Every single runner who has ever pulled on a pair of running shoes wants to get faster. It doesn’t matter if you’re the slowest runner on the planet or the fastest, we all have a desire to get faster. Everyone does.
But already fit runners who have been diligently running the same workouts for months and months can’t seem to understand why they aren’t getting improving quicker and getting substantially faster. The answer why is simple: If you run at the same speed day in, day out, doing the same workouts, you’ll certainly get in good shape, but you probably won’t get a lot faster.
In order to get faster, you must run faster. It isn’t easy, but here’s how:
1. You need a plan. If you aren’t already in a training program or don’t have a coach, you’ll need to formulate a plan yourself. The best advice is to consult a training manual with a variety of workouts that you can incorporate into your schedule and then develop an overall training plan which is consistent with your goals. Even simpler, join one one of the exceptional training groups in Austin and consult with a coach on your goals and how to attain them.
2. Make a commitment. Any training plan to get faster means doing regular speed workouts. These workouts aren’t as much fun or as easy as long, leisurely runs, so you’ll need a firm commitment to do these runs as they appear on your schedule. Hint: They are much easier as part of a group doing speed training.
3. Keep track of your workouts. Since you are going to be doing some fast-than-normal speed workouts, you must monitor your reaction to these very carefully, Doing speed workouts properly means training at the right intensity, speed, number of repetitions and adequate rest or recovery. Speed work is always risky. There’s a higher rate of injuries so you must be aware of the effort you’re exerting.
4. Vary your speed and efforts. Since you’ll be doing some of your workouts at race goal pace or faster, you won’t be able to run for very long. So do some workouts very fast and others at medium efforts. Segment your speed workouts into small, manageable pieces that are designed to eventually increase your leg turnover, power and ability to sustain a fast pace. Note: Not all speed workouts have to be at maximum effort and/or warp speed. In fact, few are.
5. Recovery. Speed work is stressful stuff. Recovering from a speed workout is just as important as the workout itself. You must give your body adequate time to recover from a speed workout. Quite simply, if you’re going to run fast, you must also run slowly for a day or two to allow for recovery. In addition, post-run stretching is important.