“As much as I train, I don’t advance. I’m stagnant!”, “I kill myself in training and I still can’t get my mark down!”, “X trains fewer days and, nevertheless, is improving more!”. If you feel a tad identified with any of these phrases, we leave you an in-depth guide that could help you move forward and run much faster.
Although you may already know some of them, we encourage you to put them into practice since they could benefit you to a greater extent. Identify your deficiencies and exploit them!
The Concept of Running
Defining this concept means talking about the ability to run more effectively. This concept links with another more important one – the concept of efficiency.
In this case, efficiency would be understood as the ability to run faster with less effort. Here, you need less energy cost to be able to maintain your normal speed. Likewise, you’ll need the same energy to be able to run much faster.
Tricks to Run Faster
Next, we give you a series of infallible tricks that can improve your running technique, help you run faster and let your daily training give you the desired results because progress does not understand limits!
With these tricks, our main objectives for you are that you’ll be able:
- To run faster
- Reduce your fatigue
- Avoid injuries
1. Make variety the key to your training
Your training methodology will determine the extent to which you can run. Hold quality sessions in which the number of kilometers you run is not as important as the way you complete them.
Above all, avoid monotonous workouts. Dedicating yourself to running the same distance at the same intensity will not help you to make progress.
You may design a varied training program that combines jogging with a high-speed training session.
2. Perform adequate warm-up
The habit of warming up has the same importance as the training itself. It’s only when you do a complete warm-up that you will be able to prepare your muscles to make their best movements, increase your heart rate (while transporting the right amount of oxygen to the muscles), and delay the onset of fatigue, among other benefits.
Your warm-up must be intense and have a total duration of about 10-15 minutes.
3. Improve your running technique
Faster running techniques include exercises designed to increase your speed by improving the way you perform your strides. Focus on obtaining a constant and regular running pattern that approaches as closely as possible to 180 strides per minute, that is, about 30 strides every 10 seconds.
Perform different exercises aimed at working some of the following aspects:
- Compaction of the muscles
- Foot strength
- Hip position
- Arm movement
- Degree of contraction and relaxation in both agonist and antagonistic muscles.
As soon as you have improved your running technique, you will see how the amount of energy you spend to stride each time decreases markedly.
4. Slim down
Obesity and being overweight is a burden that you cannot afford if you would like to run faster. Part of the effort you need to make will be directly related to your body weight. If you have several kilos added to your normal weight, you will find it very difficult to move muscles and joints.
In addition, a person who is on medium weight processes a greater amount of oxygen in relation to another who weighs a few extra pounds more. By increasing the availability of oxygen, the muscles will generate more energy. It is at this time the runner acquires his maximum level of efficiency and power.
If you think you have to lose weight, go to a dietary specialist to help you design a weight loss plan compatible with your training.
5. Go for carbs and stay hydrated
For you to run faster, you need to have a large amount of energy that allows you to endure such a demanding session. It is essential that you eat some specific diet and hydrate properly before you start training.
Ideally, you should eat foods rich in carbohydrates of low glycemic index (GI), with slow absorption, and which provide you with energy during the workout. We recommend cereals, pasta or legumes.
Do not forget to hydrate with water or beverages rich in electrolytes. Water is an essential molecule to prevent muscle fatigue while electrolytes will facilitate muscle contraction and muscle glycogen degradation. They are responsible for providing you with a large portion of the energy you need.
6. Choose light clothes and shoes
Do not think that this aspect is less important than the others. You have to dump the idea of taking the first thing you find in the wardrobe to go running.
Also, ensure you do not get too warm because you will start to sweat and your speed and performance will decrease. Hence, wear garments with breathable materials that helps you eliminate sweat, preventing them from getting wet and acquiring greater weight.
In addition, don’t forget to choose light shoes with good cushioning. After all, the lower your weight is, the faster you can go.
7. Get enough rest
Do not be impatient or in a hurry to reach your goals because you run the risk of disappointing yourself, getting frustrated and getting to a situation of physical and mental exhaustion. If you go out to train daily without rest, you may not be able to run faster or improve your performance.
You should rest at least 2 days a week. Ensure you have a regular sleeping period of about 7 or 8 hours each day. This allows the muscles to recover after a long and intense effort. During your period of rest, do not think that, for example, playing soccer with friends for a while doesn’t count. Total rest means total!
8. Adopt a positive attitude
Do not underestimate the importance of having a good predisposition. Prepare yourself mentally when developing your technique to run faster. The hardness of the training you will have to undergo will require you to prepare for low morale days in which your performance drops. Take advantage of your perseverance and determination and focus on your goals.
Exercises that increase running speed
The 3 types of running workouts that have been shown to work best are:
Also known as speed play, fartlek is a type of training based on constant changes in rhythm and speed. You have to mix periods of fast running with slow running at regular intervals. You can do them every few minutes or kilometers without stopping running. Its advantage is that you will gain substantial speed and add more kilometers.
The changes in speed cause the heart to get used to a greater pumping of blood while the muscles receive more oxygen. For these reasons, this training modality is very efficient when it comes to gaining cardiovascular capacity and learning how to run faster without getting tired.
The essential thing with Interval is that you run several times at a high pace and certain distance. It differs from the fartlek in that you will have a recovery time while practicing it.
The practice of interval will make you gain power in your muscles and increase your cardiovascular efficiency by increasing the size of the heart. Stronger muscles will increase your speed progressively and greater oxygen transport will make you have greater resistance, delaying the onset of fatigue symptoms.
You can choose to go for an interval at the end of a long training session or dedicate one day a week exclusively for the practice of the running technique. If you do not have a high-level start with short intervals of about 100 to 400 meters, reserve the longest interval of up to 1000 meters maximum for when you improve your fitness.
3. Hill running
Hill running is a tasking exercise which you can try at the hillside or on a treadmill. It is an ideal training to strengthen the muscles, mainly of the legs, increasing stride power. It helps you find a few better ways to reach a more efficient stride while you run faster.
To get one hundred percent performance from this exercise, do as many slopes up and down as possible and play with distance and with the type of inclination.
The short slopes with great unevenness will help you increase your explosive force while the longer slopes with less inclination will help you to work the strength-resistance.
We recommend running on a natural hillside. However, in the absence of areas with slopes, you can run on tape and manually modify the degree of inclination or program to a specific circuit.
You have already seen that there are many existing techniques and tricks that can help you improve your running technique for a faster and efficient running session.
In addition to them, we recommend that you:
- Know the running route. A better knowledge of this will make you adapt the race rhythms perfectly.
- Beware of the curves! Try to make the shortest possible tour.
- Run along the sides. Here, you will find fewer runners, mainly during races.
- Keep track of all your workouts. Having reference data will allow you to raise the pace somewhat in your next training.
- Set a goal that is a great challenge for you and encourages the emergence of your desire to fulfill your newly released training plan.
These tips, recommendations, and set-out objectives must be a great challenge. However, they will be effective as long as they are realistic and consistent. Otherwise, they would cause the opposite effect – frustration!