Donnie kindly agreed to share his secrets, which I am sure will help you run faster, for longer
We all want to get faster. And we’re all busy too. The most obvious and commonly pursued way to improve race times is to run more. But running more is seldom an option with a daily schedule as hectic and draining as the average working runner’s is today.
Running your fastest speed at every workout isn’t the key to getting faster, says Viera. As counterintuitive as it sounds, running slower can actually help you get faster! He suggests mixing things up with a slow endurance run, a tempo run and some speed work at a track at least once a week. “Working on your heart, lungs and muscles is the key to becoming a more efficient runner.”
(twice a week, after short, easy-paced runs) On a flat straightaway, gradually accelerate to a controlled, fast pace (not quite a sprint) for 30 seconds. Keep your upper body relaxed and focus on short, quick foot turnovers for the first 15 seconds, then lengthen your stride for the next 10 seconds. Slowly decelerate during the final 5 seconds until you come to a stop.
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The jury is still out on whether static stretches before running really prevents injuries Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship. Witvrouw, E., Mahieu, N., Danneels, L., et al. Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium. Sports Medicine, 2004; 34 (7): 443-9.. But leaders of the pack know stretching daily (target those hip flexors!) increases flexibility for better strides.
“Most people stay in plantar-flexion (toes pointed) too long,” says Uohara. Keeping your toes pointed limits your stride because you take longer to cycle through the movement and your feet feel heavier. You also lose extension in the opposite leg, so you can’t use your glutes to their full potential (no matter how buff they are).
Just do it much faster! Learning how to breathe while running at faster speeds takes practice. Use both the nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly-breathing (not to be confused with belly dancing!), which means filling the stomach, not the chest, with air on each inhale.
Even if barefoot running isn't your thing, sneakers are getting lighter and lighter to mimic the foot's natural movement and improve stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means more energy for faster feet.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you get faster.
Running is a skill! Everyone can kick a football but some people can kick a football better than others. Well, running is the same. Everyone can run but some people are more efficient at running than others. Working on your running biomechanics to make you a more efficient runner will help you run faster for longer. For some basic info on how to run more efficiently check out these videos
Who doesn't like new toys? Try a running parachute for added resistance, or if your budget allows, see what it's like to go for a moon-walk, er, run on an AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill.
Fortunately, running more is not the only way to run faster. In fact, often it’s not even the best way. There are many things the average runner can do to squeeze additional performance out of the time he or she is already devoting to training. It only makes sense to do these things and get the most out of every second of training time before you even think about running more.
(Not ready yet? Try our Run Longer plan to help you safely build up from 3 miles to 6 miles.)
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This becomes particularly important in long-distance running. After you’ve run 20 miles, the last thing you want to do is expend any extra energy — you don’t have much of it left! With a few smart tweaks to your routine, you can run much more efficiently with the energy you have — without having to pop an extra gel.
(note you don’t need to be barefoot or in vibram fivefingers to run more efficiently)
Spinning is all about hip rotation and maintaining tough cadences —and the same goes for running! So put the pedal to the medal with some cross-training on the bike.
Junk foods guarantee a sugar high, but they also slow us down. Stick to whole grains and pasta instead, which provide long-lasting energy—without the crash.
As People Age, Exercise Levels Drop—and That’s Bad
Your arms can really give you a speed boost. “The most important phase of the arm drive is how hard you swing them backwards,” says Uohara. Two things happen when you do this: “First, you gain an elastic assistance from the pecs and anterior aspect of the shoulder, meaning you have to do less work. And two, you tend to shorten the swing on the front side, making your transition quicker.” Remember that your feet follow your arms, so pump them hard!
Get a leg up on fellow runners by adding yoga to your training plan. The increased flexibility from runner-specific positions boosts speed and aids recovery after a long sweat session.
Here are the top seven ways to get faster without running more.
Holding planks could give you abs that rival Ryan Gosling's six-pack. But this special running plank (done two to three times a week), will make you crazy stupid fast too.
Often, pounding the pavement in old sneakers can lead to injury, says Viera, and injured muscles are certainly not as efficient. Make sure to get fitted for new sneakers every 300 to 500 miles. And be sure to properly break them in by walking for a few miles before lacing up for a long run. Check out how to find the perfect running shoe here.
There’s no doubt about it: Running can be hard. But it doesn’t have to be!
Get a baseline. Get weighed and get your body fat measured so you have some baseline that allows you to track your progress, says running coach Mindy Solkin, founder of The Running Center, in New York. “It’s tangible evidence of your success,” she says. “Seeing those improvements really helps get over the emotional hurdle when you may not otherwise notice results.”
When it's finally race day, take it off! The extra layers and fuel belts, that is. The less clothing and gear on your body, the faster your time—which is why the pros practically get right down to their skivvies to run.
It important to incorporate this into your training to reduce the risk of injury and also to help maintain your running form when you are fatigued therefore maintaining efficiency so finding yourself running faster for longer. I recommend active yoga, pilates sessions for core, also don’t forget back is included in core. Body and free weight exercises are good for developing legs and upper body strength and muscular endurance.
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How to run faster
Fartleks is a funny Swedish word (yes, our inner 10-year-old boy finds it hilarious) meaning “speed play.” Alternating jogs and sprints will gradually build up speed and endurance, plus you call the shots on when to switch it up.
RELATED: 6 Core Exercises to Make You a Stronger, Faster Runner
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Whether you are running a 10km, a 1/2 marathon, a marathon or an ultra marathon runners want to know how they can run faster for longer. There is no simple answer, there is not one miracle type of training, supplement or food. It comes down to hard work and doing a number of things well. I will briefly outline some training principles that if you apply to your own training then it will help you run faster for longer. As I said above to improve you will require to apply more than one of these.
I often get asked how to run faster, and how to maintain that pace. If there is one thing I have learned from running and sport in general, it is to involve the right people. So the short answer if I am looking to improve my speed and endurance is I will ask my coach, Donnie Campbell. As well as representing Scotland, and achieving many outstanding results himself, Donnie is a fully qualified coach working with athletes, from complete beginners to international class athletes.
Sticking to the same running routine can really slow you down. To get faster: Alter your weekly regimen to include two short, easy-paced runs; one hour-plus, easy-paced run; and the three super strengtheners below—then watch your speed surge in just six weeks.
Get familiar with stride turnover, or the rate of steps taken while running, regardless of pace. The fastest, most efficient runners have a cadence of around 180 steps per minute and keep their feet close to the ground with light, short n' speedy steps. To find your magic number, run for one minute, count the number of times the right foot hits the ground, and multiply by two.
What steps do you take to run more efficiently? Tell us below!