Six Tips to Help You Run Faster
What is Speed Training?
Most runners refer to any fast running as ‘speed training’ or speed work.’ Speed training actually involves repeat fast running of 45 seconds or less. Somewhat surprisingly, anything longer moves into the stamina zone. So, while repeat half miles, repeat miles and tempo running help us to get faster, they do so by increasing stamina, not speed.
Do Some Stride Outs
Stride outs help with leg turnover, speed and efficiency. Run fast for 20 seconds, walk 20 seconds, jog 20 seconds and repeat five to ten times. The great thing about stride outs is that you can do them often and get a big ‘bang for your buck.’ Do them after a warm up mile or after your run.
Do You Like to Play?
Landmark fartlek, or speed-play, is a fun way to get fast. After getting loose for ten minutes or so of running, pick out a landmark like a house or tree and run fast to it, jog to recover, pick another landmark and repeat. This will increase your speed and stamina in a loosely structured way.
Short on Time?
If you only have 20 minutes, but want some quality running – warm up for a half mile, do three stride outs in the next half mile and a final mile at 5k race pace. You won’t believe how great you feel afterward – and you will have done a high quality, efficient run.
Running drills such as ‘high knees,’ ‘kick butts’ and ‘crossovers’ increase agility, flexibility and power so you can harness your natural speed. You have probably seen tracksters and football players doing these drills and there is a reason – they fire your muscles and connective tissue and result in readiness for increased exercise loads.
When you think you are tired near the end of a run, pick up your pace and finish fast. This will help you to do the same when you are tired at the end of a race. You’ve heard that practice makes perfect. If you want your mind and body to perform on race day, you must do so on training runs.
Are You Ready to Get Faster?
So there you have it. You know the difference between stamina and speed training. You have heard how to incorporate stride outs and some fun landmark fartlek into your training. You know how to make efficient use of limited time. You realize the benefits of running drills and you understand that practice makes perfect. Incorporate these into your training in a sensible, planned manner supervised by your coach and you will get faster. If you don’t have a coach, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.