleasure with these headphones in your kit. 

Ask us Anything

Ask Us Anything Edition 02

From duathlon recommendations, to race day shoes, breathing techniques, bike repair courses and more, here is what you've been asked us this month.

From duathlon recommendations, to race day shoes, breathing techniques, bike repair courses and more, here is what you've been asked us this month.

p.s. please click here if you want to submit your own question.

Question | 1

Do you know where I can find a list of in-person (not online) basic bike maintenance classes? I'd just like to learn how to look after my bike properly, and check it is safe every time I go out. (Chloe, The Midlands)

Answer | 1

Great question. Admittedly none of the team actually live up in the Midlands currently, however we have done some research and found some options below that are local bike shops offering a variety of bike maintenance courses for different skills.

  • Birmingham Bike Foundry - a great small class option for covering the basics (which seems to answer your brief!)
  • Future Cycles Training in Leicester: - these look like they offer a great range based on different levels so you can always do more with them as you advance
  • Women in Tandem - While this isn't a course but a network of women who are into cycling, they offer a variety of  free 'Dr Bike' sessions where I'm sure you could learn how to fix any issues your bike has.  

From Lisa, Let's Do This team member, seasoned runner and aspiring cycling enthusiast

Question | 2

I am keen to avoid swimming! Can you recommend suitable duathlon events for me - First timer - so sprint event preferred initially, ideally with closed roads or v minimal traffic for the bike element near London [Mark]

Answer | 2

I think a great option will be Dorney triathlon/Duathlon - it's a great location with the iconic Dorney lake (famed for rowing in the 2012 Olympics) which sees both the run and cycle happen within the grounds (so no traffic)! There are plenty of options to compete with both the standard and sprint distances and even a relay if you wish to team up and tackle the disciplines. They also have swim/bike options and the full triathlon to really complete the menu for all things multi-sport!

From James, Let's Do This team member and seasoned triathlete

Question | 3

Hi - I have a question about breathing and running. What’s the best breathing techniques for long distance running? I.E. half marathons. What exercises can you do to practice this? Thank you

Answer | 3

For breathing keep it rhythmic and regular -breathe in for two steps and breath out for two. So it’s a constant in in, out out. If you start panting or irregular breathing then you won’t get the oxygen in.

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner / triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 4

When training for a half marathon do I need to incorporate additional protein into my routine? If so, when is best / any brands you recommend? [Emily, Surrey]

Answer | 4

When doing any training, the 'gains'/'improvements' come from your recovery. When you exercise whether that's running, lifting weights, cycling etc your muscles get broken down and the key component in their repair is protein. This doesn't mean you need to be smashing protein shakes every time you work out or even every day but a good rule of thumb is to eat around 1-2g of protein per kg of bodyweight. Personally, I'm 62kg and all I do is ensure I have 20-30g protein in each meal (through meat/fish, beans, lentils, scoop of protein powder in my morning oats etc) and that works for me. On an extra hard day I might have a recovery shake that has 20g protein but it's not the be all and end all. Best tip: fuel your body properly with good, whole foods, lots of carbs, plenty of fruit and veg etc - now is not the time to be trying any sort of fad diet!

Please note I am not a registered nutritionist or dietician, this is just my advice from years of training for triathlons, running, hockey etc. Please speak with your GP or registered dietician if you are going to be making any drastic changes to your diet

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

Question | 5

Do I need to buy a separate pair of trainers for race day? How much of a difference will they make? [Sara, Dorset]

Answer | 5

Rule number one in racing - nothing new on race day and this includes clothing, footwear, food and drink! However, it is recommended to have a separate pair of race trainers for race day only and even a 'shoe rotation' during your training. Each time you wear a pair of trainers, it compresses the foam and insole making it less absorbent to the impact when you are out running which could in turn lead to greater risk of injury. You need to give your shoes time to relax after each run.

Personally - I have a few pairs of shoes I use in my rotation;

Saucony Triumph 20 - slow, long runs

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 - tempo efforts

Saucony Pro 2 - track or interval/max effort work

Nike AlphaFLY (carbon plated) - race day only (I always wear for an effort 5k before I race in them so they're not brand new on race day).

Each brand of shoe has their own version of the Saucony ones listed below - Brooks, ASICS, Adidas, Nike etc. It's about finding the right shoe that works for you. Now I admit this might be a bit on the extreme end of shoes and you can easily do your training in one pair, you just need to find the best 'everyday trainer' from your preferred brand.

To go back and answer the question properly, no you do not need to buy a new pair of trainers for race day but, it will make a hell of a difference on tired legs if you have fresh shoes! Barely used foam and padding and a lighter shoe will give you a spring in your step and it'll help stop your legs feeling as tired at the end of the race. If you opt for a carbon plated shoe, you could be looking at anywhere between 2-5% faster - there's a reason all the top athletes and professionals choose these types of shoes for race day!

From Frankie, Let's Do This team member and runner | triathlete-extraordinaire

Community Spotlight - James

Community Spotlight Edition 2

It's the community around triathlons that I love. I find there's more inclusivity with this sport, compared to other events. I really like that.

Shining a light on you – our incredible community members. We’re sharing your amazing stories, training tips, hacks and more. These inspire us all to keep showing up on the track, road, bike, or in the water.

This month we're talking to James Leeks - a triathlon enthusiast from Norfolk, who discovered the sport during the pandemic, and has never looked back thanks to the welcoming community and variation triathlons offer.

A bit about you:

What’s your story? How did you get into triathlons?

Growing up, I was a national-level swimmer. This was great in terms of fitness, but I broke my leg when I was 16, which forced me to find other activities to take part in. After uni, I enjoyed running marathons, but nothing serious – it was very casual and ad-hoc. Then after the pandemic, I started running more with my brother and from there, found a love for triathlons. This was definitely helped by my background in swimming. Since getting older, I've found I really like crosstraining, too!

What’s your favourite thing about triathlons?

It's the community around triathlons that I love. I find there's more inclusivity with this sport, compared to other events. I really like that. I think it has something to do with the fact that with triathlons, there are three sports to be good at, which makes it more humbling. It helps to level the playing fields! Though, I'm still waiting for my bum to be hardened by the cycling seat.

What’s your favourite running route? (We’re always looking for new recommendations!)

Swimming: I used to love swimming in the Serpentine when I lived in London.

Cycling: London to Brighton is manageable but challenging and you can get the train back home.

Running: I used to love running along the Thames Path from Kew Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge.

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone starting out with triathlons?

One of my favourite question-and-answer quotes is: "What does it take to be called a runner?" "Start running". Also, it's important not to get too caught up on gadgets. You don't have to have the best bike in the world to compete. You also don't need to race the swim – you just need to finish it. Do more events to practice and don't get too hung up on one event. Instead, plan lots of different ones because if something goes wrong at one event (a puncture, for example), then you've trained for nothing. If you have multiple events lined up then it takes the pressure off. If you hate swimming, start off with a sprint or duathlon and then work your way up.

Best triathlon training hack?

Alternate between running and walking when tackling longer distances. There tends to be too much criticism if you're seen walking in races but actually, it's a successful tactic for being able to run more in training. It can also reduce injuries and even help you to complete the course quicker. There are some incredibly quick triathletes who alternate between running and walking! Also, caffeine gels - you can really feel the buzz from these. Use with caution for longer distances though, as they can be harsh on the stomach. Finally, when you're on long training runs, do an 'out and back' route rather than a loop. This way, you won't be tempted to take a shortcut back.

What’s in your training belt / backpack?

Shokz headphones, phone, a couple of gels (I'm a fan of Maurten's gels), and a drink (usually water or electrolytes).

Any pre or post-training rituals?

A bit of luxury here – I have a Theragun (other massage gun brands are available!) It's great to use when sitting on the sofa, post-run.

You and events:

What event(s) are you most looking forward to doing next?

I'm doing the Chemlsford Half Marathon next month (Oct 15th) and I've just signed up for the Outlaw Holkham Half Marathon next July.

If money and distance were no object, what event would you love to take part in?

I've always wanted to swim the English Channel. I'd also love to cycle from St Ives to John O'Groats one day...

Best event you’ve done?

It has to be the TSC London Marathon – it's just so epic. I have done others but London is on a whole different scale with the support you get from anyone and everyone.

Quick-fire round:

Best running song?

Randomly, I always find 'Sinnerman' by Nina Simone encourages me to pick up the pace.

Favourite pre or post-run snack?

It's got to be beans and cheese on toast after a good training session.

Morning or evening run?

Morning, every time.

Trainer of choice?

The obvious option would be Nike Invincible Run 3, but I do have a soft spot for the minimalism of Atreyu The Artist.

Best running product or accessory?

My Shokz OpenRun headphones.

Music, podcasts, or nothing at all?

It's either podcasts or Audible. Some of my favourites include 'Triathlon Mockery', 'How They Train', 'How I Built This' and 'Off Menu'.

Favourite supporting exercise for running?

Cycling. This is a new revelation for me, but it means you can put more hours in without the impact. This helps a lot with triathlon training, too, as so much of a triathlon is on the bike – the more you can improve that section, the better.

Favourite running app?


Describe your ideal rest day in emojis… 3,2,1, go!


In one word, what motivates you?

Pride. I think about how proud my friends, family, and I will feel about what I've achieved. Plus, the money I've raised!

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