Have you ever participated in a race? Or, are you planning for your next race? Whatever the situation might be, the first question that pops up in your brain is how to run faster? People who run quite often know that it takes focus, training, determination and a lot of discipline to do so. But then, Usain Bolt makes sprinting appear so easy, doesn’t he? It almost seems at most of the times that he doesn’t even have to try to run faster. Undoubtedly Bolt is a natural runner but he has reached that position by training himself. There has been a lot of hard work, time, determination and effort that has gone into being the Number One runner.
So, how to run faster? Well, there are tons of steps that you can undertake in order to upgrade your running and improve your training so as to run faster.
Tips on How to Run Fast
Listed below are a few practical tips that would help you to ace your next race.
1. Achieve a Good Form
Want to beat your rival at the race? Then head for working on your good form!
Practicing a proper technique for running is without any doubt the best way to run at any speed that you want. All you need to do is keep your upper body upright and yet relaxed.
However, do not try to stiffen your upper body.
Next, you would need to strike the ground with your mid-foot which should land under your hip. When you are running, swing your arms back and forward and never side to side. When you are swinging your arms make sure that they are as low as at 90-degree angles.
2. Alter your Weekly Regimen
Do you want to learn how to run faster? Then one quick solution is to change your routine.
One of the mistakes that the runners commit more than often is sticking to the same routine. What they really do not understand is the fact that this can slow them down. One of the ways to make your long runs more effective is by altering your weekly regimen.
To get faster with your running, try to include short, easy paced runs; three super strengtheners and easy-paced runs for somewhere around an hour. This would definitely improve your speed in about six weeks. Also, a bit of strength does go a long way.
Try speed workout after you have run for a considerable amount of time. This would aid you in becoming more efficient and achieve a good form. This would also help you in maintaining a healthy weight which is especially important when you are a runner.
3. Focus on Your Stride Turnover
What exactly is stride turnover?
As a runner, your stride turnover is the total number of steps that you take in a minute of running regardless of the pace. For most of the runners, the stride frequency remains the same at several paces and the changes in the speed are accomplished by making changes to the length of their stride.
Some of the most efficient and fastest runners have a cadence of approximately 180 steps in a minute. These runners often keep their feet closer to the ground and take speedy and short steps.
In order to determine yours, run for a minute and note the number of times that your right foot hit the ground. Whatever you get, divide it with two and that would be your stride turnover. Work on that and eventually you would be able to improve your speed.
4. Run More
We are sure this sounds familiar to you. But we can’t tell you how important it is to improve your running speed.
Most runners do not really run enough. The best way to improve for most of the people is through endurance. And the best way to gain endurance is by running more. Run a few miles like say about 4 to 5 miles in the initial weeks and then gradually with each passing week, keep on adding miles to it. For instance, if you ran 5 miles last week, try and run for 6 miles this week. Always remember to use the rule 10 percent when you add on more things into your training routine.
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5. Introduce Running Planks into Your Routine
We would like to share a little secret with you:
If you are wondering how to run faster then do indulge in running planks!
Almost all of the professional runners do running planks on a regular basis.
To do it, you would need to get into the position where it would seem as if you are ready to do a push-up. Then you would need to bring your right knee towards your arm on the left. You would need to ensure that you are twisting from your core and not your hips or shoulders.
Return back to the starting position and then repeat the same on your opposite side in order to complete 1 rep. start by doing 1 set of 8 reps and then go up to doing 2 sets. You could also increase the number of reps to make things more challenging.
6. Sprinting like Bolt
Imagine what it would be like to sprint like a Bolt? You would definitely win! But sprinting definitely helps you in running faster!
The professional runners do short sprints before their real race for a reason. Running striders are a series of rather comfortable sprints which are usually about 8-12 and between 50 to 200 meters each. This is a great way to improve the acceleration technique and would help you in running faster.7.
7. Become BFF with Treadmill
We have all been on a treadmill, but this time you have to make treadmill your friend! It is the ticket to run fast.
Well, the belt of the treadmill assists in the leg turnover which makes it easier to run faster. Also, with treadmills, you get the opportunity to increase the pace at your fingertips. All you need to do is make sure that you get on the machine before you push the button. Make the treadmill your friend and you would soon be able to notice the difference.
8. Invest in Lightweight Shoes
As a runner, what is the first thing you look for?
Perfect running shoes! These days, rather lightweight sneakers are available in the market which mimics the natural movement of the foot and thereby helps in improving the stride.
Try on different shoes especially the minimalistic ones so as to see if lighter weight does mean more energy for the faster foot. Shoes are what are going to help you in the run and thereby it is best to invest in one that assists you in the run and helps keep your feet comfortable.
9. Stretch and Hop
Did you know when you indulge in stretches, you prevent your body from injuries! So, come on, stretch your body while reading this post!
Good! Now stretching exercises have other benefits too, such as it helps in increasing the flexibility which in turn helps to stride better. Therefore, it is best to stretch for about 10 minutes daily. Also, you must include jumping ropes into your routine. Boxers know the importance of jumping ropes. As you do so you would be able to become swifter on your feet.
Along with stretches, include jumping ropes too! It will improve your feet coordination and increase your feet movement too. As you do so you would be able to become swifter on your feet.
10. Learn the Correct Way to Breathe
Have you noticed yourself panting while running? Now, no more!
When you are running, your breathing pattern changes. Learning the right way to breathe when you are running faster does take a lot of practice and patience. If you do not breathe the right way, you are bound to feel exhausted within a few minutes. There are several breathing techniques that you can adopt.
The best way would be to use both your mouth and nose for inhaling and exhaling such that your muscles receive maximum oxygen. Another technique is to belly breathe wherein you would fill your stomach instead of the chest with the air that you inhale.
11. Try Yoga
The power of Yoga cannot be underestimated.
Most runners include several Yoga techniques into their training plan. When you look up for ways on how to run faster, you would find many most of them recommending Yoga. Yoga helps to increase the flexibility of the runner and helps them to move faster. Yoga is also known to have healing benefits and thereby aids in the recovery.
12. Head for the Hills
Isn’t it obvious that running hills can be challenging? But that’s the key to enhance your running speed.
When wondering how to run faster, incorporate some hill training into your schedule of the workout. This is known to build up the speed gradually.
You might feel that running uphill seems to be difficult at the beginning but you would start getting used to it after a while. When you do so, you would find running on a level surface much easier and this would enable you to run faster.
Head for the hills and it would help to achieve to higher intensities while also limiting the joint shock that is caused by thumping on a flat surface.
To take the challenge to the next level, try doing a few hill sprints. For this, you would need to run up a steep hill for about 40 to 60 seconds at your maximum speed that you can maintain physically for those few seconds.
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13. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Remember that everything’s in your head. If you make up your mind that you can do it, you would be able to do it no matter what.
As a runner, you wouldn’t really get anywhere unless and until you choose to get out of your comfort zone. Running fast is, of course, going to hurt at times but it isn’t anything dangerous. Set an ambitious goal, believe in your training and remember that you are capable of more than what you think. Challenge yourself and you might surprise yourself with a personal best.
14. Get on the Trails
It has been noticed that not many runners get on the trails in order to break the monotony of regularly running on the roads. Trail running actually has many benefits like it allows people to enjoy the nature and also helps in preventing injuries.
Trail running increases your power of focusing as you become more attentive as to where you are running. This helps in developing both agility and coordination. In case you are wondering how trail runners can improve proprioception, then it is through specific exercises and adequate training. Hit the trails today and you would be able to notice great changes soon.
15. Work on Building Your Core
You would see most professional runners working on their core at least 4 times a week. But, why is it so?
It is because stronger core muscles give the runners the chance to vent out more force during the run. With just fifteen minutes of core work, about three to four times a week can strengthen your core and help you improve your speed. You could try exercises like balance plank, modified bicycle, side plank leg lift, single-leg Glute Bridge, supine bridge leg lift and modified bird dog.
16. Observe the Movement of Your Toes
When you are running, the whole body’s movement plays a role in the speed. This is why you should never ignore your toes. You could try dorsiflexion which is basically arching your toes in an upward direction towards the shins while running. When you do so, you would notice that less of your foot is hitting the ground which helps in a swifter stride turnover.
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17. Consume Less Sugar
Honestly, when it comes it healthy eating sugar is a big NO!
One of the things that you would always come across when you are searching about how to run faster is to avoid sugar and maintain a balanced diet. Junk food has high sugar content and that is ought to slow you down. This is why it is best to go for whole grains before going for a run. These would provide you with sufficient energy while making sure that you do not feel exhausted.
In your running diet, include complex carbohydrates like rice, pulses, pasta, and whole grain bread along with protein rich food like egg, fish, meat and cheese. Also, keep a selection of healthy snacks handy whenever you feel hungry so as to keep your energy levels at a perfect level. Good snack choices would be fruits, fruit smoothies, unsalted nuts, sandwiches, mixed seeds, yogurt etc.
18. Shed those Stubborn Fat
There is no shortcut to speed up your running speed! You ought to bid adieu to fat!
According to the research, shedding a few pounds is known to save the runners a few minutes. By pounds, we mean fat and not muscles. When you shed all of that unnecessary fat, you would be able to cut approximately two seconds off your each mile time for every pound that you shed.
But, it is important to remember that not everyone has the weight that they can lose. So, it is best to talk to a physician before you proceed further. The physician would examine you thoroughly and would then recommend the best way to stay fit.
19. Take Adequate Rest
Put a rest to your work, work, work schedule!
Did you know the people who rest well are known to perform better when the time comes. Two days before the race, take time off. Indulge in just stretching exercises so as to prepare your body. other than that it is better to let your body relax so that it can prepare itself for the big day.
20. Drink Caffeine
Caffeine is known to have several metabolic effects one of which is to give that extra jolt. Caffeine can increase the mental and physical energy of a person and thereby can help you in running faster. So, make yourself a cup of coffee before you go on a run next time. Bonus Points- It enhances your performance!
Now that you are aware of how to run faster, get ready to outdo yourself in the next race.
Other Important Things You Must be Aware of as Runners
Other than all of the tips that help with how to run faster, you must be aware of a few important things as runners. Listed below are a few of them.
1. Safety comes first
Running isn’t really dangerous. However, make sure that you are having a healthy diet and taking proper care of yourself. Do not stress yourself or try to run more than what your body allows. Proceed slowly.
In a race, nobody cares how you look. Remember comfort comes far ahead of fashion when you are picking up clothes for running. You should begin with the basics: a pair of loose shorts or tights, a vest if you are a man and a sports bra if you are a woman. Layer clothes if the temperature is low where you live. Make sure that the fabric is breathable so that you can stay comfortable when running.
3. Selection of the Shoe
As discussed above, a show is the most important equipment in a race. Try three or more pairs and jog in the store to see if it fits you perfectly.
4. Running Gears
As a runner, it is important that you invest in GPS watches and things that let you measure the distance, time, pace etc. It would help you keep track of your performance so that you can improve.
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Once you follow all the above effective tips, you are surefire to be the winner at any race. So, get ready to win the next race you participate in. What are you waiting for?
We love to hear from you! So do share your quick and effective tips on how to run faster, in the comments below.