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How To Run Faster

Nearly all land sports (not involving an apparatus of some sort like a bicycle or skis) require a high running speed in order to excel. If an athlete can’t run fast, in general, he or she is just plain out of luck. For this reason, a great deal of research and study has gone into the science of speed with the goal of teaching athletes how to run faster.

As scientists have come to understand how the brain works, they’ve also come to understand how the brain can be gradually changed. Outside stimuli and repeated movements can actually be used to form neural pathways. These neural pathways, in turn, affect how the body reacts to these stimuli and how the body performs these movements. When neural pathways are created, the resulting physical action becomes faster, smoother and more efficient. This information is crucial, then, for any athlete. As it turns out, this research tells us, an athlete can learn how to run faster by also understanding how to train their minds to make them run faster.

Speed is a motor task that is prompted and controlled by the brain. In order to make sure that it is controlled properly, you must first make sure that you are running with the correct mechanics. Repetition of movements with incorrect body mechanics will create neural pathways for these movements and actually enforce these bad physical habits. To learn how to run faster, correct form must always be followed, without exception.

Situational awareness follows correct form. In addition to being aware of your body’s mechanics, you must train your mind to simultaneously pay close attention to what’s going on around you – how wind is affecting your movements, how the pavement feels beneath you and how other competitors or teammates are situated in relation to you. That said, however, your correct mechanics and situational awareness should really be the only things you think about while training. Speed work demands a high level of motivation and concentration.

Repetition of correct movement is the key to building neural pathways. Performing sprints and agility exercises again and again is done to allow your brain to figure out the most efficient way of processing the information it need to send to your muscles. As you perform these movements, your brain gets better at sending the information to your muscles and you are eventually able to perform these movements better.

Reaction time when learning how to run faster will be improved when you also train with the appropriate stimulus, be that auditory, visual or kinesthetic. For example, if you will be competing in races that begin with starter pistol, train with a starter pistol. If are a baseball player, train by starting with swinging the bat and then breaking into a sprint. Just as Pavlov’s dogs began salivating at a bell, you can train your body to begin to work instantly and efficiently when stimulated. And, the more that this action is repeated and progressed the more efficient this action will become. Training your neuromuscular pathways must always be a primary concern for anyone seeking to learn how to run faster.



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