Improving how fast you can run is on the top list of most runners, whether competitive or recreational.
Running speed and endurance is also a great way to measure your progress and improving upon your speed can be tough to do, especially as a beginner.
Take the following tips on board to improve your pace and performance!
#1 Utilise Hill Running
Hills are tough – and most people hate running on an incline even on the treadmill. As uncomfortable as it may be, hill running is a fantastic way to build up your pace.
Hills will help to increase the strength of your lungs, due to the fact that breathing becomes more difficult and the body will need to keep up with the extra effort required to navigate an incline.
✓ Make use of hills at least once a week to build up leg strength and speed that will translate to a turbo boost when you are running on the flat.
✓ As your fitness levels increase, increase the difficulty of your runs by setting the treadmill to an even higher incline, variation is key to progress.
#2 Maintain Good Form
Keeping good form during runs is super important if you want to increase your speed!
You want to make sure you are being super efficient with your stride and that you are getting the most leverage out of the steps you are taking, and this all begins with good form.
✓ This means keeping your upper body tall but not tense and ensuring your foot strikes the ground with your mid foot under your hip.
✓ Swing your arms backwards and forwards rather than side to side at a low angle.
#3 Fuel Up
Prepare for your training sessions ensuring you are fuelled up and well hydrated before your session. It may seem like common sense but nutrition and proper hydration are often overlooked by many runners, and you can’t expect your body to perform at its best and improve your speed if you do not fuel it well!
It’s vital to be energised if you want to pick up the pace and improve your speed. If you have trouble eating before a workout, try having a smoothie instead.
✓ Consider making it with a banana for those extra carbs!
#4 Cross-train With Spinning
The movements used while on a spin bike also uses hip rotation and tough resistance on the legs with hill climbs.
>> This this spells stronger legs when you cross train with the good old spinning bike.
✓ Cross-training will also help reduce overuse injuries as it is a low impact form of training!
#5 Add Yoga
Yoga makes your body more flexible – this translates to not only a reduced likelihood of injuries but also an increase in speed due to the increased flexibility you will gain.
Add yoga to your plan with specific running positions such as the downward facing dog position. This will stretch both your hamstrings and calves while also adding length to your spine!
Example exercise | Downward facing dog
✓ Begin this position on your hands and knees. The palms of your hands should be under your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the ground.
✓ Raise the hips and keep the knees bent. Aim to lengthen your torso by pressing down into your hands and shifting the weight to your legs. Lift your thighs up as your heels pull back and down and this will in turn straighten your knees.
✓ Hold for up to ten breaths then return your knees to the ground in a controlled movement.
#6 Rest = Recovery
We all need to get enough sleep to feel and perform at our best, and the same applies to when we want to achieve new goals such as improving speed in running.
Getting enough shut eye will ensure you recover fully after runs which is crucial to making those post training improvements and also to ensure you have enough energy.
Your body must be functioning enough to train at it’s best!
Take Home Message
These are some simple tips that can make a huge difference to the benefits you will get from your training sessions.
Adopt these techniques and head towards an increase in running speed!