Are you constantly searching for ways to run faster and take your running game to the next level? With just five weeks of dedicated training and a bit of hard work, you can become a faster runner!
Discover the secrets behind optimizing every stride, the workouts that power through plateaus, and everything else you need to know about increasing your running speed.
How to Run Faster
Understanding the Basics of Speed Training
Power = Force x Velocity
In running, this translates to the force generated during each stride and how quickly it’s applied to achieve forward motion. To get faster, you need to increase strength and endurance.
Speed Training Fundamentals
Simple running tips to run a faster mile include interval training, focusing on your running form, and gradually increasing your pace. It’s not about overnight results but consistent progress.
Note – without proper running form, it will be difficult to maximize your running speed.
Essential Workouts for Speed Improvement
As you delve deeper into improving your speed training, it’s crucial to grasp four key techniques: interval workouts and fartlek workouts. Incorporate speed workouts into your running workout routine and overall training program.
These are your core workouts to running faster.
Interval workouts are crucial in improving your overall speed and endurance, and they’re a key component of speed training. They’re an effective way to improve your mile time. Interval training is where you increase your running pace for a set number of minutes for a number of set intervals.
The pace should be hard (you’ll be struggling for air), then run slowly to recover in between intervals. Consider these your core speed workouts. Interval training improves your body’s pain threshold when running harder.
Here’s a simple table to guide you:
|Week||Interval Workout Example|
|1||30 sec fast, 1 min slower pace|
|2||1 min fast, 2 min slower pace|
|3||2 min fast, 1 min slower pace|
|4||30 sec fast, 30 sec slower pace|
|5||1 min fast, 30 sec slower pace|
|NOTE||“Fast” means slightly above your target running pace (not an all-out sprint).|
Consider doing up to 10 of these in a workout depending on the distance you’re training for.
Fartlek (Swedish for “speed play”) workouts are similar to interval workouts. They are fairly unstructured runs that involve harder efforts for a time period, followed by a slower running period to recover.
Their difference to interval workouts is that with fartleks you randomly mix faster running with your normal pace during the entire run workout. This is another speed workout but think of it as more of a cross-country race.
You’ll run harder until you reach the tree, then you run a bit slower to recover, then another hard section, and so on. It’s less structured than intervals and you keep running the whole time.
I’d also say “speed play” workouts are slightly less intense than intervals, but this is up to the individual. You want to up the pace, but also not struggling for air the whole time. It’s like a temporary acceleration.
Fuel Up To Run Faster
It’s not just about eating; it’s about nourishing your body with a balanced diet, consuming energy-boosting foods that fuel your runs, and staying hydrated for optimal performance.
Hydration and Performance
Hydration plays a crucial role in your overall performance. According to one study, dehydration of as little as one to three percent will slow down your performance. You’ll also experience an elevated heart rate and perceive the effort as harder.
How much is a three percent decrease in speed?
|Hydrated Mile Time||Dehydrated Mile Time|
|6:00 minute mile||6:18 minute mile|
|7:00 minute mile||7:21 minute mile|
|8:00 minute mile||8:24 minute mile|
|9:00 minute mile||9:27 minute mile|
|10:00 minute mile||10:30 minute mile|
|11:00 minute mile||11:33 minute mile|
Also remember that when dehydrated, your endurance is compromised. You’ll get slower the longer you run.
Begin drinking a lot of water the day before a big run. You want to maximize your hydration.
Moral of this section – Hydrate to and run fast.
Energy-boosting foods are those that provide a quick and sustained release of energy by supplying essential nutrients like carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. Here are some examples of energy-boosting foods:
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Whole Grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice)
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Sweet Potatoes
- Red grapes
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries). Be careful as a lot of these slow down the digestion process in some people (like me).
- Nuts and Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Lean Proteins
- Fish (salmon, tuna)
- Healthy Fats:
- Olive Oil
- Green Tea:
- Contains caffeine and antioxidants that can provide a gentle energy boost. Actually, I will drink anything with caffeine in it. Side benefit – caffeine helps you poop.
- Oats are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy. I eat oatmeal with fruit every day for breakfast. Love it.
The key to sustained energy is to maintain balanced meals with a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary or highly processed foods, as they can lead to energy crashes.
Free Speed Techniques
What is free speed? It refers to something that you can buy or ingest that will make you faster, without building stronger muscles. In cycling, it would be something that would make you more aerodynamic.
For running, we have a few items you should consider if you want to increase your speed.
Sur AltRed Supplements
AltRed is a relatively new supplement extracted from red beets, harnessing the natural power of betalains – pigments found in beets responsible for their vibrant color. These betalains have been found to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
For runners, oxygen efficiency is paramount. AltRed has shown promise in this regard by potentially improving the body’s ability to utilize oxygen during exercise.
Research suggests that betalains might enhance the function of mitochondria, the energy powerhouses of cells, allowing them to operate more efficiently. This could lead to improved oxygen utilization, ultimately resulting in increased endurance and reduced fatigue during long runs.
Take one tablet two hours before the speed workouts in your training schedule.
Sleep is the absolute best thing you can do for running faster. Sounds strange doesn’t it?
Behind the scenes, while you’re catching those Z’s, your body is orchestrating a symphony of hormonal processes. Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining hormonal balance, including hormones like cortisol and testosterone.
Consistent sleep patterns can help regulate these hormones, contributing to a healthier body composition, better recovery, and overall improved athletic performance. And we’re talking 8 hours every night. You will wake up every day ready to attack each workout.
I can say from experience that I have never had a good workout when I’m sleep-deprived. My best workouts are after I’ve had a great night’s sleep. It’s okay to take rest days once in a while too.
Happiness can have a positive impact on physical performance, including running, due to its influence on various physiological and psychological factors.
Studies have shown that Ironman athletes who could smile while under a high level of physical stress actually felt lower amounts of pain and were able to extend their average time to muscle failure during their exercise routine.
So smile. You’re lucky to be running!
Use a Foam Roller
I use a foam roller after every run. Foam rolling allows for the release of tension in the fascia – the connective tissue that surrounds muscles – and breaks up adhesions or knots that can develop due to overuse, stress, or injury. Foam rolling is often likened to a deep tissue massage you can administer to yourself.
This keeps my body injury-free and helps lessen the soreness I used to get after long runs.
It’s a journey, so don’t rush. Keep your pace and listen to your body to avoid injuries. Also, work on improving your core muscles as they support proper running form and top speed.
Let me know if you have any questions. Happy running!
Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase the product. This site is not intended to provide medical advice and you should always consult with a physician before beginning any physical activity.