All runners want to shave their time and boost their cardiovascular fitness. But after hitting certain milestones, it can be hard to maintain the same rate of progress. The following tips will help you get over any plateaus you hit in your training and show you effective ways on how to run faster.
Set a goal to run faster.
Whether it’s a fifteen-minute mile or something a bit more advanced. A goal is a solid measure of progress. Goals keep motivation high. Just make sure it’s realistic: nobody starts out capable of running a marathon, or even five miles, all at once. Those highlights come as the result of several smaller goals. Each bit of progress is a reason to celebrate as you keep working toward bigger milestones.
Have a schedule, and re-evaluate it often.
When first learning how to run, you may have trained three days a week. But now your body can handle four, even five workout days. Or maybe your five-days-a-week running schedule no longer syncs with your family, work or school obligations. Whatever your situation may be, it’s important to know what works for both your body and your lifestyle. Without a schedule, it’s too easy to unwittingly break your running habit. Since situations inevitably change, be open to reevaluating this plan as needed.
Know your current weight and body fat percentage.
Your body offers irrefutable evidence of progress or not. Knowing your current metrics gives you insight into your wellness over time. But they also let you know if your routine is working the way you’d like it to work. You’ll learn how quickly you’re getting in shape if you’re pushing yourself too hard or need to increase your efforts.
Run on varying types of ground.
It’s easier to begin on level ground than on uneven terrain. Having a flat road or track is well-advised if your primary focus is improving speed. But running on an incline increases lung capacity and leg strength, helping you increase both stamina and time. When training for speed, incorporate an incline into your workout at least once a week.
Maintain good form to Run Faster.
Runners at all stages should never stray from the basics of good form: keep your gaze forward. Looking upwards or at your shoes misaligns your neck and spine. Keep arms at a ninety-degree angle to your torso, swinging lightly to propel forward. Avoid clenching your fists or tightening your arms against your sides. When running downhill, don’t let your feet slap the ground and keep your footfalls directly beneath your body.
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Stay fueled to Run Faster.
When you’ve had a healthy snack, you can run longer and burn more calories than if you run on empty. Protein bars and gels, yogurt smoothies, and other small snacks provide the fuel you need without weighing heavy. A blend of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins makes a good recipe for sustainable energy. Eating fruit with nut butter or an egg white omelet, for example, gives you the power needed to keep moving quickly.
Keep a training log.
A well-maintained log gives you insight into progress, and shows other patterns impacting your wellness. Noting certain aches and pains over time helps prevent injuries. Staying aware of emotions by writing them down can prevent burnout. This keeps you aware when to add spice to your routine with a new route, music or running group.
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Breathing effectively will help you run faster.
Monitoring your breathing makes all the difference when it comes to running time. Inhale and exhale through both your nose and your mouth, filling your stomach with air as much as your lungs. Breaths should expand your stomach like a balloon and match the rhythm of your footfalls. For beginners, taking one breath for every two steps (right foot, left foot) is effective. As your diaphragm grows stronger, start breathing deeper, extending to one breath for every four steps.