We all want to run that little bit faster, and a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that runners on average have got faster over the past decade. Although changing your running style takes time, you can introduce changes right away to improve your speed.
Although you may want to start sprinting as soon as you hit the pavement, its better to plan where you want to put on the speed. Time yourself doing a few short intervals at a pace that you are comfortable with. This way you can set goals and try to improve on these times the next time you run. Set small goals, only 15 seconds at a time, but these small improvements add up quickly. Keep trying until you succeed.
Planking can help improve the positioning of your pelvis if done properly. If you plank before you sprint the posture carries over and increases your run time. 6 sets of planks, each held for 30 seconds is the optimum amount to increase your speed.
Tips for good planking:
- Squeeze your glutes to stabilize the bottom half of your body
- Avoid collapsing your lower back
- Lengthen your spine by lifting your head away from your shoulders
- If you are struggling with full planking, start off with planking using your knees.
Throw your arms back hard. The important part of the arm phase is how hard you swing them backwards. Although this may sound counter-productive two things happen when you do this.
- You gain elastic assistance from the pecs meaning you do less work
- You will tend to shorten the swing on the front, making your transition faster.
Your feet follow your arms, so the faster you pump, the fast you run! Keep in mind to stay relaxed while you do this. Tensing up will only slow you down.
These three tips should help increase your run time (as well as strengthening your core muscles). If you have any other tips for reaching a faster running speed let us know in the comments below.