There's more to running than running, and there's more to training to run faster than just running. When you train for peak performance, you'll learn that there's a science to training, planning workouts, and ensuring proper recovery.
The science of running performance continually evolves, teaching us that there's more than one way to improve. From different workouts to training techniques, here's what you need to do to run a faster 5K.
Complete Core Work
A strong core means more than a nice set of abs to a runner. It means targeting all those smaller, intrinsic muscles that allow you to hold proper form as you tire. One of the most common form flaws that occurs when you're too tired to "think" about form are hunched shoulders. That rounded back inhibits your ability to make the most of your stride, and can also disrupt a proper breathing pattern. By strengthening your entire core and hip region, you'll become more efficient and, ultimately, faster.
Quick Core Routine: The Multi-Plank
Plank Pose: Hold a standard plank pose, balancing on your forearms and toes, and keeping your torso parallel to the ground. Contract your stomach, keep your abs engaged, and make sure your butt isn't up in the air or sagging towards the ground. Hold this pose for 30 seconds; work your way up to 60 seconds.
Reverse Plank: Flip over so you're facing the ceiling and balancing on your elbows and heels. Keep your core tight and don't let your bum sag towards the ground. Start with 30 seconds and work up to 60 seconds.
Side Planks: Facing to your left, balance on the outside heel of your left foot and left forearm; keep your hips stacked and torso even. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then flip around to the right side and do the same thing.
Mastered that? After you've become a pro at holding the poses stationary, add foot and arm raises to test your balance and further engage your core. Start by lifting one foot at a time for a set of 10, then try lifting your opposite arm and leg for a set of 10.