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Ways to Run Faster

In order to develop a comprehensive understanding of ways to run faster, improve your quickness and enjoy an overall athletic improvement, you must first have an understanding of the list of sub-goals necessary to improve your speed.

Understanding this list of sub-goals will help you take control of your training by allowing you to organize your training around each goal. A general list of sub-goals for ways to run faster is as follows:

  • Increase stride length.
    Increasing your stride length will allow you to cover more ground and decrease your running time. However, athletes must be wary of over-striding, or regularly reaching with their lead leg in a nearly straight position. Increased stride length should be achieved instead by increasing flexibility and range of motion while also building muscle strength.

  • Increase stride frequency.
    Increasing the amount of times that your feet hit the ground is another way to increase your speed. While some gains in stride frequency will come naturally as an athlete increases his or her skill, stride frequency can also be carefully trained through assistance training drills designed to force the body to run at higher speeds than normal. Running down a hill (ideally with a 2% decline) is an example of an often-used assistance training technique. Assistance training, however, should only be attempted once a runner has a strong base of running and strength skills to build on since over-speed training of this sort can increase the risk of injury.

  • Build speed and power.
    Increased speed is necessary during the actual run and increased power in necessary at the initiation of the run. In terms of ways to run faster, speed and power must be trained for concurrently within a program. Effective ways to build speed and power include sprint training, weight training and plyometrics training.

  • Train for agility.
    The ability to quickly stop, change direction and quickly start again is one that benefits nearly any athletic pursuit, with running included in this list. Agility work, along with power training, also helps to develop quickness and allows the athlete to move from a stationary position into the run at a much faster rate.

  • Develop your anaerobic threshold.
    Fast, high intensity work is done in an anaerobic training zone. Increasing your anaerobic threshold will allow an athlete to remain in this anaerobic state longer and maintain this high intensity work for a longer period of time. Anaerobic training programs like sprints or plyometrics should stay under 10 seconds long per drill and allow for almost complete recovery to prevent lactic acid build-up.

  • Decrease recovery time.
    While recovery time is a necessary part of training, regular and systematic training will help an athlete decrease the amount of recovery time he or she needs between bursts of exertion.

  • Delay fatigue.
    In general, the longer an athlete can work at his or her desired level of exertion, the better. This may only mean adding one or two seconds to 8 seconds of maximal speed sprinting, but those few seconds make a big difference. Delaying the onset of fatigue also allows athletes to train longer and stay within the proper limits of correct form and muscle function.



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