Thursday, May 10, 2012

The only way to get to RUN faster

So I feel a little weird writing this post because a) I'm no expert at running and b) I haven't done any research on running and could be giving completely false info....shocking! This is all just based on my own personal experience. Please jump in and share any/all tips!!!

At some point, I started actually paying attention to running instead of just going out there and getting it done. In doing so, I left behind my identity of being a 10 min a mile runner. And these are some of the things that help me shed that.

1)Instead of trying to run faster, try to run better.
Hold your core tight. Use your arms (I imagine that I'm trying to pull a rope. That imagery also seems to held hold the core.) Push through your heels. Although these aren't super specific form tips, just think about focusing on those 3 things when you're out for your next run...and see what your body does.

2) Interval speed training (I find it easiest to do this on a treadmill)
5 min warm up

1/2 mile at a fast pace (take 1- 1 1/2 min off your average pace. Ex: if you run 10 min/mile, run this interval at 8:30-9 min/mile)
1/4 mile at all night long pace
Repeat for a total of 3 times

3)Identify your weaknesses and formulate a plan to run through them.
I struggle with transitions. Turning a corner. Transitioning from a hill to flat. Transitioning to a slower pace. I lose rhythm with my breathing and that makes my heart feel like it's going to jump out of my chest. Once I identified these weaknesses, I started coaching myself through them. We all know I'll be talking to myself all the time- and that was my "plan" for getting through these trouble spots. I remind myself that in one short minute I'm not going to feel so breathless. That I'm just transitioning. That there's nothing I can't do for one minute.

4)Find your pace.
I tell myself this like a hundred times during any one run, "Find your pace. Find your pace." Listen to your body. Speed up when you're too comfortable and slow down when you're too uncomfortable. Don't quit because you can't maintain a speed. Simply find your pace again...and again.

5)Don't be afraid.
That may sound stupid, but like I said, I'm only sharing my own experiences. When you are feeling it, go for it!. Remember you don't have to maintain that speed throughout the duration of your run. I used to get all psyched out like "There's no way I can run this fast for the next 3 miles. I better slow down." I was scared. Just like so many things in life, running is a mental battle. A big reason we run the pace we do, is because that's what we are mentally comfortable with. Running faster is not only physically more intense, but also much more intense mentally. (This is another reason the interval speed training is awesome. Allows for you to mentally get used to running at a faster pace.) Drop the fear and let yourself pass thresholds.

Running made simple. #Fitness #Running #Exercise
photo from Pinterest

The only way to get to RUN faster...think about it!

Ok help me out! Add the tid bits of advice you have. We would all love to hear them- for real!


  1. I have no advice but I love this post! I struggle w speed. Ive naturally become faster due to increase in mileage and such but its such a mental game....Im gonna try ur tips. thanx gizay! T

  2. When I use to run outside I would pick some spot ahead of me and say I can pick up my pace till I get to that spot then I get to slow down for a bit. It's like a reward system for my body. Good job for getting to the spot now your normal pace feels slow. I do that the whole run and then it goes by super fast too. now I mostly do my running on a treadmill which naturally made me faster because I wasn't able to slow down even if I wanted to.I would just have to push through and focus on something else (like the movie I was watching or the book I was listening to). Those are my tips :-)

  3. I could not believe the instant difference in my running after just 1 interval session. I also saw big improvements with hill sprints. I pick a nasty hill and just run up and down it for 20-30 minutes. I think these exercises have specific benefits for my body, but also just the fact that I'm switching up the routine is good for me mentally and physically. If you just head out and do the same 3 mile run every day it will lose its potency and you won't get the benefit that you once did.

  4. running hills has made me faster. ive been meaning to start some interval training. first i need to get me new shoes and a trip to the chiropractor. my knee is still hurting real bad.

  5. i haven't run run (the real consistent good running) for a year. and how i miss it. anyway, a year ago, i was quite addicted and trying to improve speed, form, etc. I started following a few running blogs that helped a ton not only with inspiration, but little tips on form, day to day feelings on how the run went and how to improve, keeping healthy during trainings, etc. I also like interval training and did on the tread just the way you said. I learned you are supposed to try and tuck your pelvis under a bit which feels totally weird at first and also focusing on using your arms to propel you. My own little weird thing I imagine my legs being pulled apart by strings to make the most use of my stride. I like the "don't be afraid thing" and I'd add to that "don't feel guilty" cause if i go faster and then slow down I get pissed off at myself and feel worthless for not keeping that pace. anyway, all these running posts are killing me (and my thighs ;)...i gotta get back in the game.


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