Sunday, February 24, 2013

Want to Add Speed to Your Running? Here Are My Tips!

I often get stuck running at a comfortable pace and have a hard time pushing myself to go faster. I have been working on increasing my speed the past few weeks. I have found some great tips for pushing your pace and thought I would share them with you today.

  • Speedwork: Track workouts are key for pushing your pace and finding out what your top speed is. You should be pushing yourself by running sprints all out. One of my favorite track workouts is 4x800, 4x400 and 4x200. I push my pace at 45 seconds or less for the 200's, 1:30 or less for 400's and 3:00 or less for 800's.
  • Tempo Runs: Warm up for about a mile and then push your run a minute faster than race pace. Currently I try to run my tempo runs at a 7:30 minute mile pace.
  • Focus on Form: Keep your back straight, shoulder's back and relaxed with a slight forward lean. Focus on swinging your arms in rhythm with your strides. The faster your arms swing, the faster your legs will go. 
  • Strength Workouts: Work your legs in the gym with squats, squat jumps and burpees. These all help increase leg strength in running. Also, upper body strength and cross training keeps your body strong and injury free.
  • Hydrate: This is so important during your runs, as well as before and after. Keep your body functioning by hydrating properly.
  • Diet: Focus on eating foods for performance. Look at food as fuel and focus on a healthy diet, lots of fruits, veggies and protein. 
  • Hire a Coach: Getting a coach may be key in pushing you out of your comfort zone. You may not be able to afford full time coaching, but even a few sessions can make a world of difference in your running.
  • Find a Running Group: Run with a group that challenges you to push your pace. Ask at your local running store, or check your area Nike or Athleta stores, they often offer free running groups that provide challenges and motivation from other runners and coaches. 
    • Nike LA has the She Runs LA Crew
    • Nike San Francisco has the SF Crew
    • Nike New York has the Bridgerunners 
    • Nike Eugene has a Run Club
    • The Stump Runners hail from Portland, OR
    • Athleta Roseville has a Sunday morning run club
    • Fleet Feet stores offer training groups and run clubs
  • Social Media: Reach out to your social media friends and communicate with others on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. These avenues can offer instant support and motivation to push yourself further. On Twitter you may want to follow:
    • @nikerunning, @mariepurvis, @augustinafitness, @jeanettejeankins, @fitfluential and other friends you may find through the fit world on Twitter.
  • Sleep: Make sure you are getting at least eight ours of sleep a night. Your body recovers and rebuilds while you are sleeping so don't slack off on sleep.
  • Write a Plan: Focus on your goals, make a plan and stick to it. 
Happy Training!