5 Tips to Run Faster

5 Tips to Run Faster

Most of us run, not to see ourselves perform worse, but with the hope, we can gradually improve our speed and endurance for our next Parkrun, marathon or ultra.

The purpose of these tips is to provide you with a framework to help improve your running. But remember, you cannot increase your load too quickly, or you're unfortunately at risk of a variety of overuse injuries.

Fast man running

Tip 1: Remember the 80/20 Rule

For most of us, it sounds crazy to think the benefits of running slow, and at a greater volume, include improved aerobic capacity, a likely reduction in injury and, as suggested in clinical studies, run faster.

Don't try to outwork every other runner on the pavement - stick to your lane and ensure 80% of your mileage is done under your ventilatory threshold; you can hold a conversation easily while you run.

For example, if you're clocking a 40km week, 32km of that needs to be at conversation pace.

Tip 2: Recover in recovery runs, perform in fast runs

Building on tip number 1, a problem for many runners is their inability to focus on what they need to achieve in each run. They run too quick for recovery runs, and then run too slow for fast runs, because they did not recover.

Shock your body out of rhythm. Make clear differentiation in recovery runs and your fast runs. Are you struggling to find the speed? Let's shock your body more with tip number 3.

Tip 3: Intervals

Bearing in mind rules of increasing load and the 80/20 rule, it might be worth considering an intervals session in your weekly/fortnightly program. These can be done on a time or distance basis. For example, 1 minute fast, and 4 minutes slow, or 200m fast and 800m slow.

If you want to simplify it even more, perhaps there are landmarks around you can use—sprint to the mailbox then an easy jog around the block etc. The purpose is to shock your body out of pace and introduce it to faster speeds.

Tip 4: Lift Weights

Strength training can increase your stride power and enable you to recover more ground per step. Focusing on building power will improve the speed you can use the force you've built up. Explosive movements in the gym will help you activate your muscle power more quickly as you push off, increasing the speed of your turnover and the power of your stride. Also, there are plenty of benefits for reducing your risk of injury.

Examples of exercises include squats, Bulgarian split squats, deadlifts and lunges.

Tip 5: Hills

For some, hills can be the enemy, but you should never let this be the case. In a similar way to intervals, hills provide a shock to the system. Sure, they can be challenging, but they put immense strain on your body that comes with a benefit.

Training on hills improves leg muscle strength, quickens your stride, develops your cardiovascular system, and in as little as 6-weeks of regular hill training; you can expect significant improvements in your muscle power and speed.

Adding hills will keep your body guessing and help avoid being stuck with one gear.

About the author:

Ben Lindsay is the Managing Director and engineer behind the Solushin medical device. A former national medalist swimmer, Ben aspires to learn from physicians, physiotherapists and podiatrists so he can develop tools to improve the quality of care for their patients.


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