Shaving Minutes Off Your Time

Shaving Minutes Off Your Time September 14 2015, 0 Comments

If you’re at a point where you’ve been running for a while and have built up your endurance to be able to run at least five miles, then this is a good time to start focusing on your speed. You’ll want to find or create a schedule that suits your running level and has you running 4-5 days per week. However, don’t feel the need to follow your training schedule so closely that you try to make up for missed days. Skipping your easiest run each week won’t negatively affect your training. Train with the following tips, and you’ll be running faster in no time!  

Boosting Muscle Strength and Lung Power

There are multiple ways to incorporate strength training exercises and exercises that will build your respiratory system into your training schedule. While you’ll have a couple of runs a week where you go at a consistent, easy pace, you’ll also want to try interval running. There are different ways to do this, but the idea is to run at various speeds and inclines to decrease and increase your heart rate. Fartleks are one example. You alternate between jogging and sprints with one minute at a hard pace and then two minutes at an easy pace. You can also tempo run at a comfortable but hard pace for 20 minutes. Running hills and trail running will help you strengthen different muscles in your legs, as will exercises like spinning. For an extra challenge, you can wear a weight belt. Core strength is essential to making your legs move faster as well. We recommend plank-based exercises.  

Knowing Your Pace

Part of increasing your pace is knowing your pace. To find your 5K or 10K pace, you can plug a recent race time into Runners’ World training calculator at www.runnersworld.com/tools. To make sure you’re running at an optimal pace, measure the number of steps you take per minute while running. You can do this by counting for one foot during a one-minute period then multiplying by two. You will want to reach around 180 steps per minute. If you want to feel what it’s like to run at an all out sprint, you can run on the treadmill, which makes it easier to run faster because of the belt’s motion. Running a set of four strides after an easy run will also help increase your pace.  

Running with Proper Form

To run faster, you’ll want to be sure that your form isn’t inhibiting you in any way. You should be breathing with your nose and mouth, using your diaphragm as you inhale, and focusing on a point straight ahead. Your arms and shoulders should be relaxed with your arms at a 90-degree angle. For better strides, try consistently stretching and yoga.   Last but not least, make sure your body feels energetic and ready to go. Get plenty of sleep and avoid foods high in sugar and fats. Instead focus on eating whole grains, which will boost energy levels.