Whether you want to cross the finish line faster or just take your athletic game to the next level, increasing your running speed is a worthwhile goal. Here are a few ways you can amp up your power, run more efficiently and fuel your body so you can start running faster.
Focus on Form
Good running technique can increase your running speed instantly. Start by keeping your toes up during fast sprints. According to Men’s Fitness, runners spend too much time running with their toes pointed downward, which prevents maximum glute power and limits their stride.
You should also throw your arms back hard when running to shorten the front swing for a faster cycle. This trick makes you work less thanks to extra assistance from the upper body. Daily Burn adds that you should avoid crossing your arms over your body while you’re running, which wastes energy.
Prime Your Body With Drills
Spruce up your speed training by adding some drills, such as high knees and Russian kicks, a workout in which you alternate kick-ups from a crab position. According to Daily Burn, these types of drills can improve coordination and teach your body to activate the right muscles when you need them during your run.
Vary Your Runs
If you want to maximize your speed, don’t be afraid to break the mold. Triathlete suggests taking some time to run without a timer or heart monitor, sprinting at full speed until you feel like you need a rest. Daily Burn adds that a slow endurance run at least once a week can help boost your speed by working your heart and lungs.
Run Off Track
While a good running track is a useful tool, switching up your environment can also help you improve your run. Consider spending at least 10 minutes of your runs on off-road trails. The soft ground means lower impact on your joints, and the turns and level changes work out different muscles to build dynamic muscle strength.
Hill runs are another effective option. Runner’s World recommends running up hills that you can climb in 30 to 60 seconds once per week. Triathlete adds that opting for short, intense repetitions on steeper hills is ideal for building power. Meanwhile, performing longer reps on lesser hills can help you boost speed.
Take Care of Your Body
Be sure to foam roll before your workout to prime your muscles for a run. Daily Burn suggests taking 30 to 60 seconds to foam roll each muscle group in the lower body to prepare your muscles, tendons and ligaments for the workload.
You also need to stay fueled and hydrated to run faster and longer. Throughout the day, Runner’s World recommends drinking half your body weight in pounds in fluid ounces of water; for example, if you weight 180 pounds, drink 90 fluid ounces of water.
Before your run, fuel up with a low-fat, low-fiber meal to load up on energy while avoiding GI issues.
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Remember to always practice proper running form, and listen to your body to avoid fatiguing your muscles. With enough training and dedication, these simple yet effective tips can take you from mediocre speeds to lightning sprints for the next big race. Becoming a better and faster runner is achievable for you!