So, you want to run faster? Well, the short of it is, you’ll actually need to run faster to gain speed – as running at your current pace, is keeping you at that pace!
However, there’s a couple of techniques/workouts you can incorporate to achieve this (there are plenty more, but these 2 are pretty simple/effective)
First a brief exercise physiology lesson!! ;
When you jog, and at a pace you can sustain, this is called working “aerobically” meaning you are working at a pace whereby your body can uptake oxygen, get it round to the muscles, with minimal lactic acid production (that burn you get in the muscles) and thereby this will increase your running endurance, fitness and further health benefits. This is normally around 60-70% of your maximum effort, so a run while being able to hold a conversation.
On the flip side you have working “anaerobically” we’re talking the hard work, the sprinting, the legs start to burn the lungs start to burn, something you can probably sustain for a maximum of a minute or so, before having to slow down (the key word is “having to” – we’re talking full on effort) so probably a 9 out of 10, and one word answers!
Both the above have benefits to running and fitness, but it’s the anaerobic work which will have a beneficial knock on effect to increasing your running speed.
It’s a sliding scale – the faster you run, the less time you can do it for, and this is how we’re going to work. So…….
1) Head off to your local park or football pitch. I have a garmin GPS watch, and conveniently the circumference of our local park is exactly 400m (Some did some great planning there!) So after a 10-15min warmup jog, I will run this circuit hard. The last 150m or so my legs are burning as are my lungs. Upon completion I will actually walk (to let lungs and legs recover and remove some of this lactic acid) – the rest is dependant on your fitness levels, but you realistically want to rest as long as needed to achieve the same output (take a stopwatch and time your lap – you really want to keep your times within 10secs of each other….if it’s larger take more rest) but look to take around the same to double the amount of time it takes you to run the lap for rest.
Then repeat this run lap/rest for something like 4 times your first week, gradually increasing over the weeks to around 8 rounds. Ensure you cool down properly and stretch at the end – If you can do this weekly you WILL notice a difference to your run speed!
2) If your park is massive, or they have a football pitch marked out, you can use this conveniently as a marker. 2 ways to run tho; either walk the width of the pitch and then sprint the length and keep repeating for around 8-10mins, or as above run a lap flat out, recover for double the time and go again for 4-8 rounds.
3) A third way is to do intervals whilst out on your usual run/jog, be it a 15minute or 5k run. Run at your normal pace, and then use something as a marker, either a tree in the distance, a parked car, lamppost etc, and run HARD to it! Again, if possible, continue jogging, even if it means a slow shuffle, alternatively walk for 30-60sec, then back to a jog, before repeating the sprint effort about a minute or so later. Just mix up the time you run hard for, the distance of it and the recovery.
Basically the body gets used to doing what you do often. Jog at one pace often, you’ll get good at running at that pace.
Sometimes, almost often, it’s worth “shocking” the body, up the tempo, recover and repeat (Damn I sound like fat body slim!! Eat Sleep, Breathe, Repeat!!!) and doing this once to twice a week WILL have a MASSIVE knock on effect, not just with your running pace, but also your fitness, abs, leg and butt muscles too…… sounds good eh?!
Give them a try and let me know. Feel free to SHARE below if you found this useful – thanks!
(P.S. It will be uncomfortable at first……but that’s how you improve )