How to Run Faster

Have you ever wanted to run faster? Has it proved a daunting task of monumental proportions?

Do not give up.

Self improvement is the ultimate key to all activity. Results are what drive us as humans to reach for our goals and then exceed them. Self improvement serves a spherical purpose, for in so achieving your goals of self improvement you are immediately presented with a new set of tougher goals to break through.

Now self improvement is 10% wishful thinking, and 90% effort. Without the effort, nothing will be achieved.

I have been running for the better part of 5 years now. I run distances and participate in races, I’ve done 10’s and 21’s and everything in between. My average speed however continues to disappoint me, especially when I compare it to that of others around me.

Take for example this route I have been running:

Do your running shoes play a factor in determining your speed? Of course they do, but just like any other tool, it is the skill with which you wield them that brings results. As you could see, my average speed was 10.5KM/H.

What was I doing wrong? The answer was my running mentality.

For a while I had forgotten that running was about challenging yourself, and was merely content to do the same distance at the same pace without trying to improve, thinking that by changing my running shoes I would miraculously start running faster.

There are no quick fixes in life.

The answer to the question of how to run faster is in two parts. The first we have covered, and that is challenging yourself to be better.

The second is simple. HIIT.

High Intensity Interval Training. It takes discipline to run a distance, it takes skill to run at a good pace.

HIIT basically means expend more energy during shorter runs.

The more adept runners will tell you that you need to employ 80% of your energy whilst running for 1 minute, then slow down and recover for 30 seconds, and lather, rinse, repeat.

Last I checked, I was not the Terminator, and my vision did not come with flashing bionic updates of time and energy expended. In theory, it is sound, however in application, it is easier said than done!

Checking my watch every 2 minutes was out of the question also, as that would damage the fun aspect of the run and turn it into a chore, which negates the purpose of running.

Why look at your watch every 2 minutes? Why do what others have been doing? We are all different.

So I improvised.

I realized running around the old campus of GUST on Tunis St. that the area was rectangular in shape, with two short sides and two longer sides.

I started off by running once around the place at a warm up pace, followed by running fast enough down the shorter sides that my stride was longer and my breathing more rapid, recovering along the long sides.

Half an hour into the endeavor, switch. Speed up down the long sides and recover in the short.

The result of this endeavor? Right here:

Average speed: 11.1KM/H.

There is nothing wrong with running the same track, so long as your mentality about it changes.

Challenge yourself.

With the right motivation, nothing is impossible.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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