Bang! The race is on. The timer starts running. After what seems like a very long time, you finally reach the finish line. You may not have won the race but that’s okay. All you want to know is how much time you took to run the race. You check your time and are not happy. You need to run faster.
If there is one thing that every runner wants, it’s to know how to run faster – and then do it.
How to Run Faster – A Few Simple Tips
I know that is one question that has been running through your mind. Let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone in this quest for speed. Even great runners like Usain Bolt and Mario Mola still want to know how to get faster at running.
So, what is the answer to this age-old question? Well, I do not have a magic bullet, but I do have some tips and tricks to share with you that can make you as fast as a bullet – almost.
Strengthen Your Foundation
Before you start delving into the science of running a faster mile, you need to make sure you have a solid running foundation. Every great run is based on the form of the runner, and if you are to succeed at increasing your speed, you need to make sure you have good form first.
The secret to running faster is to practice proper running technique. Keep your upper body tall yet relaxed, strike the ground with your mid-foot landing under your hip, and swing your arms forward and back at low 90-degree angles. That is running form 101.
Make Use of a Treadmill
A treadmill is a great way to help you run faster and longer as it is the perfect tool for interval training. If you’re not in the loop, interval training is one of the best ways to boost metabolism, increase strength (for endurance), and speed. Because treadmill belts help with leg turnover, you automatically program your body to run faster.
If you’ve been treating your treadmill as a “dreadmill,” it’s time you view it as you “speedmill.”
Master the Fartlek
Before you laugh at the word and discard the exercise, hear me out. The word “fartlek” is a Swedish word which means “speed play.” The fartlek is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training, or periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.
A fartlek workout is a good way of preparing yourself to handle the uneven paces of a race caused by the race course’s terrain and surges used by competitors. If you want to know how to run a faster 5k, this could well be the silver bullet you are looking for. The fartlek also helps you to train yourself to control how you physically and mentally respond to variations of pace.
Strengthen Your Core
Strengthening your core muscles, especially the lower abs, will allow you to exert more force on the road. This will result in the road exerting an equal force on you (Newton’s law) and you having more power to thrust yourself forward. The result? More speed.
I know what you’re thinking. Your training schedule is already too tight and adding another routine is not feasible. That may be so, but it will only cost you a mere 15 minutes of core work a few days per week to strengthen your core muscles and increase your speed.
Float Like a Butterfly
If there is one thing the great Muhammad Ali was known for, it was his fast footwork, hence he “floated” like a butterfly. If there is one thing you can borrow, not just from Muhammad Ali but from boxers in general, it is the use of the jump rope as a way of developing fast feet.
Jumping rope is an excellent way of developing fast, responsive feet, and fast feet contribute greatly to running faster.
Take Deep Breaths – At High Speeds
One of the major limitations when it comes to running long races is the inadequacy of the human body to keep up with oxygen intake and processing. This is what ultimately leads to burning sensations in the chest and muscles.
Learn how to breathe deeply while running at fast speeds. It takes practice but when you master it, it will help your body take in more oxygen, resulting in the release of more energy. This is one major key in decoding the secret of how to run faster and longer.
Time to Take Out Your Stop Watch
After regularly putting these tips into practice, take out your stopwatch and check your new running times. Get ready for a pleasant surprise. You may not turn into the Flash, but you will definitely increase your speed.