How To Run Faster For The First Time
Running is a good exercise whereby almost anyone can do it. However, running faster is not easy whereby it is very challenging and requires someone to do some training, focus, have some discipline and determination. Most runners will feel very tired at the beginning of the race track but if they try to follow the running techniques featured in this article, they be able to improve on their running routine. All in all, you should try to follow the steps and tips provided below if you wish to run longer.
STEP-1: GETTING STARTED:
- Understand your current speed: before you think of increasing your running speed, it’s very important to time and know how fast you are currently running so that you can be able to accurately measure your running progress. try to use a stopwatch to time and know how long it takes you to run for mile. Once get to know the exact time it takes you to complete a mile, you will be capable of improving on your running routine. Additionally, try to measure the number of strides you take in a minute by simply counting the number of times the right foot hits the ground while running. Whichever number you get, try to double it in order to increase your speed.
- Find a good running location: look for a local track or flat surface that is about 1/4-mile (400-meters) and try to run on it. Tracks are actually an ideal place for beginning runners who want to increase on their running speed because tracks have a standard length of 400-meters which allows the runner to easily measure his/her progress and they are even traffic-free and flat. Likewise, places like local schools often open-up their tracks to the public and this is a convenient place for guys who don’t have access to tracks elsewhere. However, in case you cannot make it to a track, then you may try improving your running speed on a treadmill at the nearest gym or on any flat-road around which has minimal traffic. But try to avoid running on curved and uneven streets because this greatly affects your running.
- Set or make a schedule: when it comes to increasing your running-speed, a lot discipline and dedication is required. This means that you should try to set for yourself a challenging but realistic schedule and then stick to it. In fact, aim at running for at least 4 to 5 times a week while varying the length and intensity of your runs. This will help you stay on track of running faster and even give you an opportunity to collect running metrics.
- Set a goal: it is always important to set a specific goal in mind while training to run faster. This mainly because having a goal will help to increase you’re running motivation and force so that you can push yourself a little bit harder in order to achieve it. However, whichever goal you set, it should be challenging yet realistic. For example, you can set a goal that involves running a particular distance in a given period of time or even set a goal that requires increasing on the number of steps taken in a minute or on your cadence because the fastest runners in the world have an average cadence of about 180-steps in a minute. So, it is very important to set a cadence goal in order to improve on your running routine.
- Acquire the right running gear: getting the right running gear like; clothes, shoes , best fitness tracker and running-watches will help to make feel comfortable when running though it may not be essential to increasing your running-speed. however, the most important gear are the running shoes and there is a big array of running shoes available on the market today which will make your feet to feel lighter hence providing anyone with a barefoot running experience. additionally, light-weight and breathable clothes will help you feel cooler less weighed-down when running and a high-tech running watch will help you to accurately time your runs by measuring your speed, distance and also measuring the heart-rate and calories-burned.
- Enroll or invite a friend: inviting a friend and getting him/her involved in your new fitness-plan will greatly help to enhance your motivation levels. even if this friend just intends to run with you or act as your personal-trainer, just be grateful because having someone along as you run helps to ensure that you don’t quite you running plan and even provides some healthy competition.
- Formulate mantra or running tune: in case you are just struggling to push yourself while running or struggling to stay motivated in order to attain a fast running speed, then just try to create an inspirational mantra that you can easily repeat by yourself when running because this is very helpful. It can be anything as long as it is a simple phrase which can motivate you to do better while running.
STEP-2: PICKING-UP THE RUNNING PACE:
- Break your running patterns: in order to boost both your endurance and speed, you will need to push your limits and even try to mix-up the workout routine a little bit. In case you have been doing the same workouts for several months, the body will tend to be settled into that routine and this probably implies that you may have reached a plateau. This means that you should try out some new workouts like:
- Running on a treadmill: running on treadmill is a great way of training the body to run higher pace. This is because the treadmill belt propels you forward while keeping you running at a constant speed hence encouraging a higher leg turnover. But to gain more out of treadmill workouts, try to set this machine at a speed slightly higher than your usual, comfortable speed and then push yourself to keep-up with it. This in-turn trains your muscles and legs to work at higher speeds even when not using a treadmill.
- Tryout spinning classes: these classes’ help to increase your cadence when running by simply encouraging your hips rotate at a higher speed. Spinning-classes will also help to boost your overall fitness levels and this makes these classes an excellent cross-training choice.
- Do some skipping: try skipping by using a jump rope because this helps to increase cardiovascular fitness, promotes weight-loss and even improves body co-ordination. Skipping also trains the body to absorb its weight when the feet hit the ground as you run. In fact, adding just 30-minutes of skipping into your schedule will help to get the body into a top running condition while promoting faster running.
- Go for yoga: tryout a yoga class and incorporate into your weekly schedule because this type of exercise helps to improve flexibility which is a good thing when it comes to your running form and even helps to decrease muscle recovery time. All in all this is a great workout class for runners training to increase on their speed.
- Improve on your running-form: maintaining a good form when running helps to ensure that the body operates efficiently thus helping you to improve on your running speed while preventing any occurrence of any running injuries. In fact, running should feel loose and natural but not taut and tense. Below are some of the tips that will help you correct the running posture in order to maintain a good running-form:
- Keep the head up with the eyes looking straight ahead: when running, try to avoid looking down at your shoes or even tilting your chin up because this will put your back and neck out of the line.
- Keep the hands at a 90-degree angle: place the arms at a 90-degree angle and try to swing them backwards and forward slightly in order to propel the body forward. But don’t try to clench your fists, hunch the shoulders or even hold the arms tightly against the body when running. However, in case you find yourself doing any of these things, then try to shake the arms out in order to relieve any tension and after proceed with correct posture.
- The hips should face straight-ahead: the hips should be in an upright position while being aligned with your torso and shoulders in order to achieve fast and comfortable running experience.
- The position of the legs tends to vary slightly depending on your style of running: sprinting runners need to lift their knees a bit high so as to attain speed but most runners also need to lift their knees high in order to run faster. In other words, to increase on your speed you simply have to take a higher number of short strides while lifting the knees slightly and the feet should fall directly under your body. Additionally, the knees should be slightly flexed as the feet land onto the ground so that the legs can naturally bend on impact while running.
- The feet should land on your heel and mid-foot before rolling forward onto the toes so as to push-off for the next step. This is because good and fast runners are always light on their feet and are a bit springy when taking their steps.
- Tryout fartleks: fartleks actually means “speed-play” and it’s becoming a more popular training method amongst runners who want to increase on their speed. Fartleks training involves varying the running-pace at random intervals throughout your running exercise. It can involve running at a jogging-pace for some minutes and then sprint for a minute before resuming to your previous pace. In conclusion, fartleks are considered to be a very flexible training method and for best results, try to incorporate fartleks training into a 40 to 60 minute run.
- Go for hill-runs: running on a hilly terrain has been proven to gradually pull-up running-speed overtime and this implies that anyone should try to incorporate some hill-training into his/her workout routine in order to increase on the running speed. However, running up-hill may seem to be harder at first but after a while, you will get used to it and you will even find it much easier to run on a leveled surface at a faster speed. Additionally, hill-runs are good for the body because they help one to achieve high intensities while limiting joint-shock which usually occurs when running on flat surfaces.
- Try to learn how to breathe effectively when running: breathing effectively can help you to increase on the running-speed and to improve on your overall running stamina. This is possible because breathing brings more oxygen into the body and this gives the muscles more energy to keep going. It also recommended to inhale and exhale using your mouth and nose for best results. On the other hand, try to time your breath to the rhythm of your footfall because this helps to strengthen the diaphragm. You should try to breath-in for every 2 steps taken then exhale in the next 2-steps. With time, the diaphragm will grow stronger and one will be capable of extending to one-breath for every 4 steps taken.
- Always look straight ahead: looking straight ahead when running will actually increase on your running speed. Runners training to achieve speed should aim at putting their focus on about 20 to 30 meters in-front of them and this is only possible by always looking straight ahead. In fact, this is very useful for runners interested in racing because it helps them to keep the eyes onto the finish line.
- Lose some weight: you should know that being fit does not necessarily mean that one is at his/her ideal weight especially if one is taking large meals to compensate for the intense workout schedule. Remember that the more weight you are carrying, the more effort you will need to complete a run. This implies that losing some pounds of body-weight can help you run a bit longer and faster than before. There are many ways of losing weight but changing your eating habits is a good way because it allows you to lose weight while providing you with enough energy needed to run faster. Additionally, if want to lose weight healthily, try to increase on your intake of protein rich foods like; chicken, turkey and fish, then add some smaller portions of carbohydrates like; multi-grain bread, brown-rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try to also eat a lot of fruits and vegetables along with every meal in order to feel full while getting more calories.
- Listen to some music: although some running experts think one does not need music while running but studies have shown that people who listen to music when working-out tend to increase in their power output. So it is recommended to find a selection of songs with a tempo that matches with the running-speed that you are trying to achieve. These songs actually help the body to follow the rhythm of the music and this means that the speed will tend to increase without the runner realizing it.
- Make and keep a running-log: keeping a running-log is actually a great way of tracking your progress and it even helps to increase on your motivation to keep going when exercising. But to get this log, you will have to take note down your running-time, average-speed, route-taken, weather-conditions and how you feel physically while running. This information will to track how some conditions affect your running speed and time.
STEP-3: FUEL-UP YOURSELF:
- Try to stay healthy: becoming a fast runner is not only about exercising more but a whole-body experience including maintaining a proper diet, being hydrated and keeping the mind and body fit. A healthy diet is an essential element for runners since running is an intense, high-energy workout that can strain your body. This means that you need to replace the calories burnt when running by taking healthy, vitamin and nutrient-rich meal in order to stay in a good condition. On the other hand, you should try to eat some animal products like chicken, beef, eggs and dairy products because they contain high levels of protein which is an essential energy-source while iron and zinc increases on the production of red blood cells in order to protect your immune system. The calcium found in dairy products will help to make the bones stronger.
Additionally, you should also eat whole-grain cereals with some added proteins for breakfast because these help to make you feel fuller for long. Cereals also contain carbohydrates which provide high levels of energy during and after a run. Lastly, try to also eat some fruits and vegetables daily because they are packed with vitamins, carbohydrates and other nutrients which will make you feel full throughout the day.
- Drink a lot of water: it is very important for runners to be hydrated during their runs because dehydration can result into lower oxygen supply into the muscles causing someone to run slower. but to find out the right amount of water you should take in a day, for men you should try to multiply your body-weight (in pounds) by 0.35 fluid oz and ladies should multiply body-weight (in-pounds) by 0.31 fluid oz. this will help you find the optimum fluid intake per day although runners are supposed to take a little more water due sweating. In case you bring a sport-bottle containing water to drink while running, then it’s recommended to take water only when you feel thirsty but not at all times.
- Avoid eating sweets and greasy food stuffs: these junk and candy tend to give someone an instant energy boost due to their high levels of sugar and fat but this boost will actually be followed with a crash thus leaving you feeling sluggish and slow. It is recommended to consume foods with natural sugars and fat because they offer the same energy-boost without causing any negative side effects. Likewise, in case you want to eat something sweet, then try to eat a banana because it contains natural sugars and will keep you feeling full and well-energized for longer than candy or chocolate. Additionally, if crave fats, then try to take a spoon of peanut butter alone or you may spread it over a wholegrain toast of bread.
- Always drink some coffee: studies have shown that taking a cup of coffee or any other caffeinated-drink prior to running can actually provide runners with an extra burst of speed. In fact, this is great news for someone who is a coffee-addict but you try not taking too much coffee for best results. Additionally, you should know that it is not true that coffee increases the risk of dehydration.
- Make sure you get enough rest: in addition to training effectively, eating well and staying hydrated, you will also need to ensure that your body gets enough rest and recovery time in order to perform well. You all know that pushing the body too hard can result into exhaustion and injury and this may pull you out of the game for some good time. But to prevent the body from becoming exhausted, make sure you get yourself about 1 or 2 rest days a week without running at all on these days. You may try to perform other types of low-intensity exercises on resting days like walking or going for yoga classes. On top of that, make sure you get good-quality sleep at night because it has been proven that athletes with consistent and healthy sleeping patterns tend perform and run faster than their counterparts.
STEP-4: GO FOR STRETCHING EXERCISES:
- Try to stretch before you begin to run: stretching is actually an awesome way of increasing flexibility, improving performance and reducing the risk of injury when running. Dynamic stretching which involves incorporating movement has been proven to be more effective and beneficial for runners and most athletes compared to traditional-static stretching where one stretches and holds. Dynamic stretching helps athletes to stretch their bodies in a more dynamic and functional way and that is why it’s highly recommended.
- Do some leg-lifts: this will involve swinging one leg out to the side as far as you can and after swing it back across the body in-front of your standing leg as far as you can. Repeat this stretching for about 10-times on each leg for best results.
- Perform tin-soldiers: this will involve keeping the back and knees straight while working forward, then lift your legs straight-out in front in an exaggerated ways while flexing the toes towards you. This exercise is very easy and you may try to add some skipping to make it more challenging. Lastly, take about 10-reps with each leg when doing this exercise in order to thoroughly workout your muscles.
- Do some butt-kicks: this type of stretching exercise involves kicking your own butt. This can be done by standing and then walking forward, after swing your leg back and up while trying to kick yourself on the gluteus. In case this exercise becomes too easy for you, try to do it while jogging and also workout for about 10-reps with each leg in order to gain from this exercise.
- Tryout lunges: this workout involves stepping forward using a long stride while keeping the front knee over or behind the toes and then lower the body by dropping the back-knee towards the ground. After, try walking using this movement but maintain an upright posture throughout the entire stretch and even keep the abs tight in order to achieve a thorough workout. It is also recommended to do about 10-reps on each leg when doing this stretching exercise.
- Go for pike stretches: it will involve getting into a pike position with the butt lifted up in the air. Then, you will have to put your right-foot behind left-ankle while keeping the legs straight. Press the heel of the left-foot down and after release it. Repeat this on each leg for 10-tens and then rest.
- Do some hacky-sacks: this workout involves lifting your left-leg up in a motion like you are kicking a hacky sack while bending at the knee so that it points out. After, tap the inside of the left-foot using your right-hand without trying to bend forward. Repeats this workout for ten-times on every leg as it is with other stretching exercises.
- Do some planks: everyone should actually tryout a plank-exercise because it is a great way of building endurance and strengthening both your back and abs. this workout requires someone to lie on the floor with the face down and the hands flat onto the ground at a head level. After, you will need to lift up your body off the ground while on your toes and resting on your elbows with the hand flat. In fact, the back is supposed to form a straight line from the head to foot and you should also try to tighten the core that the butt does not stick-up or sag. Hold this position for a minute and then gently go back down. but to gain more out of these planks, try to put your legs in motion by lifting one leg up so that it is parallel to the ground and then swing it outwards. After, return that leg to a starting position and then do the same thing to the other leg.
STEP-5: TRAIN WITH YOUR FRIENDS:
- Look-out for friend or relative who is willing to help achieve you running goals: having a friend to train with is actually a mild form of competition that can also be an excellent source of motivation to keep anyone going. It even offers an opportunity of testing each other in order to find out how far each of you can actually go.
- Try to encourage your running-friend to push you: in case you feel too tired or bored, then somehow make your friend to encounter the excuses you are giving. In turn, you will also have to encourage your running friend to run in case he/she is giving excuses. This probably means that you should try to make a pact with your training-friend in order to do everything required to motivate each other.
- Make an exercising routine: you should also try to exercise with your training after creating an exercise schedule and also make sure that you both stick to it in order to achieve your running goals. this exercising routine will also help to motivate you daily do that you can keep going even if you are tired hence improving on your running strength and endurance.
- Try to find another way of getting a training-friend: incase a friend or relative does not want to run with you then see whether you can convince this person to at least come with you even if he/she is on a bike. This is because it can be a good way for both of you to have an exercise without the other person getting totally worn-out.
RUNNING TRICKS AND TIPS TO CONSIDER IN CASE YOU WISH TO RUN FASTER:
- Use your arms while running because as fast as they move, the faster your legs will also go. Additionally, try to keep the hands open because this increases aerodynamics while sprinting.
- Before you begin running, do some jogging so as to warm-up in order to prepare your body for a faster run. Jogging even helps to prepare your muscles before you begin sprinting.
- Remember to always keep head and eyes straight forward or where you are going because this helps you see how much is remaining in order to prepare yourself for the finishing line. in fact, the best runners in the world today use this principle in order to achieve their running goals.
- Invest in a quality pair of training-shoes which are very comfortable and light. This is because shoes with poor-quality and sufficient cushioning tend to cause several running injuries. It is even recommended to replace running-shoes every 300-miles (480km) or when you notice that they have become deformed in any way.
- In case you are having a long run, don’t try to run so fast but instead try to conserve your energy and spread it out during the run by simply running at slow pace.
- If you happen to get tired at the end of the race, then focus on swinging your arms faster because this helps to make your legs to run at faster rate.