How can I learn to run faster?
Once you can run for 10-15 minutes without stopping, you’re ready to start working on your speed.
Here’s how to do it….
In each week of running, you should have different ‘types’ of runs such as:
- Intervals – periods of faster and slower within the 1 run
- Terrain – hills, grass, trails, sand, steps
- Longer & slower – steady pace throughout the run
This variety will help reduce your risk of injury, as your body uses slightly different muscles on each run, and that helps to avoid overloading any one part of your body.
So how can I learn to run faster?
The magic lies in your Interval runs. Make sure you do at least a 5 minute warm up of slow running and dynamic stretching.
- Warm up walk/slow run and dynamic stretching
- Main interval section of your run – see below
- Cool down slow run and static stretching
What’s interval running?
Interval running is where you change speeds multiple times in 1 run, including periods (or ‘intervals’) of deliberate faster and slower running (and not just because you’re tired!)
It could be based on:
- Time – 30 seconds run fast, 90 seconds drop back to a comfortable jogging pace, repeat for 10-20 minutes depending on your fitness/goal time for that run
- Distance – 200m fast, 600m slow running, repeat until you reach your target distance
- Landmarks – Use something like light posts, trees or suburban blocks as your markers. Run fast for 4 lampposts, then slow for the next 8 lampposts. This is less specific, but easier to incorporate without pre-planning your run
- Music – 1 song fast, 3 songs slow running, and if you’re eager, you can order your playlist so you get an upbeat song every 4th song to help your fast section
- Laps – if you use an oval, you can do 1 lap fast, then 3 laps slow, repeat
Aim for an interval run once per week, and start with a 1:3 ratio of fast:slow.
As your fitness improves, you can drop back to a 1:2 ratio (less slow recovery running for each fast section). Don’t get too caught up in the exactness of this training, particularly when you’re a fairly new runner.
The bursts of speed during your fast intervals will help your body become stronger and better at fast running, so your overall normal running speed should gradually increase.
Remember little by little is the golden rule!
Read more about how we offer Physio for Glenelg runners here
If you want more specific help on how to develop your training program, or you’re struggling to overcome an injury, don’t hesitate to book in with one of our running physios, so we can get you on the right track fast.