For those of us who aren’t record holders; the runners who can’t afford a coach or trainer and people new to the world of running—keep going, you can get faster! We’ve had to be creative to find new ways to improve our speed. Our friends might think that we’re crazy and our race calendar might be bigger than our social calendar, but we’ve made a commitment to get faster.
Try out these tips to improve your speed:
Try Interval Training for a Boost
When I’m not hitting the pavement for a long run or I don’t have time for a long gym session, you can find me on the treadmill slamming out a HIIT run. Sometimes I think the person next to me thinks I’m crazy—so what! Interval training is important to becoming a faster runner. Interval runs are short, but intense. After you’ve warmed up, spend a couple of minutes jogging at a consistent pace. Then, run two minutes as hard as you can. After you’ve pushed your limits take two to three minutes to jog or walk to catch your breath. Runner’s World explains, just like rest the body can adapt and get stronger in the recovery mode and notes that the secret to recovery is patience and discipline.
Strengthen Your Core
When you think core, you think abs. But what about the often forgot back muscles? These are equally important in developing a strong core. Core workouts like the Superman, Russian twists and planks can help make you a stronger runner. A strong core also contributes to good form.
Toss Out Junk Food
This can be your biggest breakthrough. Sure, you’re crushing it at the gym and you’re running tons of races, but giving in to tempting sweets and junk foods could be why you aren’t seeing any progress, or a faster time. After you toss out all of the junk you’ll notice an improvement in energy levels and you won’t have to worry about gastronomical irritations. If you can’t kick your sweet tooth, Fitness magazine offers some healthful tips like planning ahead, having a role model and using other items instead of foods as rewards for your progress.
Since I took my first spin class, it’s become an addiction. For me, it’s a total body workout. And the clubs and instructor I see each week are both amazing! For me, spin’s a mix of going to the club, therapy and the gym—all wrapped up in one experience. There’s loud music, time to develop mental strength and the workout speaks for itself. Spin can help increase your fitness and it can also help to build up your endurance. Active notes that while you’re pushing through hills during spin class you move to an anaerobic heart rate and your fast-twitch muscles are trained–which is a great sprinting advantage.
A Good Night’s Rest
The right amount of sleep not only plays a vital role in becoming a faster runner it also seeps into other areas of your life as well, like impairing your concentration levels and it can wreak havoc on your appetite. I’m about to get a little sciency here. When you’re sleeping human growth hormone (HGH) is released slowing into your body. The natural HGH hormone helps to rebuild muscle and repair tissues. HGH can help to convert fat to fuel and it keeps bones strong. In short, if you’re not getting enough sleep you’re not recovering like you need to be. Plus, not enough sleep can lead to increased cortisol levels which can contribute to shorter recovery periods.
Shed the Layers
The lighter you are the faster you are. It’s as simple as that! For some races I’ve carried a hydration system backpack. Sure, it’s helpful and I can sip when I need to, but I’ve noticed I’m much quicker when I shed that extra layer. The less gear I wear the lighter I feel and the quicker I am. Is this the case for you?
Share your tips in the comments section.
Image courtesy of Erin Halasz/Flickr