Ever wonder why others can run much faster than you can? It is most likely because they work on it. While we all focus on endurance – duration and distance – how often do you think about running faster? Well here are some tips on how to increase your pace either on Race Day or Every Day!
1. Good Form
The key to running (at any speed) is to maintain proper technique. Focus on keeping the upper body tall yet relaxed, and hitting the ground with the mid-foot landing under the hip, while swinging the arms forward and back at low 90-degree angles. Keep your motion “tight” limiting excess movement.
Count your steps. The fastest, most efficient runners have a count of around 180 steps per minute and keep their feet close to the ground with light and short steps. To count your steps, run for one minute, count the number of times the right foot hits the ground, and multiply by two.
3. Interval Training.
Try alternating periods of fast and slower speed while exercising. Over time spend more time at the faster speeds and less on the slower ones.
4. Treadmill Work
Because the speed belt assists with leg turnover, it's actually easier to run faster. Plus, the power to push the pace is right at your fingertips.
5. Jump on it.
Grab a jump rope. Boxers know that fast feet mean fast hands. But for runners, fast feet just equal fast feet.
6. Lighten up.
Keep your shoes on – but select lighter shoes. Running shoes are getting lighter and lighter to mimic the foot's natural movement and improve stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means more energy for faster feet.
7. Core Strength
Stronger core muscles (especially the lower abs) allow runners to tap into more force and speed out on the road.
Breathe in, breathe out.
Learning how to breathe while running at faster speeds takes practice. Use both the nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly-breathing which means filling the stomach, not the chest, with air on each inhale.
9. Head for the hills.
Run just once a week, hill repeats are shown to improve speed, build muscle strength, and add a boost of confidence, too.
10. Eyes on the Road.
Simply looking down at your feet or turning your head while running to check out the competition can waste precious time. Instead, focus forward about 10 to 20 meters in the distance—and keep those eyes on the prize.