7 Tips to Help You Run Faster

Running faster doesn't mean doing scores of inhumanly fast repeats that make you sick to your stomach. There are smarter ways to run faster that involve tweaking your form, your training plan and your mind. Here's how to break your own records without dreading the workouts.

More: How to Train for a PR

Play Around

"One thing people don't do enough is play around with different speeds," says Jason R. Karp, Ph.D., San Diego-based running coach and author of 101 Developmental Concepts and Workouts for Cross Country Runners. If you go out and jog every workout at the same speed, you'll simply get good at going that speed.

But, Karp says, "If you do intervals or fartleks (unstructured periods of going faster and slower) during a run, you'll learn what it feels like to run fast."

Or, he recommends, do strides at the end of the run. Strides are 20 to 30 seconds of running faster—not quite a sprint but a controlled effort that's quicker than your normal run.

More: Run Fast With Strides

Get the Stress Out

"To run fast, you have to remain relaxed," says Todd Weisse, cofounder and head coach at the Williamsburg Track Club (Brooklyn and New York City) and a volunteer assistant coach at Columbia University. "When the jaw, face, arms and limbs start to tense up, there's deceleration," Weisse says.

Relax from your face and your eyes downward. "You can see your workout through pinched eyes and a scrunched-up face, or through a nice, relaxed face and a nice, relaxed jaw." You know which makes you run faster.

More: Want to Run Faster? Learn to Relax

  • 1
  • of
  • 2

About the Author

Marty Munson

Marty Munson is a USAT Level 1 triathlon coach. Her writing has appeared in Health, Prevention, Marie Claire, Shape.com and RealAge.com. Find more triathlon tips and strategies from her and other experts in the field at trieverything.wordpress.com.

Discuss This Article