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How to Run Faster: 10 Tips

How to Run Faster: 10 Tips

How to run faster is a question that I get asked a lot.  How to run faster for me takes a few key steps since I am an ultra runner and slow and long is my normal.  Currently I am taking my “how to run faster” advice myself since I am training for the 2012 Fiesta Marathon with hopes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  How to run faster is going to push most people out of their comfort zone.  Prepare to be uncomfortable, even miserable.  I train with my invisible training partner – Pain.  Plain and simple, if you do not run fast in your training, do not expect the running fairies to sprinkle running dust on you so you can run fast on race day.   Let’s take a look at my top tips on how to run faster.

How to Run Faster – Tip #1

Proper Running Form: To achieve my proper running form I hired a running coach and I practiced proper technique.  My coach took me to the next level of running.  Not only did I become faster, I became more efficient.  Watch your posture and keep your upper body tall and relaxed.  Look ahead of you at the horizon, not down at your feet.  I strive to have my mid-foot hit underneath me, and swing my arms back and forth at 90 degree angles.  Do not swing your arms across your body and do not swing them far in front of you.  A general rule is that your feet are hitting the ground where your wrists are extended out in front of you.

How to Run Faster – Tip #2

Create/Select a Schedule: Creating and following a schedule is a tool to help you keep track of your progress and to also help you develop metrics of your progress.  To run faster it is important to stick to your schedule.  Do not make excuses for not training.  You can also use your schedule to help challenge yourself.  Try to beat your own times and constantly try to better yourself.  Bottom line is – Commit!

How to Run Faster – Tip #3

Speed Workouts: I hate them, but they sure do pay off.  The two that I use are Tempo Workouts and Yasso 800s.

  • Follow my 10 Tips on How to Run Faster

    For my tempo workout I will run between 6 to 10 miles at a pace much faster then my regular training pace.  I usually am training at around a 9:30/mile, but pick it up to 8:00/mile pace while training to run faster.  Tempo runs will help you develop anaerobic threshold.  Tempo workout will also teach you how to maintain a steady pace through out your race instead of flying out of the gates only to be burned out before crossing the finish line.

  • Yasso 800s are used to predict your marathon finishing time.  It is a direct correlation of how long it takes you to run 800 meters.  If you want to run a 4 hour marathon, then you need to be able to run 800 meters in 4 minutes.  How to run faster using Yasso 800s is that you use them as interval training, each week adding another interval.  You start each session by warming up.  The first week (assuming that your goal marathon time is 4 hours) you will do 3 repeats of 800 meters running them in 4 minutes each, and taking 4 minutes between each interval.  Each week you add one more interval.  You start this 10 weeks out before your marathon until you are doing 10 repeats.  Essentially by the end of your training  you will be sprinting 5 miles.

How to Run Faster – Tip #4

Rest Days: One of the hardest things about training is NOT training.  It is vital to give your body a rest to rebuild the muscles that have been broken down during training.  For me I take Monday and Fridays off.  Even when I am not training to run faster and training to run 50 mile ultra trail races I take them off.  Here is my 50 Mile Training Plan.

How to Run Faster – Tip #5

Core Workouts: Strong abs and strong lower back muscles will help you to run faster.  Core strength exercises do not need to take up a lot of time during your day.  A basic 15 minute regimen a few times a week is all it takes to start to run faster.  The core exercises I do I incorporate while walking with Simon in the morning and evening.  As such, my neighbors probably think I’m a bit weird doing my leg raises, karate chops, and other core exercise while Simon is sniffing and doing his business.

How to Run Faster – Tip #6

Pick a Race: Not just pick a race but put your money down and tell all your friends.  Commit and make it your goal.  To be able to run faster for me I have to have a goal race in mind because training to run faster is not easy.  I also keep in the back of my mind that if I can qualify for Boston I never have to run another fast marathon again.

How to Run Faster – Tip #7

Time Yourself: Timing yourself will keep you honest.  I just purchased a Garmin Finex just so I can train at a certain pace when I am doing my tempo workouts, and know that I am covering my 800 meters during my Yasso 800s.

How to Run Faster – Tip #8

Add Hill Workouts: These only need to be done once a week, but they are great for building strength and confidence. See my article Running Hill Training.

How to Run Faster – Tip #9

Warm Up/Cool Down: Not only is warming up and cooling down important in your regular running training regimen, it is essential for training to run faster.  I have written an entire article just about Pre-Race Warm Ups and Post-Race Cool Downs.

How to Run Faster – Tip #10

Gotta Keep Movin’: This is my mantra and it applies to training to run faster.  During race day it’s going to hurt, but don’t slow down until you cross the finish line.  You will find that extra reserve that is within each one of us, and when the finish line is in sight, it is an amazing feeling when you have the energy to kick it up a few notches and start running faster.

Bottom Line of How to Run Faster

How to run faster is no secrete, you have to train to run faster.  Yes, there are some of those amazing people that it just comes naturally to, but my web site is for all of us ordinary people.  Ordinary people, who when you put your mind and heart to it can do extraordinary things!

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