Today I’ve got a great guest post lined up for you from an awesome FitFluential Ambassador. Taylor has five simple steps to help improve your running speed. While I’m totally missing running right now, I’ll live vicariously through Taylor, her races, her passion for running, and speed. PS: Don’t forget to enter the Conscious Box giveaway!
Hi! My name is Taylor and I blog over at Lifting Revolution, where I talk all things fitness, nutrition and well, my life. Itz a huge honor to be here with you today!
While lifting weights is my passion, I have recently found a new drive for running. I have always been a competitive person, but in the past when it came to my running, I was only competitive with myself. I didn’t care necessarily where I placed among the other women, as long as I accomplished my personal goals.
Well, that worked for a while. Until I learned that I actually could run, and with the help of my beloved strength training, I could run somewhat fast.
In just 4 months, I was able to knock off 3 minutes from my 5K time. I went from running around a 26 minute 5K (which is where I was for about 5 years) to running a 23.03. And just a month later, though not an official race time, I lowered that down to a sub 22.
How did that happen? Well, that’s what Linz has asked me to share with you!
How To Be A Faster Runner
Itz easy to get wrapped up in miles. Mileage often becomes the standard for how we define a workout… “Oh, I ran 5 miles today,” or “Oh, I just ran an easy 7 miler.” Sound familiar? Well, that’s important for sure, but it’s not going to help you run any faster.
To run fast, you have to train fast. Set 1-2 days aside for speed work. Don’t focus so much on distance as you do intensity. My favorite right now is to run as fast as I can for 3 minutes, then lower the speed (still a run) for 2 minutes and repeat for a half an hour. Sounds crazy? Expect to be a sweaty mess at the end. So far my personal record is 4.3 miles.
Some people also prefer to set distances… Such as a 200 full-out run, followed up with a walk or jog and repeat x amount of times.
You don’t become a strong runner from just running. Don’t be afraid to get off the roads/treadmill and hit the weights, yoga room, or just any other type of fitness that sparks some interest. By doing so, you’ll develop a stronger core and upper body, both of which are important for helping you move faster.
What happens when you pump your arms faster when running? Your legs naturally move faster, too. Have you ever worked out with sprints and then woke up the next day with a sore core? It’s because they are all interdependent on one another. A strong, fast runner is strong all around.
Speed training is intense. Sure, you might only run 3 miles, but those 3 miles are heart pounding and muscle burning. That means they require more of a recovery time than a 5 mile easy run. That’s why I mentioned only doing 1-2 days of full-out sprint work each week. And never back to back days. Talk about burn out.
I can’t talk about performance and fitness without brining up food. Food is the fuel that gets your body moving in the first place, and it directly influences your ability to perform. If you eat crap, then expect to run like crap. Even if you don’t realize it… but I promise, if you clean up your diet, you’ll see results with your times.
Case and point: since becoming a vegan, I have PR’d every race I have run. Now I am not suggesting you become a vegan, but I am suggesting you look at your current diet and see if there is anything that needs to be changed. Your running isn’t the only thing that will see positive results from this.
Sign Up & Race!
Sometimes we need an extra push to really put the effort into our sport. If you want to runner faster than ever, then sign up for a race and train. Having a set date on the calendar gives you a deadline and will remind you to put forth the energy needed to see you hit your goals.
In terms of goals, set one! Set a time that you want to beat and go after it. Every race I ever do, I always have a goal in mind. Whether I say it out loud or not… now that’s a different story.
These tips are what have helped me, and I hope that they can help you, as well. Next on the list is the infamous Cooper River Bridge Run here in Charleston. It happens to be on my birthday this year and I intend to beat my husband’s PR!
What are your training secrets? What motivates you to run faster? Have you set goals for races this year?