Being fast is one of the first things we brag about growing up. You sprint to one tree and then the next, raising your arms in triumph if you're the first one there. It feels good to be fast. But as you grow and mature, sit at your desk, gain weight, and lose some of that childlike spirit, you start to slow down. Well, let's change that.
Whether you're a miler or marathoner, a weekend jogger or a competitive racer, we can all be faster, even if it's just by 10 percent. "It's a nice goal," says two-time Olympian Alan Culpepper. "It gives people something to quantify their effort. And it's a significant improvement, but it's also within reason." We roped in national champions, authors, coaches, and pros to learn the secrets of how to speed our runs up little-by-little at every distance.
Run a Faster Half-Marathon
Running is a tough workout, but it isn't enough to build the strength you need in order to become a faster and more efficient endurance racer. “Building functional strength is the most important thing,” explains Metzler. “That means basically getting the muscles that help you to run, and moving the muscles in the direction they’re going to run.” You can break down the motions of running by bounding, skipping, and doing burpies to focus your strength, and add bodyweight workouts to build the other muscle you need without bulking up.
Key Workout: After building up your aerobic base, split up your long runs. If you go out for 10 miles on a Sunday, run the first half at a relatively slow pace, and finish the last half at 5-10 seconds faster per mile than race pace. Pushing your discomfort zone will help push your aerobic threshold, and help you run moderately to considerably faster.
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