25 Ways to Run Faster

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  • 7/27/2019 25 Ways to Run Faster


    by Emily Faherty 12 months ago Fitness

    Photo by Ben Draper

    25 Ways to Run Faster Now

    Its been said if you want to run fast, you have to practice running fast. (What?

    Thought Ryan Hall orLolo Jones got that quick with just luck?!) Read on for 25 ways to have aharder,

    better, faster, strongerworkout, smoke the competition, and maybe even set a speedy new PR.

    Full Speed Ahead Your Action Plan

    1. Nail good form. The key to running (at

    any speed) is to practice proper running

    technique. That means keeping the upper

    body tall yet relaxed, striking the ground

    with the mid-foot landing under the hip,

    and swinging the arms forward and back

    (not side to side!) at low 90-degree angles.

    2. Count your steps. Get familiar with

    stride turnover, or the rate of steps taken

    while running, regardless of pace. The

    fastest, most efficient runners have a

    cadence of around 180 steps per minute

    and keep their feet close to the groundwith light, short n speedy steps. To find

    your magic number, run for one minute,

    count the number of times the right foot

    hits the ground, and multiply by two.

    3. Get low, get high. Short on gym time? Quick! Try speed training! Intervals, or alternating periods of

    high and low intensity while exercising, are just one way to build speed and endurance and burn major

    calories in less time, too!

    4. Stride right. Theres a reason you see all those real runners doing short sprints before the big road

    race. Striders (or strides) are a series of comfortable sprints (usually eight to 12, between 50 to 200

    meters each) to improve acceleration technique.

    5. Run the mill.Feel the need for speed? Chase it down on the treadmill! Because the speed beltassists with leg turnover, its actually easierto run at a faster clip inside. Plus, the power to push the

    pace is right at your fingertips. A word of advice these geniuses could have used: Get on the machine

    before turning up the dial.

    6. Stretch it out. The jury is still out on whetherstatic stretches before running really prevents injuries[1].

    But leaders of the pack know stretching daily (target those hip flexors!) increases flexibility for better


    7. Pick a pace.Fartleks is a funny Swedish word (yes, our inner 10-year-old boy finds it hilarious)

    meaning speed play. Alternating jogs and sprints will gradually build up speed and endurance, plus you

    call the shots on when to switch it up.

    8. Lighten up. Even ifbarefoot running isnt your thing, sneakers are getting lighter and lighterto mimic

    the foots natural movement and improve stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means moreenergy for faster feet.

    9. Get to the core. Fast and fit go hand in hand. Strongercore muscles (especially the lower abs) allow

    runners to tap into more force and speed out on the road. The best part: Just 15 minutes ofcore work a

    few days a week is enough for a faster finish[2].

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  • 7/27/2019 25 Ways to Run Faster


    10. Breathe in, breathe out. Just do it much faster! Learning how to breathe while running at faster

    speed takes practice. Use both the nose andmouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum

    amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly-breathing (not to be confused with belly dancing!), which

    means filling the stomach with air on each inhale, not the chest.

    11. Play with toys. Who doesnt like new toys? Try a running parachute for added resistance, or if your

    budget allows, see what its like to go for a moon-walk, err, run on anAlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.

    12. Head for the hills. Run just once a week, hill repeats are shown to improve speed, build muscle

    strength, and add a boost of confidence, too.

    13. Add weight. Stronger, leaner muscles will only help when it comes to flying past the finish line. And

    while runners shouldnt necessarily take up bodybuilding, just one to two short strength training sessions

    a week can go a long way.

    14. Lose weight. On the other hand, research shows that shedding the pounds (fat, not muscle) can

    help runners shave time off the clock an average of two seconds per mile faster per pound lost! Of

    course, not everyone has the weight to lose (lucky them!), so remember to consult a physician before

    starting any weight-loss program.

    15. Look ahead. Simply looking down at your sneaks or turning your head while running to check out the

    competition can waste precious time. Instead, focus forward about 10 to 20 meters in the distance

    and keep those eyes on the prize.

    16. Toe the line. The whole body plays a role in speed from the head, all the way to the toes! Pay

    attention to the piggies and try dorsiflexion (bringing the toes up to the shin) while running. Less of the

    foot hits the ground for a quicker stride turnover.

    17. Jump on it. Take a lesson from Marky Mark in The Fighterand grab ajump rope. Boxers know that

    fast feet mean fast hands. But for runners, fast feet just equal fast feet.

    18. Keep it steady. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! A tempo run

    challenges speed-seekers to find a comfortably hard pace and hold it for a 20-minute period. Just dont

    burn out before the run is over like that silly little hare!

    19. Skip the sweets. Junk foods guarantee a sugar high, but they also slow us down. Stick to whole

    grains and pasta instead, which provide long-lasting energy without the crash.

    20. Hold on. Holding planks could give you abs that rival Ryan Goslings six-pack. But this special

    running plank (done two to three times a week), will make you crazy stupidfast, too.

    21. Go for a spin.Spinning is all about hip rotation and maintaining tough cadences and the same

    goes for running! So put the pedal to the medal with some cross-training on the bike.

    22. Fill er up. Addicted to coffee? Turns out drinking caffeine prior to running gives an extra jolt of

    speed. Even more good news? Its a totally legal performance enhancer[3].

    23. Strike a pose. Get a leg up on fellow runners by adding yoga to your training plan. The increased

    flexibility from runner-specific positions boosts speed and aids recovery after a long sweat session.

    24. Get enough shut eye. Studies show well-rested athletes have better reaction times and clock faster

    finishes[4]. And think about it the faster you run, the more time for kicking back and relaxing!

    25. Strip down. When its finally race day, take it off! The extra layers and fuel belts, that is. The lessclothing and gear on your body, the faster your time which is why the pros practically get right down to

    their skivvies to run.

    Did we miss any speedy tips? Share your favorite, fun, fast workouts in the comments below!

    Further Resources

    VIDEO Usain Bolt: 6 World Records

    Watch the worlds fastest man break not one, not two, but six world records!

    Runners World Speed Dial

    Running experts share speed workouts and tips for every level runner.

    Health Stretching: The Secret to Running Better, Faster, and Longer

    Improve stride and increase pace with these easy post-run stretches.

    VIDEO Florence + the Machine: The Dog Days Are Over

    Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father, run for your children, for your sisters, and brothers.

  • 7/27/2019 25 Ways to Run Faster


    Works Cited

    1. Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship. Witvrouw, E., Mahieu, N., Danneels, L., et al. Department of

    Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium.

    Sports Medicine, 2004; 34 (7): 443-9. []

    2. Does core strength training influence running kinetics, lower-extremity stability, and 5000-M performance in runners?

    Sato, K. and Mokha, M. Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. Journal

    of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2009 Jan; 23 (1): 133-40. []

    3. Caffeine and sports performance. Burke, L.M. Department of Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra,

    Australia. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2008 Dec; 33 (6): 1319-34. []

    4. The effects of sleep extension on the athletic performance of collegiate basketball players. Mah, C.D., Mah, K.E.,

    Kezirian, E.J., et al. Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and

    Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Sleep, 2011 Jul; 34 (7): 943-50. []

    Leave a Comment

    TRACKBACKS1. For When It Snows | says:

    12 months ago[...] 25 Ways to Run Faster [...]

    2. A very prolific week of links Sceptically Fitsays:11 months ago at 4:40 pm[...] A new study suggests the marathon wont kill you (if youve trained for it). Mark Sisson gives some adviceon combining weight training with running, and here are some more tips to run faster. [...]

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