How to Run Faster: Tips to Increase Your Speed
If you are a runner, then your dream is always to run faster. In your mind, you see yourself channeling the best runner out there as you race down the track or even the road, so fast that people think they’ve seen the Flash. However, faster is easier said than done and although you can pick up your speed, we are sorry to say, you’ll never be the Flash.
In reality, there are many times that before you even get that first mile in your lungs are burning, your breath is becoming labored, and it’s hard to make your legs move, but less make them move faster. The bad thing is that though runners usually enjoy what they do, even if it’s running in marathons, they start to get stressed by not being able to move faster and cease to enjoy the very thing they are trying to get good at. Of course, running more will increase your speed as well, but in today’s hustle and hurry world, who has time to run more? That is why in this blog, we will also give a few tips on how to increase your speed, without having to increase the amount of time you run.
In this blog, we will go into a few tips to help you increase your speed, how to get rid of the stress that is causing you to not enjoy running the way you used too and even some safety tips for running in this crazy, chaotic, and increasingly violent world. So, lace up your running shoes, grab your bottle of water, and join us as we dive into our blog on how to run faster with tips for increasing your speed.
Tips for Increasing Your Speed Revealed
There are tons of steps out there you can take to increase your speed, you just have to be willing to use them. Start with the ones listed below, and grow from there. You’ll be glad that you did.
Use Proper Running Techniques
The best way to increase your speed is by nailing proper form. This means keeping your body relaxed, yet standing tall, swinging your arms back and forth, and striking the ground with your midfoot landing under your hip. This isn’t only important if you want to run faster, it’s important when you are running at all.
The amount of steps you take while you’re running regardless of the pace you set is called stride turnover. If you aren’t already familiar with this, you should get familiar. In order to increase your speed and find your own magic number, most efficient runners run about 180 steps per minute, set your time for a minute, then run while counting every time your right foot hits the ground. Once the timer goes off, multiply that number by two to find out what your cadence is.
Don’t Forget Your Sprinting
If you have noticed during big races and even when they are practicing, real runners, as we like to call them, make sure to get in a few sprints before the race begins. Try doing eight to 12 of between 50 to 200 meters each to improve your acceleration.
Dust Off Your Treadmill
While most of us prefer our running being done outside of the house in the fresh air and sunshine, there is something to be said for dusting off your treadmill and taking a run. The belt on the treadmill actually helps your legs to run, meaning it’s easier to run faster, and you can turn up the dial to increase your pace whenever you’re ready. Just make sure to remember to get on the treadmill before you turn up the dial, please.
Try Doing Interval Training
If you are to busy to head to the gym, try interval training instead. Alternate your exercises to high and low intensity when training, so that it builds up your speed and endurance. An added bonus is that it burns up calories too, allowing you to kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
Make Sure to get in Your Daily Stretches
While the debate is still ongoing as to whether static stretches really help to prevent injuries, it has been decided that they do increase your flexibility so you can get better strides when you run, so that is a good idea for sure.
Take Up Jump Roping
Sometimes going back to the basics is what truly works. Boxers use jumping rope in all of their exercise routines. Adding it to yours will help you train and make your feet faster, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Invest in Lighter Shoes
No, I’m not saying that you need to run in your bare feet. But, heavier shoes weigh your feet and legs down. Sneakers are constantly being made lighter so that they don’t impede runners. Try a lighter version of your favorite running shoes to see if that might increase your times.
Run in the Hills
Running up and down hills has been known to not only increase your time but helps to build muscle and gives you a confidence boost as nothing else can. Running up and down hills isn’t easy, and when you accomplish it, it’s a great feeling you won’t soon forget.
Lay Off of the Junk Food
We love a good chocolate candy bar, along with the best of them, but all that sugar is guaranteed to slow you down. Sure, you get that burst of energy from the sugar high, but the inevitable crash is coming, and it does nothing to help you run faster.
Shed a Few of those Pounds
It has been proven that shedding a little fat can increase your speed, because you, yourself are lighter on your feet. However, not everyone has weight to lose, and the last thing you want to do is lose weight that you can’t afford to lose in order to increase your speed. Before you decide to start any type of weight loss program, it’s best to consult with your primary health care provider to see if you need to lose weight, and if you do, what the best program for you might be. You will not be able to increase your speed if you aren’t healthy to begin with. Remember that!
The debate over whether coffee is good for you or not has been raging on for years, with no resolution in sight. However, studies show that drinking a cup of coffee before you run can increase your speed and the best thing is that it’s a completely legal way to to do it!
Get Enough Sleep
This can’t be stressed enough, if you don’t get enough sleep, then your body is going to let you down when you run. Studies have shown that runners who get the shut-eye they need before a race, tend to run faster and win more often. So, go to bed and get the right amount of sleep!
You can’t expect to increase your speed if you aren’t running consistently to begin with. This means that you can’t train for a week and take a month off, start running again and expect your speed to have increased. You need to train consistently year round to ensure that your speeds are steady and increasing the way you want them to. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some well-deserved time off when it’s needed, as that is important too. Just be consistent when you are training and you will see the results for all your hard work come to fruition.
These are just a few of the top tips out there to help you increase your speeds as a runner, there are quite a few more, so do your research and choose the one that works best for you and your running needs.
Now, we will move into the section of our blog that we are devoting to safety tips for runners. This is important, so pay attention, as these might just save your life.
Safety Tips for Runners
As a runner, you get in your runs whenever you can find the time, and that often puts you running in the early mornings or late at night when visibility is low and few people are out and about. In a world, that is steadily getting worse and the news reports of runners being attacked increasing, it’s important to be alert and watchful when you’re on your runs. Read on below for a few safety tips you should follow when out on your daily runs.
Run Where People Are
While running is pretty much a solo adventure, it’s important to run the crowded route where you can be seen. It’s worth going that extra mile to run in a place where if you yell for help, someone can hear you. Running on secluded paths or in dark areas, where there is no one around isn’t a good idea anymore. If you have a dog, bring him along for the run, as he might help deter anyone who has an assault in mind.
Run with Someone Else
If at all possible, find a friend to run with you. There are even running clubs, you can join now, where you can find a buddy to run with. This is not only safer for both of you, as there is safety in numbers, but it will also increase your social presence, and you might just make a friend for life. You never know!
It’s important to let someone know the route you are going to be running. Also, let them know when you’re going to run and what time you expect to back. In this way, if you don’t return the way you’re supposed too, someone will know and send out a search party. It will be much easier to find you if someone knows the route you are going to take on your run as well.
Take a Self-Defense Class
Taking a self-defense class is a good idea, even if you weren’t a runner. If you are attacked, at least you will know how to defend yourself. If you can’t take a class at the moment and are attacked, yell, fight, and go for the groin, the eyes, and the throat. Never, ever, let an assailant make you leave the area you are in, because you have less of a chance of being found when you do.
Run with Your Identification
Never go on a run without your ID on you. If something happens to you, whether it’s being attacked or hit by a reckless driver, if you have no ID, there’s no way for the authorities to identify you and let your worried loved ones know that you have been found. Carrying proper ID on your runs isn’t just for you, it’s for the loved ones that will be worried sick as well.
Don’t Wear Headphones
Though plugging in those earbuds and taking off like the wind, while listening to your favorite music is tempting, and relaxing for most runners, it’s not a good idea. If you have your earbuds in, it’s impossible for you to hear danger approaching. You need to be aware of your surroundings, so leave the earbuds at home, where they belong. You can listen to them when you run on the treadmill in the safety of your own home instead.
This concludes our blog on how to increase your speed as a runner. Hopefully, these will help you get to the speeds you are wanting to achieve. Make sure to follow the safety tips for running that we included in this blog as well. Safety should always come first and it’s so much better to be safe instead of sorry. Happy and safe running, everyone!
- Greatist: 25 Ways to Run Faster-Stat
- Competitor Running: Seven Ways to Improve Speed Without Increasing Mileage
- Runner’s World: 11 Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads