I’m going to make a broad statement right now.
Every runner wants to run faster.
You may say you don’t, but deep down, you probably really do.
I mean, how could you not?
Blowing past competitors along a race course. Achieving a PR in ______ distance. Knowing what was once your half marathon pace is now your easy pace.
Plus, a bonus of becoming faster is you’ll be more efficient. It will take less work and energy to maintain your pace. That’s every runner’s dream to have a 20 miler feel easier!
But with anything in life, there is no one simple magic pill to make you faster. The truth is that you need to do the work. And it’s not just one thing. It’s multiple things that work together to help you become a faster runner.
Here are 8 tips for running faster:
Run more – That’s usually the obvious response. The more you run, the faster you will get over time because your body gets used to the strain of running. But the majority of us don’t have more time in our lives to devote to running. The down side is that more miles could also mean more injuries.
Good form – If your form is sloppy, you are not using your running muscles efficiently. It’s really just slowing you down. Take a look at your form. Are you running with your upper body tall, shoulders back and relaxed? Are you landing on the ground mid-foot with a short quick stride? Is your foot under your hip? Are your arms bent at 90 degrees and move forward and back rather than across your body?
Vary the pace – Running the same pace for every single run will not make you faster. Mixing up the week with easy pace, tempo runs, speed work and long endurance runs will help condition your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system.
Strength train – Hit the weights or do bodyweight exercises to strengthen your muscles. It can help keep injuries at bay as well as help be a more efficient runner while strengthening your form.
Strong core – A strong core is the root of a strong runner. If your core is weak, you are more likely to suffer a running injury. A strong core will also help your running form. If the core muscles are weak, your form will show it and you’ll be slowed down. Here’s 6 Core Workouts for Runners.
Run hills – I’m sure you’ve heard it before but – Hills are speed work in disguise. They not only build speed but muscle strength and confidence. Don’t run from the hills. Run to them at full speed. Trust me. You CAN learn to love hills. Run the hilliest routes you can find. Hit the mountain trails. Or check out these fun Hill Workouts for Runners.
Speed work – Makes sense right? To run faster, you need to run faster. If you find the track intimidating, hit up the treadmill or run it on the road. Whatever works best for you. Here’s 6 Speed Workouts just for you!
Plyometrics – Running is essentially hopping/jumping on one foot. Doing even 5 minutes of plyometrics can improve your running form and efficiency. You could do a few jumping exercises after an easy run or try this JUMPIN’ Workout.
How have you learned to run faster over the years?