Are you currently experiencing limitations when it comes to running? Worry not: after reading this guide on easy ways to run faster, you will know exactly what you need to do in training in order to overcome those limitations. You will also be able to design your training schedule instead of copying other athletes. You need not follow a generalized mass training program in order to learn how to run faster.
Let us get started….
1. The basics
Every runner needs to have the knowledge of 4 S’s of running. These are: strength, speed, stamina and suppleness all of which combine to enhance running skills. Skillful running comes with smart training and proper techniques.
2. Analyze how you move
The most important thing to run faster is to analyze how you move. The following questions can help:
- Do you simply put one foot in front of the other?
- What does each part of the body do when you run?
- Do you simply run with your legs?
- What is the aim of your training?
- Does each training session have a purpose?
The thing is: running skills matter greatly. If running was as easy as putting one foot before the other, why do some people find it so difficult? This means that some amount of training is involved here.
3. Pay attention to your stride
Your stride can greatly improve your running speed and is the best way to run faster. Stride varies from person to person but the key is to be quick and light. Your stride should ideally be forward and not Up or Down. Also, there should not be any exaggerated knee lifts and movements. The following two step stride alteration process can help:
- Select one alteration to the stride that makes it stable and more powerful.
- Consciously focus on a particular drill during your runs to recreate a new neuromuscular pattern with every stride until it is second nature.
The key is to generate more force on each stride and push off the ground harder.
4. Find your optimum method
The best ways to run faster and longer is to find the best technique that works for you. If it works do not fix it-that will only lead to injuries. So find your optimum speed and method through experimentation and repetition.
5. Use running drills
One of the best running technique drills used by experts is the push-off-ankle-joint-extension. You must try and push with your hips and go into the flight phase where the foot breaks contact with the ground. This should be followed with the support phase where you hold the body upright to prepare for the pushoff.
6. Correct running posture to run faster and better
In order to run faster, the right posture is as follows: an erect trunk, level head, hips tall and relaxed upper body. Use the arms for balance, and to initiate the action of the legs. You can vary your elbow angles between 60-140 degrees. Relax the arms and fists and make sure not to cross the midline of the body.
7. Improve running form
Following are some of the explosive running workouts:
- Warm up of 5-10 minutes
- Strength training
- Running technique drills
Some drills to improve racing form include downhill repeats and steep hill repeats. The former enable you to run less but faster and improve relaxation at a faster pace and leg turnover. The latter help you work on foot push off knee lift and arm drive. They also build strength.
8. Perform stretching drills
Following stretching drills help reduce muscle friction in your stride:
- Arm swings– Your upper body should remain relaxed while running. So loosen up by swinging your right arm in giant circles. Do 6 forward and 6 backward rotations. Repeat with the left arm.
- Eagles– Lie on the back. Arms out, touch right foot to left hand keeping the leg straight. Return to starting position. Repeat with other arm and leg.
- Leg swings– Place your left hand on a wall. Stand on your right foot and in this position, swing your left leg back and forth in an exaggerated kicking motion. Do 10 swings per foot.
- Bicycle kicks– Lie on your back. Now raise your upper body so that you are resting on your shoulders (literally sitting upside down). Support your body weight with your shoulders. Keep your legs straight. In this position, do 10 large scissor kicks and 10 Y kicks to the sides.
- Ankle bounce– Stand straight near a wall. Place both palms on the wall. Feet should be joined together and at a few feet away from the wall. Now raise both heels off the ground. Keep bouncing them off. Repeat 20 times.
Use these running drills to train harder and run faster. Avoid the plantar flexion (toes pointed) when running as it takes too long. Throw your arms back hard as this can give you the push you need to run faster. Also remember to perform pre-run planks. This warm up is the best way to run faster.