The second edition of our blog on how to run faster looks at even more ways that you can develop as a runner. In part one we looked at developing your technique and this time we concentrate more on the specific exercises that build up speed.
Alternate Your Speed
You should always look to alternate your runs, from slow jogging to fast sprinting and everything in between. By interspersing your running with alternative sprinting this is a great way to increase your speed but also your endurance. It is totally up to you how and when you do this in your training regime, but you will soon see the benefits.
Have you ever wondered why boxers use skipping or jump ropes so much in their training? Boxers believe that fast feet encourages fast hands, and by using a skipping rope this increases the speed of your feet lifting and hitting the ground. In the case of runners, fast feet means a faster runner, so take the tip and introduce a rope into your training schedule.
Choose Your Shoes Carefully
What you wear on your feet definitely affects how fast you run. Today there are numerous types of running shoes on the market, and many of them are using new materials that help your feet breathe and are as light as a feather. You sneakers should support your feet in all the important areas, but search for the most comfortable and lightest that you can find. At the end of a marathon picking your feet up can be hard, and light pair of shoes might just be the difference of finishing or not.
Work on Your Core
The core of your body supports everything else, that is why you must continually work on developing it. In particular work on your lower abdominal muscles as this muscle group gives the force you need to place your foot on the ground and push off from it. By increasing muscle strength you increase the power to push off, and this will increase your speed. The core can be improved with specific daily exercises of around just fifteen minutes.
Learn How to Breathe Like a Runner
During different physical activities your breathing changes, and when you are running at fast speeds you need to practice how to breathe properly. When you exercise the body needs more oxygen to keep it going, and you need to learn to breathe through both your mouth and nose to get the maximum oxygen into your body and to feed the muscles. A method to experiment with is belly breathing, rather than filling the chest with air when you inhale try to fill the stomach. Some runners say that this method really helps in air intake and thus performance.
Include Hill Running in Training
Try to include hill running as part of your weekly training, it does not matter what type of running you are training for it will increase your speed when you come to running on flat ground. The extra strength and effort you put into running uphill will build up your muscles and your endurance. So, when you come to flatter terrain your mind will consider it easy, and you will get a boost of confidence. We conclude our blog on how to run faster in part three where we look at nutritional aspects as well as lifting weights.