Improving your times on a run can be a daunting process.
Runners often give everything they’ve got to run as fast as they can, so the thought of going even faster may seem to present a challenge. But you absolutely can get quicker at running, and the following tips are a great place to start.
Practise Proper Form
Running comes naturally but running fast starts with a proper technique. A common mistake is to reach your leg out in front of you with each stride. Instead, strive to have your foot hit the ground while it is directly underneath your body. This will lower your risk of suffering an injury as well as giving you a more efficient stride. Also avoid leaning forward at the waist, and instead try to keep your back straight and not slouched over. Slouching while running will slow you down and make it harder to breathe efficiently.
Try Tempo Running
Tempo runs are longer runs that maintain a steady pace throughout the entire run. This method is great for building stamina as well as speed. Choose a target time (typically a half hour) and run at a pace that you can maintain for the entire time. You should run at a speed gentle enough to be easy at first, yet fast enough to really push you to keep going until the end. Regular tempo runs increase your anaerobic threshold, meaning you’ll be able to run for longer without getting tired.
Breathe More Efficiently
You may not put too much thought into breathing while you’re out for a run, but proper breathing techniques go a long way toward running faster and for longer. Breathing through the mouth and into your diaphragm or belly is the ideal way to breathe during an aerobic workout. Work out a rhythm for breathing and stick to it. Rhythmic breathing puts less stress on your body and maximises the amount of replenishment you get from each breath.
Form a Training Plan
Before you shift your focus to speed training routines, it’s important to build up a solid base where endurance is concerned. Establishing a regular running routine and sticking to it will not only help to improve your speed, but also maximise the health benefits of your workout. There are a number of training plans available online that you can use as inspiration in establishing your own. Typically, these plans will alternate between speed training days, distance run days, and rest days. Running on different surfaces can switch things up a bit, so try beach or trail running when you can.
Don’t Overdo It
One of the biggest factors in runners falling out of step is pushing too far during training. This is especially likely to happen when training for speed, and novice runners often wear themselves out striving for better times. Don’t neglect to take rest days as a part of your routine. Also, incorporate new methods into your exercise routine one at a time to avoid being overwhelmed by so many changes at once. If one extra speed day doesn’t improve your overall speed at first, give it some time before you take things to the next level.