Running faster needs a strategy - like everything else about your running.
First, some context. We all have our own abilities.
Running faster for me is a slow jog for other runners.
It makes you wonder why you’d bother trying.
But that’s the point.
We’ve all got people faster than us (even Eliud Kipchoge will have in the end).
But you can get faster than... you.
Run faster, then...
Here’s the easy part.
To run faster you have to... run faster.
That’s not helpful is it?
How do you run faster?
There’s likely to be some stuff to fix, first. Stuff like your form.
Make sure you are running tall. And with an even stride.
Your feet should be as quick as you can make them.
If you over-stride you’ll hurt yourself. If you under-stride you’ll also hurt yourself.
I’ve found it’s easier not to think about it too much. Pump your arms and your legs will follow.
In fact, your legs will never go faster than your arms.
Next, let’s look at the types of workout that will help.
Fartlek and surges
Fartlek (a Swedish word meaning speed play) is my favourite speed workout.
They are easy to do in that you don’t need fancy gear or a running track.
Set off easy and then use road furniture, trees or any other inanimate object as markers.
And tear along between them. Oh, and recover too.
You see a lamppost coming up. You reach it and accelerate hard to the next one (or the one after).
Recover to the next one and then go again.
Vary your pace but work hard.
It’s great fun and knackering when done right.
Surges are a similar idea. You up the pace for a few minutes at a time - with recovery bits in between.
If you happen to live by a running track you’ve got this one sorted.
If you don’t you’ll have to improvise.
The idea of repetitions is to run hard, recover, run hard etc.
Hill repeats are a good form of repetitions.
Tearing up a hill, then jogging back down again is a good workout. It’ll build strength in loads of areas of your fitness.
Tempo runs are all about running at an uncomfortable pace.
You will feel the burn - right through the whole run.
The good thing about these sessions is: you will end up running Personal Bests.
Not all the time, but if you are going to do it, it’ll be during a tempo session.
Set off, build your pace so you can hang on - but not easily. Then, run the whole way like that.
In the end…
In the end to run faster, you have to… run faster.
But by picking a specific goal for your workout you will reap the benefits. As you will when you mix the workout type.