When you’ve been running at a consistent speed for a time, it’s all too easy to hit a wall. However, there are several methods for increasing endurance and learning how to run faster without becoming exhausted. Setting new performance objectives for your runs when you begin to push yourself a bit harder will help you stay motivated as you find how far (and how quickly) you can go. During your training sessions, use the following methods to boost your running speed.
Work On Your Running Form
You may improve your running efficiency by using a proper running form. Small changes to your posture and stride can help your body move more efficiently and with less effort. As a result, you’ll have more energy to help you maintain a quicker running speed. As you run, relax your shoulders and let your arms swing freely.
Related Article: Tips Proper Running Form
Run More Often
Increasing your weekly distance can often help you improve your overall speed. If you generally run once a week but attend gym classes the rest of the week, swapping a couple of those workout days with running days may help you increase your pace. Some runners run every day. However, it is usually suggested that they take at least one rest day per week. If you pursue this way, bear in mind that to avoid injury or burnout, you should vary the distance and intensity of your exercise. If you want to improve your running speed, you should run at least 2–3 times each week.
Pick Up the Pace
Learning how to speed up the pace is one of the first stages toward running faster. Begin with brief bursts of high-intensity exercises before returning to your regular pace. Remember that raising your speed may cause you to become more winded than normal at first, which is why it’s critical to control your breathing. It’s also crucial to distinguish between discomfort and pain as your muscles begin to tire. If you’re having trouble with the latter, you’ll need to slow down.
Running faster may seem uncomfortable at first, but as your mental and physical stamina improves, you’ll become acclimated to the sensations that occur when you increase your speed and begin to anticipate (and perhaps even enjoy) the feeling of running faster. Use this pace calculator to determine your current speed. Simply enter your distance and time, and see how your pace improves over time. (Pace Calculator from VeryWellFit)
Add Tempo Runs
Tempo runs, or runs at a little slower pace than usual, might aid in the development of your anaerobic threshold, which is necessary for speedier running. Every week, many fast runners plan at least one tempo run. The anaerobic threshold is the point at which your body’s metabolism flips from aerobic to anaerobic. While employing anaerobic systems, your capacity to maintain exertion is reduced. You won’t hit this stage as readily if you improve your fitness with tempo runs.
Start your tempo run with 5-10 minutes of easy running, then continue with 15–20 minutes of running at a speed that is roughly 10 seconds slower per mile than your 10K pace (or a pace you could sustain for 6 miles). Finish with a 5- to 10-minute cool-down period. The pace of your tempo run should feel “comfortably challenging,” similar to that of a 10K race. You shouldn’t be going so slowly that you can’t hold a conversation, but you also shouldn’t be out of breath.
Count Your Strides
Counting your strides can help you improve your stride turnover or the number of steps you take each minute when running. As a result, you’ll probably be able to run faster. Count each time your right foot contacts the ground for roughly 30 seconds at speed you can maintain for three miles to estimate your stride turnover. To calculate your overall stride turnover rate, multiply the value by two. Many runners aim for a 180-percent turnover rate. This value is fairly variable, although rookie runners tend to have a stride rate that is on the lower end of the spectrum. As a result, merely increasing your turnover rate will likely make you speedier.
Start by running for 30 seconds at your current pace to enhance your stride turnover. Then jog for a minute to recuperate before running for 30 seconds again, hoping to raise the count this time. As though you’re treading on burning coals, concentrate on taking fast, light, short steps—rep 5–8 times more, attempting to get faster each time. Eventually, a quicker turnover rate during your longer runs will feel normal.
Related Article: How To Improve Your Strides
Add Speed Workouts
Speed exercises, unsurprisingly, are one of the most effective strategies to enhance your speed. This is because speed exercises are meant to help you move quicker. Structured intervals are one approach to perform speed exercises. On a track, for example, you can do 400-meter repetitions. Alternate between running a 400-meter lap at a 5K race speed and running one moderate, easy recovery lap after a 5-minute warmup. Begin with two or three 400-meter repetitions (with a recovery lap in between), gradually increasing to five or six. If you’re planning to run a race, it’s a good idea to practice running at speed you’ll be using during the event.
800m (Half-Mile) Repeats
- 10-minute warmup
- 800 m at 5K race pace
- 1-minute easy recovery
- Repeat 800 m at 5K race pace/1 minute recovery 4 more times
- 5-minute cool-down
- 10-minute warmup
- 1 mile at 5K race pace
- 1-minute easy recovery
- Repeat 1 mile at 5K race pace/1 minute easy recovery 2 more times
- 5-minute cool-down
6 Minutes (at 5K Race Pace)
- 10-minute warmup
- 6 minutes at 5K race pace
- 1-minute easy recovery
- Repeat 6 minutes at 5K race pace/1 minute easy recovery 2 more times
- 5-minute cool-down
Add Hill Running in your Training
Running hills improves your economy and efficiency when running, resulting in quicker times. Hill repeats (running up a hill and running or walking down again and again) is a terrific strategy to help you pick up the pace. After you’ve established an endurance basis, you may integrate hill training into your running regimen. Once a week, incorporate a hill repeat session into your workout. Begin with a 10-15minute easy run warmup. Find a hill that is 100–200 meters long and has a moderate grade. Run as fast as you can up the hill. Maintain a steady effort and avoid letting your running form deteriorate. Recover by walking or running down the slope at a leisurely pace. Start with 5-6 hill repeats and gradually increase the number of repeats in your training program to a maximum of 10 each week. Hill repetitions can also be used with a tempo run.
Practice Fartlek Training
Fartlek training can be used if you don’t have access to a track or similar measured location where you can run precise intervals. Fartleks are short bursts of speed with a variable distance between them. Fartlek is a Swedish term that translates to “fast play.” Fartleks may be easily included in your runs to help you run faster. If you’re running on the road, you may mark intervals with lampposts or telephone poles. Try sprinting for two lamp posts after warming up, then recovering for two, and continuing the sequence until you’ve gone a mile. Alternatively, if you like to run while listening to music, sprint throughout your favorite song’s chorus. Suppose you’re out for a run in your neighborhood, sprint through ten mailboxes before recovering for another ten. These speed “pick-ups” will teach you how to become more comfortable running faster.
Running on a Treadmill
While most runners prefer to exercise on the open road, you may also utilize a treadmill to enhance your speed. In general, running on a treadmill is less complicated than running outside. On a mechanical treadmill, the belt travels below your feet on its own, requiring less effort from you. Furthermore, there are no challenges in the form of wind or topographical fluctuations. You may, however, imitate similar factors by setting your treadmill’s slope to 1–2%. One advantage of utilizing a treadmill is that you can train yourself to rapidly and easily move your legs over. This will make it easier for you to apply the technique to your outside runs. Treadmills also allow you to organize interval and hill runs more precisely.
Follow a Training Plan
If scheduling all of the different speed- and endurance-boosting sessions at once seem daunting, a basic training plan might help you keep organized and motivated. Choose a training plan that focuses on the distance you intend to cover. If you want to run a quicker 5K, for example, follow a training plan tailored to that distance. Longer-distance training programs are also available, but you should only focus on one event at a time, starting with shorter events. While training for a half marathon or a full marathon will undoubtedly prepare you to run a 5K, they will not incorporate 5K-specific speedwork. You’ll be more likely to achieve your goals if you stick to a training plan tailored to a specific race.
Let Your Body Recover Before Next Run
Don’t expect to be faster by running hard every day. The importance of rest in your healing and injury prevention efforts cannot be overstated. You may discover that taking at least one day off from the activity each week helps you run faster. You may still engage in physical activity on your recuperation days, but keep it light and pleasurable. A pause from high-intensity activities can also help your brain, enhancing your emotional wellness. During your rest days, your muscles strengthen and heal themselves. You won’t notice much improvement if you run every day without taking days off.
Related Article: The Importance of Rest for Runners
Consider Your BMI
As defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 25.0 or higher, runners who are overweight may be able to increase their speed by decreasing weight. According to some estimations, for every pound lost, runners improve by 2 seconds per mile. Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to lose weight if you’re happy with your current weight and your doctor hasn’t warned you about any potential health risks. Before starting a weight-loss program, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may advise you on how much weight you should reduce, if any, and which strategies are safe to employ.
Inflexible joints might make it challenging to run at a quicker speed. When your body’s range of motion is restricted, you’re less likely to move efficiently. Muscle tension might also make you more prone to injury. If you’re out of commission due to an injury, your pace will most likely suffer until you get back on your feet. After each run, try to stretch. After your runs, simple calf, hip flexor, and quadriceps stretch will help keep your body functioning optimally and your speed goals on track. You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing a wide variety of exercises, but spending 5–10 minutes after your runs doing simple calf, hip flexor, and quadriceps stretches will help keep your body functioning optimally and your speed goals on track.
Related Article: Warm-Ups, Cool-Downs, and Stretching for Running
Strengthen Your Core
Your running pace might be affected by the power of your core muscles, believe it or not. Stronger abdominals increase your running posture, allowing you to breathe more efficiently while simultaneously allowing your legs to work harder. Make a point of including a few core workouts in your everyday regimen. Planks should be practiced until you can hold them for one minute or more. End your runs with stomach curls, bicycle crunches, or simple bridges.
Related Article: How to Train your Core for Long Distance Running?
Improve Your Eating Habits
According to research, increasing your diet can also help you run faster. Are you getting enough protein in your diet to help you create stronger muscles? Are you getting the correct amount of complex carbs in your diet to power your tough workouts? Do you consume the correct sort of fat to keep your joints healthy?
Examine your calorie consumption and macronutrient balance to discover how they compare to the recommended daily allowances for a healthy diet. Remove items that aren’t beneficial for you, and consider booking a session with a certified dietitian who specializes in sports performance to ensure you’re getting the macro and micronutrients you require. Remove empty-calorie items from your diet (sugar, sweetened sodas or tea, starchy fried snacks, baked goods, and other overly processed foods) and replace them with nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, leafy greens, whole grains, and healthy fats.
Wear Lightweight Running Gear
Some running clothing adds unnecessary size and weight, slowing your pace and compromising your performance. You might want to consider purchasing running gear composed of lightweight fabrics and materials. Consider purchasing a pair of lighter, speedier running shoes as well (unless your feet benefit from additional support). Of course, there are some items that you should not run without, particularly on long runs. Items like a mobile phone to call for assistance in an emergency and water to remain hydrated on a hot day are frequently non-negotiable. Remember, improved running times are less important than your health and safety.
Get Enough Sleep
Fast runners are frequently well-rested. So getting adequate sleep is one of the best strategies to boost your running performance. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most healthy individuals should obtain 7–9 hours of sleep every night. Experiment with this range to find out how much sleep you need. Also, maintain good sleep hygiene. Every night, try to go to bed at the same hour. To obtain a better night’s sleep, make your bedroom a device-free zone by storing devices in another room and lowering the temperature somewhat.
Strength training helps you increase your speed and overall performance by strengthening your muscles. It may also assist you in lowering your chance of injury. Each week, try to fit in one or two brief strength training exercises. If you don’t have access to a gym or fitness club, you may grow strength using bodyweight exercises like pushups, lunges, and squats. If you’re able, doing these workouts right after a long run or later the same day might be useful. This way, on your easy days, you may properly recuperate without overdoing it.
Related Article: Why Strength Training is important for runners?
Experiment with Resistance
Workout aids and devices such as an anti-gravity treadmill, a running parachute, or speed bands can be employed for improved power and performance. Of course, using these techniques takes some skill, and some of them include enlisting the help of a workout friend. Running bands, for example, add resistance to your stride. The bands can be tied to a fixed object or another training partner, forcing you to draw away as you run ahead. To increase speed, some runners wear bands around their legs and sprint in place against resistance. If you decide to attempt one of these choices, it is frequently a good idea to work with a trained trainer who can show you how to use them effectively.
While running routines are meant to help you increase your speed, taking a break from the sport and cross-training with other activities is sometimes the greatest approach to learn how to run faster. Spinning, CrossFit, swimming, and even soccer are all examples of cross-training that may help you improve your cardiovascular endurance. Cross-training can also help you improve your joint flexibility and range of motion, as well as your mental toughness and general strength. You may also take a mental vacation from running by cross-training. You’ll be able to give it your all whenever you’re ready to lace up your shoes and hit the street again.
Running in Groups
Running in a group can not only keep you motivated to keep exercising, but many people find that when they workout with others, they push themselves harder. You may discover a running club in a variety of methods, but the majority of the time, you can locate one in your area for free. Inquire at your local running store, workplace, or health club about running clubs.
Not only will running with people inspire you, but many running organizations also provide guided interval training routines and other tailored programs.
If you want to learn how to increase your race time and are interested in racing, you may train as if you were racing. That means finishing your runs with a quick sprint to the finish line.
Picking up the pace during the last few kilometers of your long runs is ideal race day practice as well as improving your endurance. For the last mile, try increasing your speed by 20–30 seconds.
Try adding any of these strategies into your running practice if you want to increase your endurance and teach your body to run faster. Whether you’re a beginner runner or a seasoned competitor, it’s critical to pay attention to your body when you’re training. If any of the advised workouts causes you pain or discomfort, stop doing them right away. Furthermore, if you have specific health or medical concerns, some of the suggestions provided may not be appropriate for you. If this is the case for you, see your doctor before starting any new training routine.