Want to run faster? Check out these tips below to blow your PRs out of the water.
You can’t run fast if you feel like crap all the time. Emphasizing sleep, mobility, and listening to your body are vital to helping you become a faster runner. In terms of sleep at night – aim for 6+ hours of GOOD sleep. That’s not just lying in the bed – that’s cold, knocked out, sleep. Mobility should be performed at least 15 minutes a day with yoga, strengthening, foam rolling, and lacrosse ball work all in the daily arsenal. Finally, listen to your body. If it feels like it might need a day off – take it. However, make sure you body is telling you that and not your mind.
Click here for my favorite calf mobility exercise.
Don’t just show up, perform. Going on a 3 mile run isn’t enough to get faster at a 5k. You need to push it! Unless it’s a recovery run prescribed by your coach, you need to be making the most of every session. If you aren’t pushing yourself past your current threshold, your level of performance is going to plateau and you’ll need to accept your current abilities as a runner. If you want to get better, you need to push past those boundaries.
Training intervals is one of the best ways to get faster. The easiest way to do this are timed intervals because you don’t need a track or any special equipment. Set a timer for an “on” and “off” interval. During the “on” interval, you are going to run as quickly as possible for the duration. During the “off” interval, run or walk as slow as you please. Be prepared to repeat and run as quickly as possible as soon as the “on” interval begins. One of my favorite intervals is 3 minutes “on” and 2 minutes “off” for the duration of my run.
Without knowing where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Set goals of exactly where you want to be with your running. Make them lofty and specific. If you want to run a half marathon in less than two hours, don’t make the goal 1:59, make it 1:50. If you don’t hit that exact goal, no problem, you will reanalyze, see what you could have done better, and try again. Striving for a 1:50 and running 1:57 isn’t a failure. Sure you didn’t hit the 1:50 you set out for, but you smashed your original goal and now have the ability to hit the drawing board and see how you can achieve that 1:50. Don’t get too hung up in the exact result – it’s more about the experience, drive it took to get there, and where you will take yourself from there.
If you didn’t know how to swim, you wouldn’t just jump into a pool after I told you to swim a mile and start up. It would take massive amounts of time to learn how to swim properly to complete the task. Running is the same. You need to learn how to run correctly, efficiently, and safely.
Check out these running drills to help instill proper technique into your runs.
Sean Spire is the Head Coach of ASL. He was a competitive swimmer who discovered CrossFit and Ironman Triathlons. He has his BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University.