If you are planning on running a race, it’s obviously all about speed. To win the race, you need to be the fastest runner around. That said, aspiring to be the speediest is easier said than done.
You might find that you have hit a plateau in terms of your running speed, or in other words, you can’t seem to force yourself to go any faster than you already are.
However, with these tips and methods on how to increase your running speed, you should start seeing a difference within a matter of weeks. Also be sure to make sure you’ve got a sturdy pair of running shoes.
One of the best methods you can use to your advantage to increase your running speed is the interval training method. Interval training is defined at running at a moderate pace, with short bursts of speed at regular intervals.
For example, for interval training, you would start off with a light jog for 8 to 10 minutes, and then you would run at a very high intensity for anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, then jog for the same amount of time as you spent running at the high intensity.
When running the short speed bursts, you want to be running at maximum or near maximum speed, fast enough so that you can’t hold a conversation when running. Repeat this 4 to 6 times for each interval training session, and repeat this 2 to 3 times per week.
Moreover, be aware that your body will get used to those speed bursts, so another trick is to change the pace at which you run during these speed bursts. Run at near maximum speed for the first 2 bursts, then at maximum speed for the next two, then back down to near maximum speed for the last 2.
As your running speed slowly starts to improve, you can then decrease the amount of time spent jogging or resting in between bursts, combined with lengthening the time spent doing these speed bursts.
You may not have thought about engaging in strength training to increase your running speed, but it is actually one of the more effective methods to accomplish this goal. Simply put, the faster you want to run, and the longer you want to run at a high pace, the stronger those muscles in your legs need to be.
A mix of resistance training and weight lifting routines for your legs is highly recommended. There are a number of reasons why strength training is an effective method for increasing running speed.
- When your muscles are strong, it feels easier to take each stride than if your muscles were weaker
- Stronger muscles will consume less oxygen than weaker ones, especially lean muscle, and the less oxygen your muscles consume, the longer and faster you will be able to run
- Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate which the muscles use for energy. The bigger and stronger muscles are, the more glycogen they can store
Weight training also assists in fast twitch muscle fiber development, exactly what you need for explosive running power. To increase fast-twitch muscle fiber development, you want to engage in a weight training routine that has you lifting heavy weights in an explosive manner, and moving them until you can’t go anymore.
Simply put, stronger muscles will provide you with more power, and therefore the ability to run faster.
Another great method for increasing running speed is by doing hill climbs. Hill climb running is one of the hardest and most challenging things you can do, and as is often the case, the hardest things to do are also the most rewarding.
For hill training, start off with a relatively small hill with a moderate incline. Try running up the hill as fast as you can, then slowly jog to the bottom, rest for a minute, and repeat several times over. This will not only help increase your running speed, but also your endurance and muscle strength too.
As you notice the hill getting easier to run, start moving onto larger and steeper hills. This is great if you plan on running a race or marathon that has lots of hills, but works even better for races on flat ground. Running hills is much harder than running on flat ground, so getting your body accustomed to hills will make running on flat ground feel much easier.
Tempo runs are similar to interval training, but with tempo runs, instead of running at a maximum sprint for a certain amount of time, you run at a very fast pace for a set amount of time, just not at full speed.
Try running at a very fast pace for about 10 minutes, or just as long as you can manage, then slow down and jog at a slower pace for an equal amount of time. The point here is not just to run fast, but also to run for a long period of time without slowing down, something you will need for a longer race.
As you slowly become faster, you can increase the tempo which you run at and the time spent running at this speed. Running at speed for longer periods of time will also help you get past your muscle’s lactate threshold, something else that can help increase muscle strength, endurance, stamina, and your overall speed.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Cutting out things like tobacco, alcohol, and excessive sugar will go a long way in improving your health, and therefore your ability to run. Remember to eat lots of greens, a good deal of carbs, and other runner-friendly foods.
Always dress appropriately for running. It may not sound like much, but a tight and streamlined running outfit can shave seconds off your time, not to mention that being comfortable while running is also important.
With the above tips, you should notice a notable difference in your running speed within a few weeks. Keep this regiment up for mo