RUN FASTER – 20 Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Running Speed!

run faster

“Zoom Past Your Limits” – “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” – Steve Prefontaine

Hey there, Wanna run faster, speedster-in-training! Are you tired of watching others blaze past you on the running track? Want to leave your own trail of dust behind? Well, you’re in the right place! In this blog, we’re diving headfirst into the world of faster running. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned runner looking to shave some seconds off your time, we’ve got you covered. The above quote is my most favorite running quote. The fact that you can go out and run is truly a gift – so why not try and go faster!

1. Warm-Up Like You Mean It – run faster in all parts of the session

Imagine starting a car in the dead of winter. It doesn’t go from zero to sixty instantly, right? Neither does your body. A good warm-up is like the ignition key. Dynamic stretches, light jogging, or even a brisk walk can get your muscles and joints primed for action. It’s like saying, “Hey, body, we’re about to go FAST!” Read this post all about warming up – it is a key part of your session.

2. The Power of Plyometrics

Jumping exercises like box jumps and squat jumps are like rocket fuel for your legs. They help build explosive strength, making your strides more powerful. Plus, they’re so much fun that you’ll feel like a kid again—just be sure to land softly to protect those knees! Sportsshoes.com have studied this and state “Plyometrics build the strength and power in muscles and tendons. A stronger body is better equipped to handle the repetitive stresses of running overall reducing the risk of injury”

run faster plyometrics

3. Master Your Form

Ever seen a gazelle run? It’s all about that graceful, efficient stride. Your body should be in a straight line, head up, and arms pumping smoothly. Google some videos or, better yet, consult a coach to finesse your form.

4. Interval Training is Your BFF

Here’s a secret: running faster isn’t about running faster all the time. It’s about running faster when it counts. Intervals mix high-intensity sprints with slower recovery periods. They boost your speed and endurance, all in one go.

5. Uphill Hustle

Hills aren’t your enemy; they’re your personal trainers in disguise. Running uphill forces your muscles to work harder, which translates to more power and speed on flat terrain. So, embrace those inclines!

6. Don’t Neglect Downhill Running

Sure, running downhill is a breeze, but don’t slack off. It’s a chance to practice your form, build leg strength, and, yes, gain speed. Just be careful not to go too fast and trip over your own enthusiasm.

7. Fuel Up Right

Picture this: you’re a race car, and food is your premium fuel. A balanced diet with the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats will keep your engine running smoothly. Don’t forget to hydrate too; dehydration is like running on an empty tank.

Hydration warm up runner drink water run faster

8. Get Your Rest

Sleep is where the magic happens. It’s when your body repairs and rebuilds muscles. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, and your runs will thank you.

9. Be a Stretching Superhero

Flexibility is your secret weapon. Regular stretching keeps your muscles supple and can help prevent injuries. Yoga or simple post-run stretches can do wonders. Read more in-depth her on the benefits of Yoga for Running

10. Invest in Quality Shoes to run faster

Your shoes are your armor in the battle for speed. Visit a running store, get your gait analyzed, and invest in a pair that fits like a glove. Remember, Cinderella had the right shoe, and she ran away from a prince!

11. Mix Up Your Terrain

Running on different surfaces challenges your muscles in unique ways. Pavement, trails, sand – each has its benefits. Plus, it keeps your runs interesting, like a buffet for your feet.

12. Cross-Train Like a Champ

Don’t be a one-trick pony. Cross-training, like swimming, cycling, or strength training, can improve overall fitness and prevent burnout. It’s like getting a taste of different flavors at the running buffet. AdventHealth advises cross training because it “… is valuable because it allows the athlete to continue training but decreases bone stress to help avoid injury.”

13. Consistency is Key to run faster

Remember the tortoise and the hare? Slow and steady wins the race. Consistency in training is more valuable than sporadic bursts of effort. Build a routine and stick with it.

14. Embrace the Treadmill – run faster even inside!

run faster treadmill

While outdoor running is exhilarating, the treadmill has its perks. You can control your speed precisely, track your progress, and even simulate uphill runs. It’s like running with a personal assistant.

15. Breathing Techniques

Ever felt like you’re huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf? Proper breathing can make a world of difference. Try the 2:2 rhythm – inhale for two steps, exhale for two steps. It’ll help you maintain a steady pace and oxygenate your muscles.

16. Mind Over Matter

Your brain is a powerful tool. Positive thinking can boost your performance. When you hit a wall, visualize yourself gliding effortlessly past it. You’d be surprised how well this Jedi mind trick works.

 

17. Dress the Part

No, we’re not suggesting running in a cape (although that might be fun). Dress comfortably for the weather, and invest in moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you cool and dry. Feeling comfortable helps you focus on speed.

18. Get a Running Buddy – help each other to run faster

Two heads are better than one, right? Having a running buddy can push you to go faster and make your training sessions more enjoyable. Plus, it’s like having a personal cheerleader!

19. Recovery Matters

After a grueling run, treat your body like royalty. Ice baths, foam rolling, and massages can help reduce muscle soreness and keep you ready for your next speedy adventure.

20. Patience, Grasshopper – Run faster will come.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your speed. Be patient with yourself. Progress may be slow, but it’s still progress. Celebrate the small victories along the way, and before you know it, you’ll be flying.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s dive a bit deeper into a few of these tips to supercharge your understanding and motivation.

Mastering Your Form – The Ninja Move of Run Faster

Think of your body as a finely tuned instrument, and your running form as the melody it creates. When your form is spot-on, you’re like a perfectly played symphony, efficient and harmonious. So, what does it take to master your form?

Posture: Imagine a string pulling you upward from the crown of your head. Keep your torso upright and engaged. Slouching is for couch potatoes, not speed demons.
Arms: Your arms aren’t just along for the ride; they play a pivotal role. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and swing them forward and backward, not side to side. This forward-backward motion propels you forward. It’s like a secret handshake between your upper and lower body.
Stride Length: Your stride should be natural, not forced. Longer isn’t always better. Over striding can lead to injuries and wasted energy. Aim for a quick cadence (around 180 steps per minute) with short, efficient strides.
Foot Strike: Are you a heel striker, mid foot striker, or forefoot striker? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here, as it varies from person to person. However, most experts recommend a mid foot strike, as it’s often the most efficient and lessens the impact on your joints.

Interval Training – Torture with a Purpose to run faster

Interval training isn’t for the faint of heart, but boy, does it work wonders. Imagine it as a carefully crafted torture session with a purpose – making you faster. Here’s a simple interval workout to get you started:

  • Warm up for 10-15 minutes with some light jogging.
  • Sprint your heart out for 30 seconds. Go all out!
  • Recover with a slow jog or walk for 1-2 minutes.
  • Repeat this cycle 5-6 times.
  •  Cool down with 5-10 minutes of easy jogging or walking.

This workout pushes your cardiovascular system to the max, increases your lactate threshold, and teaches your body to run faster without going all-out in a race. It’s like turbocharging your engine.

Cross-Training – The Buffet of Fitness

Imagine you’re at an all-you-can-eat buffet. You could stick with one dish, but why limit yourself when there’s so much to explore? Cross-training is like sampling different dishes at the fitness buffet. It can help prevent overuse injuries and burnout while improving your overall athleticism.

Types of Cross Training:-

• Swimming. It’s gentle on the joints and a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Plus, it engages muscles you might not use while running.
• Cycling. Great for building leg strength and endurance. It’s also a fun way to explore new routes.
• Strength Training. Don’t underestimate the power of a strong core and leg muscles. A well-rounded body is a more efficient runner.
• Yoga. Enhances flexibility, balance, and mental focus. It’s the perfect counterbalance to the repetitive motion of running.


Mind Over Matter – Channel Your Inner Yoda

Running can be as much a mental battle as a physical one. When the going gets tough, it’s your mental grit that’ll carry you through. Try these Jedi mind tricks:
Visualization: Close your eyes and picture yourself running effortlessly at your target speed. Feel the wind on your face, hear your footsteps, and see the finish line. Visualization can make your goals feel more attainable.
Mantras: Create a personal mantra or pick an inspiring one. Repeating it when you’re struggling can provide that extra boost. “I am strong,” “I am fast,” or even “Just keep running” can work wonders.
Break It Down: Instead of thinking about the entire distance you need to cover, break it into smaller, manageable chunks. Focus on reaching the next tree, lamppost, or milestone.
Run faster with Music or Podcasts: Upbeat tunes or an interesting podcast can distract your mind from the effort, helping you push through tough moments.
Celebrate Milestones: Whether it’s completing your first mile without stopping or achieving a new personal best, celebrate your victories, no matter how small. Positive reinforcement can fuel your motivation.

Remember, even the most elite runners have their off days. It’s all part of the journey. Embrace the process, enjoy the run, and, most importantly, have fun. You’re not just chasing speed; you’re chasing a healthier, happier you.

If you’re eager to dive deeper into the world of running and would like to read more, don’t miss out on the upcoming content. By sharing your email with us, you’ll be the first to know when we drop a new post. And hey, if you’ve got burning questions or specific running topics you’d like us to tackle, we’re all ears! We want to share the Joy of Running worldwide. Just sign up to receive our latest blog posts..

And, in the words of the legendary Forrest Gump, “Run, Forrest, run!” Your path to faster running awaits, so lace up those sneakers and hit the pavement. Whether you’re sprinting toward a personal best or just enjoying the wind in your hair, every step brings you closer to your goal. Happy running!

 

*** On some of my posts there will be affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you purchase from these – but will not cost you any extra ***

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *