Do you want to run faster? Of course, you’re a runner. Whether you run for the fun or the glory, you want a return on your investment. You want to know that each run is making you better. Is it? Are you improving? If not, there’s hope.
5 tips to Run Faster
For a better running experience and faster times, follow the guidelines I’ve listed below.
1. Train Faster. Track workouts are for elite athletes and masochists, right? No. Track workouts are for people who want to get fast in a short period of time. Plus, training at or above race pace prepares your body to race at that intensity. If you run mile repeats at a 7 min/mile pace during training, the likelihood of you running that pace on race day are greater than if you skipped the aforementioned. How much should you run? If you’re racing a 5k-10k, do 400 meter repeats. If you’re racing a half or full, do 800 meter or mile repeats.
2. Eat Less. Your mileage has increased. As a result, so has your food consumption. Runners stall progress when they think, “I ran today so I can eat whatever I want”. For the genetically gifted, this mentality is fine. For the rest of us, no bueno. Yes, when you run more, you should eat more. The problems come when your “more” becomes “way more”. Carb-loading shouldn’t be a daily occurrence. Save the pasta and bagels for race week.
3. Lift More. Runners love to run. They just run, run, run. That’s fine but for optimal health, you need non-running activities, like strength training. Don’t dismiss me. I’m not telling you to get swole. I’m telling you to get strong. Push ups, goblet squats, planks, and lateral step ups are your friends. These exercises improve strength, core stability and posture. You’ll be able to run harder and recover more quickly. Win. Win.
4. Run Hills. Flat roads lead to nowhere. Hills lead to greener pastures. Whether it’s focused hill repeats or a hilly route, your butt needs this training. Literally. This bang for your buck workout improves your leg drive, leg strength, and your aerobic capacity. If you need another reason, hill running makes your butt look better. You want that, right? You should want that.
5. Do Yoga. It’s not propaganda, it’s real talk. If your flexibility is a hot mess. You can’t even touch your toes. A runner’s body needs pigeon, down dog, and triangle. But Angel, yoga is boring! Find a better teacher or a different style of yoga. It’s not all boring. Yoga will save your poor hamstrings, and your running career. It will help you run faster. Trust me. Namaste.
The next time you’re dreading yoga class or thinking lifting weights will make you bulky, stop standing in your own way. These things will make you run faster and feel better. I promise. Implement these changes and email me when you get that PR (personal record).