Running faster is not just about training more, it’s a lot about how you train as well. So before you jump in and commit huge amounts of extra time and effort into improving your running time, it might be worth checking out some tips on the best ways to do it.
1. Do regular Interval Training
After a 5–10 minute warm-up, choose a distance between two marker points (lamp-posts, trees, etc.) and then run fast/ sprint between them. Then slow down and jog for the same distance. Recovery periods are important — focus on your breathing and try not to stop running. Interval sessions are hard work, but you’ll feel the rewards fast.
2. Do race-day pacing & fartleks to build endurance
Work out what speed you want to run your race at, and train at that pace for shorter distances, with a slower warm-up and cool-down. That way you can build endurance at your desired pace, whilst getting used to how fast it is as well. You can also do fartleks (running at different speeds throughout a run). These can be random and should help with your anaerobic breathing.
3. Learn to love the hills!
Endurance and the ability to run faster rests on core strength. Training uphill will condition your body while also force you push yourself where you might not normally. The views are (almost) always worth the climb…
4. Shorten your strides
If you can work at upping your step count to 180 per minute (or at least make headway in that direction) you’ll be making shorter, faster strides. Your feet will be lower to the ground and you will be running at your most efficient. Top tip: Spotify has running playlists with a set bpm — use these to help improve your cadence.
5. Work on your running technique
If you have good running posture it will just make it that bit easier to run faster. It will also help with injury prevention which could of course stop you training at the outset. Try landing with your foot below your hips instead of too far in front of you, and focus on pushing yourself forwards, not up.
7. Cut out those really sugary foods
We all love a post-run donut, but sugary junk food before a run will give you a high and then an unwanted low which will slow you down in the end. High-carb, low-fat, low-fiber snacks provide the best energy to allow you to run at your best. A banana and a tablespoon of peanut butter about an hour before your workout will do the trick.
8. Be prepared to push yourself
It’s pretty simple but you can’t expect to get fitter or run faster without being willing to workout a little hard. But once you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to do it all becomes worth it, so don’t give up.
Why not sign up to a race to put all the hard work to use? Find your next challenge at www.letsdothis.com