Years ago I was content to just finish running races while juggling. It was a numbers game. How many marathons was more important than how fast. Training was sparse featuring around 20 miles a week, 30 miles max. In fact, the first marathon I completed was twice as far as I’d ever run before. This training system was good enough to joggle me across the finish line of 13 marathons.
Then one day, I wanted to get faster. I always used the excuse, “If I trained, I’d be a lot faster.” So, I trained. Took my best time from 3:55 to 3:25. A full 30 minutes off my PR! Training works. Or at least it used to.
Now, I run everyday (the running and juggling streak is at 72 days) averaging over 4.75 miles a day. I do tempo runs, fartleks, and yasso sprints. And yet my times have not improved. There must be a way.
Previously, we listed 6 ways to become a faster runner. Here are 7 more.
Seven tips for faster running
1. Run nearly everyday. The pros run 5-6 times a week. You want to get faster, run this often.
2. Run twice a day. Two or three times a week you should do double sessions, say one in the morning one in the evening. That’ll push your running frequency to nearly 9 times a week.
3. Run fast. You can’t get faster without running faster. Figure out how fast you want to run your race. Then do some shorter workouts 5% faster than that & some even shorter ones at 10% faster.
4. Run with good form. When you get tired you’ll tend to put your head down and slouch. Don’t do it! Keep the same form for fast & slow runs.
5. Lose weight. The less you weigh, the easier it’ll be to go faster. (This was in the last list but it bears repeating.)
6. Learn to tolerate pain. Running fast hurts. The more often you do it, the better tolerant of the pain you’ll become.
7. Listen to your body. If you’re too tired to do a good speed workout, then do an easy jog until you feel better. But don’t skip too many days, you lose fitness quickly.
Getting faster increases the chances that you will get injured. But these are the kinds of things you’ll have to do to be a faster runner. You have to ask yourself, is it really worth it?
On that, I’m undecided.