3 Ways to Get Faster in Four Weeks

Every runner has probably wished he or she were faster, but improving your ability to hold a faster pace takes time (more time than most runners want to take). However, if you only have a few weeks before race day to get in your best shape, here are a few speed tricks to incorporate into your regular running workouts.

1. Turn Your Long Runs into Quality Days

Adding gentle surges or a fast finish to your weekly long run is a great way to teach your legs how to run fast when they're tired. Long runs are taxing on their own; adding a bit of speed can take those long runs to the next level.

Surges in the latter stages of a long run teach your legs to fight through fatigue and help break up the monotony of the miles. Try one minute of surging at about a 10K race effort, with eight minutes of easy running between each surge for the final hour of your run. If you want more of a challenge, mix it up with 1-, 2-, and 3-minute repeating surges with five minutes of easy running between each during the final hour of your long run.

2. Target Multiple Systems

Add a few shorter intervals after a long session to train your body to change gears.

When you force your body during training to shift from a moderate effort to short sprints, it will learn how to speed up quickly during a race.

Next time you have a longer, moderate workout like a sustained hill climb or a tempo run, add a few short sprints at the end of the workout. For example:

2 mile warm-up
4 mile tempo run
1/2-mile easy jog
4 x 1 minute all-out with 1 minute of easy running between each rep
2 mile cool down

More: How to Tackle Hill Training

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About the Author

Sarah Crouch

Sarah Crouch is a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier and a professional long distance runner for Reebok and ZAP Fitness. She is also a coach for Runnersconnect, an online community for athletes of all abilities and a team of expert coaches who assist with all aspects of training. Sarah is dedicated to bringing the best out of athletes at all levels of the sport from beginners to advanced runners.

Sarah Crouch is a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier and a professional long distance runner for Reebok and ZAP Fitness. She is also a coach for Runnersconnect, an online community for athletes of all abilities and a team of expert coaches who assist with all aspects of training. Sarah is dedicated to bringing the best out of athletes at all levels of the sport from beginners to advanced runners.

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