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How to run faster: 26 tips anybody can follow

Image credit: Shutterstock - By lzf

Looking to improve your time on the track or on the marathon scene?

Changing just a few things about the way you run, the frequence in which you run, and the type of running you do can greatly improve your speed and endurance.

Running is a great way to blow off steam and clear your head, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and challenging for people who love to push themselves just a little further every day.

If you are interested in running faster, here are 25 ways you can start to see improvement in your speed today.

1) Form Counts for Everything

Before you change anything else, make sure you are using proper running form.

It might be a good idea to enlist the help of a professional coach for a few sessions to make sure you are on point.

Here are great tips to get the perfect technique:

2) Know Your Step Count

When you know how many steps you can do in an hour or minute, you can use that to work toward setting goals for yourself.

Plus, it gives you an alternative way to measure speed – more steps might not mean faster speeds.

3) Intervals Take You Places

Try interval training to strengthen your speed and provide variety in your running routine.

Our bodies quickly adapt to speed and pace, so when you change them frequently, your body needs to be alert to those changes.

An infinite number of of workouts can be done with intervals.

Here are 5 types of interval training:

Repeats: This is the same distance, done a set number of times.

Ladders: You can go from shorter to longer repetitions: 300, 600, 900 etc.

Pyramids: This is where you go up and down. For example, 400, 600 to 800, 400 etc.

Cut-downs: This starts off with several longer repeats and then the runner goes through shorter, faster reps. This helps the runner learn to run hard when under fatigue.

4) Run Like Your Life Depends on It

When was the last time you sprinted on a run?

Give sprinting a try to strengthen muscles and build stamina.

It’s also really fun to just let loose on the road or track for a few minutes to get your heart rate up and beating faster.

5) You Are Not Too Good for the Treadmill

Don’t think you are beyond treadmill training.

There are lots of things you can do on a treadmill that you can’t do on the road, including dance running and training.

Give your old treadmill a run for its money to increase your speed.

6) Stretching Makes All the Difference

Some experts now say that stretching prior to a run can actually do more harm than good.

If you aren’t sure what is the best approach for you, try before an after – or both – and then adjust your running routine according for best results.

Here’s a great video on how to stretch before running:

7) Run for Fun

Just get out there and don’t worry about how you look, how fast you are going, or what progress you are making.

If you aren’t having fun, you shouldn’t be running. So make it fun once in a while and give yourself a break from the structured training.

8) Strengthen Your Thighs

Try swimming, leg presses and squats to build strong quads.

The biggest muscles in the body need some big workout routines to ensure endurance and speed.

Test them to the max with different exercises and you’ll see results.

9) Invest in Quality Footwear

Lighten the load on your feet and legs with quality running shoes.

Many athletes buy 10 pairs of the same shoes because once you find what works, you never want to let it go.

10) Workout the Rest of Your Body

Remember to give the rest of your body a run for its money in the gym and on the track.

Do push-ups, jumping jacks, stretch, lift weights, and more for best results.

11) Check Your Breathing

Make sure you are exercising proper breathing techniques. If you are gasping for air, adjust your exercise routine. If you are not breathing heavily at all, you can probably go a little faster.

12) Run Those Hills

For best results, incorporate hills into your running routine. You’ll build strong muscles and a butt to write home about!

13) Reduce Your Sugar Consumption

If you want to improve your speed, cut out the stuff your diet doesn’t need.

Sugar and heavy, greasy foods can weigh you down and make you sluggish.

14) Give Resistance Training a Try

Workout with resistance bands, machines, and think about getting a trainer to improve your resistance training to improve your running speeds.

15) Work those Weights

Don’t forget to work those arms and back to get the best results. When your body is strong, your running game is on point.

16) Drop a Couple of Pounds

If you want to go faster, it makes sense to lose a few pounds.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to see a considerable change in the way you carry yourself and how you perform.

17) Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Don’t look down. There’s a natural tendency to look at the ground to keep your footing as you run, but you can run faster if you keep your head up and look toward your finish line at all times.

18) Cycle for Endurance

Build those large muscles with cycling in the gym or on the road.

Hills are best for building strong quad muscles, which are the muscles that propel you forward.

19) Keep Your Toes Forward

Some people run with their feet pointed outward or inward. To go as fast as possible, work on your foot form.

20) Pace Yourself

While speed is the name of the game, some training days are better spent going slow so you can build endurance first.

Once you have endurance running down, speed will naturally increase over time.

21) Coffee Can Help

Put a little pep in your step with a morning coffee before your run.

It can give you that “out of the gate” feeling and get you where you want to go.

22) Mountain Climbers Are Your Friend

These exercises are brutal but worth it if you want to increase speed.

24) Increase the Amount of Sleep You Get Regularly

Of course, getting lots of exercise is important to increasing speed, but so is getting lots of rest. Sleep is when your body repairs itself.

25) Add Some Yoga to Your Life

Don’t forget to work the mind! It’s important to your success. Yoga is great for mind, body and soul.

26) Drop Some Layers

On race day, let go of the bulky training gear and wear a light shirt and shorts.

You don’t need anything weighing you down after working so hard for this moment!

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Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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