The spring racing season is approaching and the big question on ALL of our minds is:
What can I do to get faster?
Here is some sound advice from marathon champion and Run On! Owner
- Show up rested & recovered. Recovery is the most under rated part of any training program. You can’t expect your body to reach new levels if you’re not completely recovered from life, previous workouts, illness etc.
- Pace yourself with a heart rate monitor. Your heart rate always reflects the intensity of your efforts and you can check it constantly.
- Speed is something everyone has. What you need to develop is the ability to hold a fast pace for an extended time. You do that by developing your strength and stamina. Speed work is not sprint work, you have to feel that you are running at an intensity that you can control.
- Keep your shoe laces tied. It’s hard to keep up with the pack if you’re bent over retying your shoes.
- Choose your parents wisely. Parents from the Rift Valley in Kenya have proven themselves well over the years.
- Learn to run slowly. It’s a recovery thing. Training is all about overloading your body with work and then allowing it to recover. Over time you body gets used to working at new levels and all of a sudden you’re faster. However, you need to recover from the overload. Some of your runs need to be slow. Your jog recovery between repeats should be considerably slower than your speed work.
- Build your base. Weekly or biweekly long, slow, easy runs will make you stronger & fitter; they will help you to maintain a faster pace over shorter distances.
- Watch your form. Good form is a combination of a number of different factors, but it is based on relaxation, an erect upper body and power generated from arm movement.
- Stretch regularly. If you’re going to run faster you’re going to have use muscles that haven’t been used for a while. These include your hamstrings, quads, gluts, calves and hip flexors. Keep them stretched and loose.
- Strengthen your core. Your torso and gluts have to be ready to work for you if you want to run fast.
- Cross train between your quality runs and long runs. This allows you time to strengthen you core, work different muscle groups, and rest the running muscles. (Recovery seems to be a reoccurring theme.) Ride, swim and lift on your non running days.
- Fuel your body with high quality foods and stay away from the drive through. Consider consuming a nutrition bar in the afternoon to help you get through your 7pm speed class.
- Hydration is critical in allowing you to overload your body and later on helping it to recover.
- It takes your body about 6 weeks of a new exercise program to before you start seeing results. So set your expectations accordingly.