Slow and steady not cutting it for you anymore? If you want to run faster, here are five simple ways to increase your running speed.
- Fuel up: Eating the right prerun foods is important to prevent feeling sluggish during your run. Go for foods that won't cause cramps: choose a small snack of simple carbs with a little bit of protein if you're eating right before a run (read more on how to choose a pre-workout snack here). And drink a cup of coffee about a half-hour before you go for a run; studies have shown that caffeine helps you run faster and longer.
- Intervals: Short sprinting bursts are great for making you a better runner all around. Up your pace and stamina with this treadmill interval workout to incorporate into your running routine.
- Tempo runs: Tempo runs are similar to high-intensity intervals, but with this strategy, you don't sprint as fast as you can. Instead, you hold at a fast (but not too fast) pace for a longer time period, like 10 minutes, before slowing down. This helps your muscles get past your lactate threshold, which will help you improve your endurance and speed. Remember that to be effective your tempo run should challenge your body: you should be able to answer short questions but unable to hold a conversation. Try doing a tempo run every seven to 10 days; read more about how to start tempo running here.
- Hills: There's no reason you should stay on flat land. In fact, there are many reasons why you shouldn't. Running up hills helps make your leg muscles stronger while also increasing your speed and endurance. Whether you run on the treadmill or outside, the next time you start your workout, make sure an incline is part of your route. This 40-minute treadmill hill workout incorporates steep, short inclines to help you improve your speed and endurance.
- Post-run sprints: Adding short sprinting strides at the end of a long run can keep your body primed for speed, says says Sports Club/LA trainer Ben Hwa. This is because doing strides after a long run will teach your body how to run fast even when your legs are tired. Ben recommends doing four to eight strides of 70 to 100 meters; aim for 80 percent effort on each stride.