What you can do to run faster

Ever line up next to that guy wearing shorts and gloves at a December Jingle Bell Jog? After the race starts you think you are doing ok, so you just stay with him for a while. Long about the first mile split the race is over for you and you just coast the rest of the way, getting one of your worst times. Wouldn’t it be great to start pulling away from this guy in the last mile? Well here are some little tricks that just might make that happen. On your daily runs start off from the very first step going your absolute fastest. Try and keep this up for at least a quarter mile. It does not matter if you can only keep up that pace for a few yards, for the rest of your run just do what you can. Do this for a few weeks and you will be surprised at the difference.

After you have done that for a few days or weeks pick out a telephone pole or some other repetitive landmark, a block would even work. For this short distance, from pole to pole, run your all out speed. Do this at least three or four times on your daily run.
Running these short, fast distances is sometimes called Fartleks, which means, “speed play” in Swedish. Basically they are around three quarters of your total capacity for three quarters of a mile 3 or 4 times during your daily run. Just remember your three’s and fours’. An ideal schedule might be to alternate days with long distances of over, 7 miles.

After doing this for a few weeks you are ready for real interval training. This is a great form of speed work you can do by yourself. An interval can be just a short distance you run at three quarters of your full speed. Measure a quarter mile and run it at your three quarter speed then jog back and repeat this at least 4 or 5 times. Then jog for 3 miles or so as a cool down. The best speed workouts are half miles, run a half and jog a half at least four times before your cool down. If you measure off a quarter, half and a whole mile you can do what are called "Steps". Steps are when you run the quarter and jog for a quarter, then run the half and jog for a quarter run then the whole mile at your three quarter speed. Then cool down with a 5K. You can also use 220 yards instead of a quarter mile. After you have done this a few times that guy in the shorts will be far behind you and you never know, maybe he is in your age group.

Leave a comment below about what you do to run faster.


bix7runner's picture

I used to pick some one near me and just try and keep up with them no matter what. Now I try more often to run my own race and just concentrate on form and training (running everyday). I am a firm believer that you can only do in a race what you do in training. I used to think that a lot of long runs might help in 5ks but now I think only running hard 5ks in training is the only way to get fast 5k times.