7 Top Tips On How To Run Faster
7 Top Tips On How To Run Faster
So you’ve been running for a while now, you feel like your running stamina is pretty high and you’re ready to take things to another level — you want to know how to run faster. Maybe you want to smash your PB (personal best) on your daily run, train for a marathon, or just want to continue to develop your running performance in general. No matter what your reason is, work towards improving your running speed by following these tips on how to run faster!
How to run faster
Like any fitness goal, a strong and detailed plan of attack is the best way to set yourself up for success. By gaining knowledge about how to run faster, you’ll be outrunning others in no time!
If you’re not a seasoned runner, you may have thought that in order to run faster, you just need to run more. While this obviously plays a big part in becoming a better runner, there are plenty of other things that you can incorporate into your fitness routine to achieve this goal. Try some of these suggestions out:
1. Focus on your running form
One of the most important things that can impact your running ability is form. If you want to learn how to run faster, then this is definitely the first area that you need to focus on!
If you’ve been a runner for a long time, good form might already be second nature for you. However, if you haven’t been running regularly for very long, it’s important to recognise just how much your form can impact your performance.
Some tips for good running form include:
Breathe through your belly
Before you even think about the other tips on how to run faster, make sure you establish a good breathing technique as you run. How do you do this? Try to breathe air into your belly rather than your chest. Also, use both your nose and your mouth to inhale and exhale.
Shallow breathing refers to smaller breaths where the air only fills your chest, rather than making its way deeper down. This type of breathing often occurs when you only breathe through your mouth and not your nose — and you want to avoid this when running. The reason for this is because it can then limit the oxygen getting to your muscles, which can make it much more difficult to run.
Be sure to keep your eyes focused ahead. Many runners, especially when starting out, tend to look at the ground as they run — probably to make sure that they don’t trip over anything! Make sure your eyes are ahead of you though — it may seem like a small factor but it can make a world of difference when you’re developing strategies for how to run faster.
In regards to your running posture, make sure your upper body is not hunched over (keeping your eyes focused ahead helps this). Stay upright and avoid hunching your shoulders or carrying too much tension in your upper half.
Swing your arms
Aim to have your arms bent at 90-degree angles and as you run swing them slightly back and forth, rather than side-to-side. Avoid clenching your fists too.
Protect your feet
As your foot hits the ground, bend your knees slightly so that they don’t experience the brunt of the impact. This is an important way to avoid long-term knee pain or injuries.
2. Do HIIT workouts
HIIT training is an excellent way to help build cardiovascular health, which is really important when you are working on how to run faster. By improving your cardio health, this can in turn positively impact your running speed and overall stamina. If you’re stuck for HIIT ideas, try out the BBG program in the SWEAT app — it doesn’t require a gym membership and you can do it from the comfort of your home!
3. Mix up your running style
If you want to know how to run faster, set yourself a schedule with a particular focus per run rather than running at the same pace every session.
There are a few styles of running that you can incorporate into your weekly routine in order to improve endurance, speed and strength. Try some of these ones out:
Do speed runs
This is a form of HIIT training. On some of your runs, alternate between speed running and jogging. For example, jog for several minutes then incorporate a minute of hard sprinting, before returning to a comfortable jog.
If you’re running outdoors, it can be quite difficult to time yourself while maintaining a good pace, so an alternative to this could be to jog until you reach a certain landmark, then sprint until you reach another landmark a short distance away, before returning to a jogging state.
Why should you do this when you’re learning how to run faster? Because repeating this style of training over time can help you improve your speed and endurance.
Do hill runs
Incorporating hill runs once a week, instead of just running on flat terrain, can help improve your muscle strength, which in the long term can help with your running speed too. It can also be less stressful on your joints, as the impact is not as strong when your feet hit the ground.
Do tempo runs
A tempo run simply means running at a constant steady pace. Some suggest that a good tempo run pace is a little slower than what you would do for a 10km (6.2 miles) running pace. If you don’t know what this is though, just aim to run at a pace where you’re comfortably pushing yourself for the entirety of the run.
Alternate length of runs
It is important to increase your running distance per week, too. This will help build up your stamina over time, as well as your ability to run faster. A lot of runners tend to leave their ‘long’ run until the weekend so that they’re not in a rush but decide what is best for you and your schedule. Each week, try to run a little further on your long run.
4. Lose fat
Minimising your body fat percentage can potentially help benefit you when you are working on how to run faster. Your body is designed for efficiency; if you have an excess of body fat, it can then impact how easy it is for you to run at a fast pace.
It’s important to remember that there is a difference between fat loss and weight loss though, so it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself. If significant fat loss is something you want to achieve, we highly recommend consulting your health professional as they will be able to tell you what’s best for you and your body.
Remember that your energy comes from your diet, so you need to eat plenty of wholesome, healthy foods to support your goals. This is one of the most important things you can do — in fact, this tip isn’t just relevant if you’re working on how to run faster. When it comes to any kind of fitness training, a healthy and wholesome diet is so important if you want to reach your goals! If you are limiting your food intake at an uncomfortable level, then you are not fueling your body correctly — this means that you are likely to feel less energised, which will then affect your training ability.
5. Build strength through weight training
If you’re serious about running, incorporating some sort of strength training a few times a week into your routine can also make a huge difference when it comes to running faster. As mentioned above, having strong muscles will help you run faster and with greater ease.
6. Schedule in rest days
It is so important to balance your training days with rest days. Your body needs rest time so that your muscles can recover and rebuild. In order to help optimise your recovery time, make sure you incorporate warm ups and cool downs into all of the workouts that you do (including the runs we’ve mentioned above).
7. Stretch regularly
Our last tip on how to run faster? Include some form of active stretching, like yoga, into your fitness routine. Yoga offers a range of health benefits; it helps to stretch and lengthen the muscles, as well as improves flexibility. Both of these are things that can help you on your journey to improving your running speed — and overall physical health.
Set up a plan and get running!
While it might feel like we’ve offered too many suggestions about how to run faster, if you create a detailed plan, you might be surprised how easy it is to incorporate these factors into your weekly fitness schedule.
By taking into consideration each of these tips on how to run faster, you’ll be feeling like a stronger, fitter and faster runner in no time!
If you’ve been running for a long time, we’d love to hear any other tips that you have for our SWEAT community! Join the discussion in the SWEAT forum and connect with other SWEAT runners to share your journey.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.