In Part 1 of “12 Ways To Increase Your Running Speed,” I listed 12 ways that you could have a better, faster, harder, and stronger workout. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Here are 12 more ways to consider to increase your running speed.
1) Strength Training–I’ve mentioned it previously on several other blog posts. I’m not saying to take up bodybuilding, but stronger, leaner muscles will certainly help you to attain a new PR. Just 2 to 3 short training sessions a week can have significant positive impact.
2) Lose Weight–Now, not everyone is going to have weight to lose! But for those that do, research shows that you will generally be close to 2 seconds per mile faster per pound lost (and I’m talking losing weight by shedding fat, not muscle).
3) Seek Inclines–Running up and down hills have been shown to improve speed, build up muscle strength, and boost confidence in general. Consider adding hills to your running routine at least once per week.
4) Keep Your Eyes Straight Ahead–Try to keep your focus on what’s in front of you, and not what’s on the ground. You will waste valuable time by looking down at your feet or turning your head while running to check out the competition. Try to focus 10-20 meters straight in front of you.
6) Don’t Neglect Your Toes–Every part of our bodies plays a role in improving our running speed, from our head all the way down to our toes. Try focusing on bringing the toes up toward your shin while running (which, in technical terms, is called dorsiflexion). The less of the foot that hits the ground the quicker your stride turnover. (See #4 in Part 1).
7) Add Running Planks–Get into the “up” push-up position. Slowly bring your right knee toward your left arm, twisting from your core (not your shoulders or hips), then return to the starting position; repeat on the opposite side to complete 1 rep. Try 1–2 sets of 8 reps. To make the move more challenging, increase the number of reps, slow down, or do the move with your hands on a stability ball. Do 2–3 times a week.
8) Add Tempo–Yeah, yeah…we all know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare–as in “slow and steady wins the race.” Maybe so, but fast and steady builds speed! A tempo run will challenge you to find a “comfortably hard” pace and maintain it for a 20-minute period.
10) Say “Yes” To Coffee!–Good news for you coffee drinkers…turns out that drinking caffeine prior to running gives an extra jolt of speed. And the best part? If you race, it’s a totally legal performance enhancer!
12) Get Your Sleep–This one should be fairly obvious, as studies have shown that well-rested athletes have better reaction times and clock faster finishes.
There you go with 12 more ideas on how to increase your running speed. And as always, if you or someone you know is having pain with running, don’t wait to take action. Call my office at once at (302)691-9055 or visit my website at www.wildermanphysicaltherapy.com to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation to see how Physical Therapy can help. Don’t delay–schedule now!