Here is a question I get allllllllllllll the time!! Kristen, how can I run faster? Oh and yeah, I know I look crazy in that picture! That’s how you feel after at the end of a half marathon.
First let me say, I am not a certified running coach, I am a fitness professional but not in running. I was an assistant cross country coach for like a season, I ran cross country and track in high school, I run a bunch of races but I am not a certified running coach so this is all based on my opinion and experience.
So now how to run faster! The only way I know to actually get faster at running is to run faster. Ha ha, sounds simple and hard at the same time, right. Let me break it down. When I say you have to run faster to get faster, I don’t mean just will yourself to run your normal routs faster then you do on the reg. That sounds kind of daunting especially if you are doing a lot of miles during the week and your runs are long! Although I have total faith you could do that, there is an easier way.
I personally believe that track repeats are the easiest/quickest way to speed up your pace. Here is a list of what I like for best for each race length:
5k – 200 meter repeats
Pace – Your one mile pace
Amount – 20 (sounds like a lot and it might take some time to get to 20 but once you do, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be crushing it)
10K – 400 meter repeats (By far the hardest, but kind of the most rewarding too)
Pace – Your 5k pace
Half Marathon – 800 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10k pace
Marathon – 1600 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10-15 seconds then your desired marathon pace
There are a Zillion different variations that you can do with track workouts but I like to keep it simple, zone out, and focus on the work. Chances are that the first time you do these you might not get to the full amount of repeats, that is OK. Start with a few and work up to the full amounts. If you add this to your training, I would be shocked if you didn’t get faster times.
Now you can just do this on the road but I would suggest finding a local track that you can go to. This reduces distraction, makes the distance that much more consistent each time and the terrain will be nice and smooth for you.
Here is an example of a track workout that I did a few years ago. It was mile repeats. I did three repeats with a mile warm up and cool down. I was training for marathon at this time. I actually ran the repeats a bit to fast, 6:30 pace. That is not anywhere near my desired marathon pace but you get the idea. On a side note, even though I was running my track workouts faster I didn’t hit my time goal that race. Faster isn’t always better, just saying.
I would love to hear what are your favorite speed workouts if you have them!!
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