How To Run Faster – Tips To Increase Your Speed


In the early part of your running training, it was likely a lot easier to increase your speed with not much more work than simply sticking with your running routine. But, as your body becomes more used to running and builds greater muscle and energy reserve, you may find that you level out when it comes to your speed.

To help you overcome the plateau in your running speed, our running experts here at Treadmill Reviews have tips for you to incorporate.

Increase Your Running Cadence

Many people believe that to run faster, they need to stretch out their stride, particularly because you often see that when runners round in on the finish line. But, by consistently overstriding, you are putting yourself at risk for a number of common runner injuries such as shin splints and runner’s knee.

Instead of overstriding, to increase your speed, you should be aiming for faster footstep turnover. This faster running cadence allows you to activate the more elastic abilities of your muscles and build up greater power.

Elite runners often have cadences of 180 strides per minute. While you may not be able to reach this fast of a turnover, you can keep it in mind as you work toward increasing your speed.

Focus On Running Form

You running form plays a role in your speed. Often, the faster a person runs, the sloppier the form can become, as the stress of running faster makes many people slump forward, heelstrike, and swing their arms cross-body. But, as your running form deteriorates, it can affect your breathing and muscle efficiency, hampering your efforts at running faster. Some fine-tuning you can do to your running form are:

  • Keep your hands open—not in fists—and only slightly cupped as you run.
  • Drop your shoulders and occasionally shake out your arms to release muscle tightness.
  • Focus on striking with your midfoot, with your leg striking directly below you to avoid overextension.
  • Hold your head up, keep your shoulders back, and torso upright, maintaining good posture.

Incorporate Interval Speed Training

To improve your running speed, an essential component is to incorporate interval speed training. Simply pushing your body to run faster will likely leave you tired, especially if you do it every time you train. While running at tempo—race pace—is recommended for at least once a week, most of your runs should be done at 60-70% of your max exertion level except for when you do interval speed training.

One example of interval speed training would be to run at 80-90% of your top speed for 1-minute, take a 30-second recovery, then repeat the 1-minute:30-second interval for 10 repetitions. You can play around with the interval length and recovery period to suit your current fitness level.

Add Hill Workouts To Your Routine

Along with challenging your body with interval speed training, running uphill can be another great way to build up your speed.

Many runners tend to “gas out” on hills, losing much of their built up momentum and often struggle to finish a race strong if they run into any amount of incline. So, instead of allowing hills to overset your speed, dedicating at least one day of your weekly running routine to hill training is advisable.

Much like interval speed training, you will push yourself uphill, take a recovery walk/jog downhill, then push uphill again. If you don’t have any good hills nearby to build up a hill workout routine, you may want to consider bringing home a treadmill.

That way, you can control the incline of the hill and keep your body challenged. The best treadmills of 2019 list is where you should start your search for a treadmill with a good incline range and other supportive features.

Boost Weekly Mileage

Rather than only focusing on adding speed-centric workouts to your running, simply running more will help improve your speed overall. By adding more miles to your overall weekly mileage, you can build your muscles, endurance, and overall stamina. But you can’t just add miles to your running routine willy-nilly, as that is the quickest path to developing a running injury.

Instead, you will want to increase your mileage by 10% every week, slowly building up to help your body become accustomed to the extra miles. For an example of this, let’s say you are currently running 25 miles a week. Adding 10% to that total mileage would have you running 27.5 miles the next week.

By increasing your mileage gradually, you can boost the distance you are able to run as well as avoid injury since you won’t be pushing your body too hard too quickly.

Drop Excess Weight

While distance running often helps with losing weight, plenty of experienced runners can still remain overweight if their eating habits haven’t caught up with their exertion level. That extra weight—whether it is 5 or 20 extra pounds—can slow you down on your quest to become faster.

Also, even if you are at a healthy BMI, you may not be at your ideal racing weight. Depending on your gender and height—as well as the type of running you are involved in—different racing weights are recommended. You can use a racing weight calculator, though it may be better to work with a sports medicine physician who specializes in your sport.

Listen To What Your Body Tells You

Increasing running speed is one of the main ways runners develop injuries, whether it is due to pushing too hard or from changing their running schedule too drastically. To help protect your body, it is best that you listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

Is some part of your body, like your upper body, feeling off-balance or not as strong? It is best that you keep your body in balance, taking scheduled rest days and implementing clear cross-training like weight lifting, swimming, and other low-impact exercises. That way, you can keep your body healthy and strong as you work toward shaving minutes off your racing time.

If you don’t have the right treadmill designed for running, it can be difficult to safely increase your speed. Be sure to check out the best treadmills for runners so that you can be sure to be able to set new personal records during your next race.

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