Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

For keen runners, focusing on improving their speed is important. Increasing speed can help runners to achieve their personal bests in races and it can see them start to run longer distances at a faster pace.

Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

If you are a runner, you might not be sure how you can improve your speed. Being stuck in a rut can hinder your running progress, but there are ways to help you get out of it.

Running long distances will not help you to improve your speed, so what exercises can you do to change that?

This article will explain more about tips for runners to improve their running speeds to help them develop their running styles.

You will be able to see an improvement in your speed and you will see yourself achieving goals that you were struggling to hit before. Find out more below!

What Factors Affect Your Running Speed?

There are a variety of factors that can affect your running speed such as your current fitness level, any injuries that you currently have or have experienced, your age, weight, running experience, and your previous race times.

They all need to be considered when you are trying to run at a faster pace to determine what your maximum speed will be.

The more you compare your running speed to others, the more insecure you will feel.

Everyone is different, so you will not be able to compare yourself to others as some people have been running for years, whereas other people are beginners.

This can affect your confidence, so you should never compare your running speed to others. 

Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

To run faster, you need to pay attention to your stamina and endurance.

This means that you need to build up your fitness levels to help you run faster and to provide you with a solid base to work from and continually build up. 

As you need to work on your stamina and endurance, what should you do to improve your running speed?

Strength Training

Lots of people do not think that strength training and running go well together, but strength training is a key part of helping you to improve your running performance.

It doesn’t matter if you are training for a marathon, a 5k, or you are simply running for fun, strength training will allow you to see an improvement in your speed. 

By participating in 2 strength training sessions a week, you will find that you can begin to work on increasing your speed.

Although it is not the only thing you should do to work on running at a faster pace, making your body stronger will help you to improve your speed and make you a more efficient runner. 

If you are not used to using weights in your workouts, you can use your body weight for these exercises.

Strength training exercises like planks, squats, push-ups, and forward lunges can help you to strengthen your body.

You can add light weights to these exercises and gradually increase them the more confident and comfortable you become. 

It is important not to use heavy weights too quickly if you are a beginner. This will result in an injury, so begin with light weights and work your way up. 

Speed Training

Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

Speed training is one of the most effective ways to help people run faster.

If you find that you are constantly running at the same pace and you do not know how to increase your speed, taking part in speed training can help you to get used to running at a faster pace so you can implement it in your running. 

There are a few speed training exercises that you can do, such as Fartlek training, tempo running, and interval training.

All of these training methods will help you to see an improvement in your speed that you can then continually work on to achieve new goals. 

Fartlek Training

Fartlek training is a combination of both interval training and long-distance running.

It helps to increase your running speed as you are running fast in short intervals and then resting with periods of slower running.

This helps to increase your stamina so you can see an improvement in your performance. 

Tempo Running

Tempo running is performed at a challenging pace, but not so challenging that you are fully sprinting.

You are running at a pace that is faster than normal to help your body get used to moving at different speeds. 

Interval Training

Interval training is a combination of both high-intensity and low-intensity running to help you work on developing your speed.

By having interval training in your training routine, you will be able to see a significant improvement in your speed that will continue to develop over time. 

Set Achievable Goals

Setting yourself achievable goals is important as you need to be realistic about what you can achieve.

If you are setting yourself goals that are too high, this will affect your confidence in your performance.

You should always consider SMART when you are setting your goals as this can help you to follow a supportive framework to help you work on your performance. 

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Your goals need to be specific because if they are vague, you will not be focused on working towards them.

You can then hold yourself accountable to achieve these goals and see a significant improvement in your running performance. 

If you set yourself a goal of running a marathon in half an hour less than usual in a couple of months, you will struggle to work towards it.

This is unattainable as you need to work for longer to achieve this goal.

However, by setting yourself a goal of running a 5k in half an hour in 2 months, you can focus on achieving that goal to give you the confidence to set higher challenges. 

Hill Sprinting

Hill sprinting is not a popular form of running, but it is extremely effective at improving your running speed. You can build muscle, increase your endurance, and build your stamina.

Your body needs strong movements to help you reach the top of the hill, so you need to be strong, determined, and focused to achieve it. 

The best way to practice hill sprinting is to run up the hill and rest by walking downhill.

If you are a beginner, you should only repeat the sprints 2 or 3 times, but if you are more advanced, you should repeat them between 6-10 times.

This will help you to work on your stamina and see an improvement. 

As you are running towards the hill, you need to make sure that your arms are at a 90-degree angle and that they are moving forward and back, not moving across your body.

This can affect your balance and will not provide you with the power that you need to run up the hill.

Ensure that your back is straight and lean forward slightly from your hips to help you make it to the top. 

Work On Your Form

Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

If you do not run in the right form, you will find it very difficult to run at a faster pace.

When you run in poor form, you will find that you are putting more pressure and stress on your body, so you will not be able to run fast as your muscles will struggle.

This can increase your risk of injury and you might find that you lose balance. 

Not running in the right form can increase your risk of injury, so it is important to focus on making sure that you are running correctly.

You need to focus on your core, cadence, arm swings, posture, and footstrike to make sure that you are running in the right form.

If one of these elements is off, it could affect your entire performance. 

Training your core is important for maintaining your form as a strong core can improve your posture.

You will also be able to keep your core facing forwards and prevent your body from swinging, which could make you lose balance.

Practicing your running form will make it easier for it to become second nature to you and you will begin to find it more comfortable to maintain. 

Rest Well

Regular training is good for improving your speed, but resting is just as important. Lots of runners are reluctant to rest as they fear that they will lose progress, but this is not the case.

If you have an injury or your body is tired, forcing yourself to train will only worsen it. Therefore, rest is an important part of increasing your running speed. 

Even if you do not have an injury, rest re-energizes your body. You will not be able to develop your speed if your body has not recovered properly, so rest days are vital.

Using a foam roller can help your muscles to recover, and keeping your body hydrated and well-fed will keep your energy levels up. 

Having an injury can be extremely inconvenient for a runner, so preventing them is important.

You will not be able to prevent all injuries as some are unavoidable, but you will be able to help your muscles to stay strong to prevent common injuries.

Stretching after running is also important to avoid pulling muscles. 

Sample Workouts

You might be unsure how to implement speed training workouts into your routine, so you can find sample workouts below.

They can easily be implemented into your training sessions to help you see a continuous improvement in your running pace. 

Tempo Running Workout

To implement tempo running into your workout routine, you first need to be running at a pace that isn’t too challenging.

It should be a pace that is faster than normal, but you shouldn’t be sprinting or running incredibly fast. The periods of running should be steady so you can run for longer periods. 

For a sample workout that you can use, you should try running for 10 minutes at a pace that you are comfortable with.

You should then run for 20-30 minutes at a pace that is faster than normal, but not too fast that it is too difficult for you.

You should then revert to running at a comfortable pace for another 10 minutes. 

At the start of your workout, you may find that your body struggles to adapt to a faster pace.

This is completely normal and you shouldn’t force yourself to run at this pace if you are struggling.

You can build up to running for 20 minutes at a faster pace, it shouldn’t be done straight away.

If you are struggling or are uncomfortable, do not force yourself as it can be dangerous. 

Strides Workout

A strides workout is very popular for people to do before a race as it helps them to warm up.

As you are running at a fast pace, you should only use strides as a warm-up for a 5k or 10k as it will take too much energy out of your body before a marathon.

They can also be incorporated into training workouts, it is up to you!

To perform strides, you need to start by running at an easy pace and then gradually increase your speed until you are running at around 95% of your maximum running speed.

After you have run for 3 quarters of your full distance, begin to slow down your pace until you are jogging, and then eventually walking. 

You can then walk back to where you started to recover.

This will allow you to catch your breath. You can then either repeat the strides, but do not force yourself to if you found it too difficult the first time.

Take it slowly and work up to running at your maximum speed for that long, especially if you are not used to it. 

Interval Training Workout

For an interval training workout, you can either measure the intervals by distance or time.

If you choose to measure the workout by distance, you can run 6 400m or 600m intervals with a light jog or walk-in between to break them up. 

If you decide to measure the intervals by time, you can run 6 of 1 or 2-minute intervals with either a light jog or walk-in between to break them up.

It is up to you how you measure your intervals as it doesn’t make a difference, as long as you are happy with how they are calculated. 

If you are a beginner runner, breaking up your intervals by walking will be beneficial to helping you catch your breath.

More advanced runners can break up their intervals with a light jog to keep a good pace, which beginners can work up to when they feel more confident. 

Fartlek Training Workout

With Fartlek training, you can also either measure the intervals by distance or time.

To measure the intervals by time, you need to run for 1 minute at a fast pace, and then run for 3 minutes at an easy pace.

You should then repeat these intervals 3 times to help improve your stamina. 

To measure the intervals by distance, you should run for half a mile at a fast pace and then run the same distance at an easy pace.

Continue to repeat these intervals 3 times to make sure that your body begins to get used to the change in speed. 

How To Stop Getting Tired When Running Fast

Tips On How To Improve Your Running Speed

When you first begin to run at a fast pace, your body will not be used to it, so it will feel tired quicker than usual.

It will be challenging for your body to adjust to at first, but it will then be able to get used to the fast pace the more you practice.

If you do not regularly work on your speed, your body will find it very difficult to get used to, so consistency is important. 

Speed workouts are a great way to introduce your body to running at a fast pace. If you are a beginner or if you are struggling with running at a faster pace, you should never force yourself to carry on.

Your body will feel tired as it is not used to the speed, and forcing your body to run fast when it is exhausted will put you at a higher risk of experiencing an injury.

Therefore, the best way to stop your body from getting tired when running fast is to be consistent with your speed training workouts.

You will then begin to see that you can run longer distances as you will have increased your stamina and endurance, improving your performance and your body’s ability to run at a faster pace. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, many tips can help you to improve your running speed.

Participating in strength training, speed training, setting yourself achievable goals, improving your running form, and resting well is important for improving your speed and it will allow you to see a difference.

Your speed will significantly improve, as will your running style. 

Interval training, Fartlek training, tempo running, and strides are also very beneficial. You can easily incorporate them into your training routine to allow you to concentrate on your speed.

It is important to be consistent with speed training as you need your body to get used to it, otherwise, it will never adapt. 

Finally, you should never push yourself too hard. This can result in serious injuries, so it is important to look after your health.

Resting regularly and stopping when you are struggling are vital for making sure that you remain safe and injury-free. 

Jessica Knight