he swears by relaxed runs or prefers to work out over long distances for sure knows it: the moment there is less time for the endurance unit, it often falls by the wayside. But that need not be.
Because you know who really wants to find ways. Our suggestion: just do a quick workout on days like this. Then you will soon experience your first rush of speed – and at the next competition you can expect the great feeling of being in front of the others at the finish.
We will explain in detail below how you can increase your pace in a targeted manner. And for everyone who wants to take a shortcut: With this training plan you will soon be able to run the 10 kilometer run in under 1 hour.
How can I run faster?
Okay, the bad news first: It won’t work just by magic and without a little more effort. But the effort is limited if you turn the right screws. With our 8 tips you will get faster without suffering:
1. A clean running style saves strength
The formula for getting faster is very simple: the better the running style, the more economical the sequence of movements – and that saves energy so that you can step up a gear. The classic running ABC helps here.
This includes exercises such as jumping on both legs (pushing off with both legs, pulling your swinging leg far up, taking your arm with you in opposite directions), heels (alternately pulling your lower leg towards your bottom) and side jumps (jumping to the side without rotating your pelvis, strong trunk) improves coordination skills and is therefore the perfect warm-up for optimizing your running style.
2. Targeted strength training makes you fast
The front thigh is usually well trained in runners. Because it pulls the leg forward while running and ensures a good stride length. As soon as the foot touches down, however, the rear thigh takes over – and that is the weak point for many. And the greater the imbalance between the front and back, the harder the weaker muscle has to work. That takes strength and slows you down.
Targeted training helps: A great exercise for the back of the thigh is, for example, one-legged pelvic lift on the exercise ball. Are you still missing this tool? How to find a suitable fitness ball. In addition to consistently well-trained legs, torso stability is also important for smooth movement and efficient power transmission. It can be built up easily with exercises such as the forearm support or the side support.
3. Increase the cadence
“Avoid taking too big steps,” explains Henning Lenertz from the running magazine Runner’s World. By taking many short steps quickly, you put your foot down with your metatarsus almost automatically, and that saves energy.
You also reduce the contact time with the ground – the shorter your foot is on the ground, the faster you can move forward. “The optimal step frequency is between 160 and 180 steps per minute.” In order to increase it, use your arms consciously: If they swing faster, the legs join in as if by themselves.
4th Change the pace
The most effective speed training are interval runs, that is to say: On a given route, you switch between fast and slow again and again. “In order to get faster, beginners can start with 5 to 10 intervals over 200 meters. For more advanced runners, 8 by 800 meters are more suitable,” says Lenertz.
With the length of the route, the length of the breaks increases, of course: at 200 meters, 30 to 60 seconds are enough, depending on your training level, at 800 meters you can walk or trot for up to 3 minutes before starting another lap. Important: keep your composure! The muscles tire quickly during interval training, so that at the end of the session, the trunk often falls into the hollow back or the arms begin to swing.
5. Play with speed
Anyone who runs at least 3 times a week and can easily last an hour can play at speed after warming up. The so-called driving game is a great alternative to rigid interval training. “In the driving game you always set yourself new goals and alternate between slow endurance running and sprinting. This way you learn to better assess your pace,” explains Lenertz.
Change the pace 5 to 10 times. You decide how far you walk: to the next bench, to the fourth lantern, to the next intersection. “The main thing is that you really keep the pace to this goal.”
6th Go to the speed limit in increasing runs
Improvement runs get you out of the rut of endurance runs and improve the running economy. After the regular running unit, go to the limit in 3 to 5 crisp runs.
“You start running easily and increase yourself over a distance of about 100 meters to your maximum speed. You hold out for another 2 to 3 seconds. Then you go back the same distance, take a deep breath and then tackle the next increase.”
7th Walk up hills and stairs
Advanced runners can move their training to hilly terrain to work on their speed. “Look for an ascent of 100 to 200 meters – that can also be a flight of stairs,” advises the running expert. It is only important that the route is not too steep. You then power it up again and again and walk for air to get back down.
8th. Charge your energy batteries with carbs
Run sober? Nope! Because if you don’t have enough energy, you cannot use your full potential to train speed. The solution: quickly available carbohydrates. “In order to really accelerate and make progress during running training, you should first fill up your glycogen stores,” says Lenertz. A high-carbohydrate snack like a banana or a raisin bun with honey instantly speeds things up.
By the way, endurance sports and a low-carb diet don’t go well together. That is why many professional runners increase the carbohydrate content of their food to 70 percent during so-called carbo-loading 3 days before a competition. Here you can find out what the optimal diet for runners looks like.
From now on you don’t have to skip an endurance session anymore. Because if you have to go fast again, thanks to the 8 tips you are well prepared for a fixed run. Finished? Come on!