Active Junky’s seen the highs and lows, fast and slows in amateur and competitive running. Here are five ways to run faster this year.
1. Find a track-savvy coach.
The track offers precise distance measurements, a safe environment and the ability to be watched. Don’t avoid the track because it doesn’t feel “real” enough.
2. Live for your socks.
The connection between runner and road is complex. Faster runners can get into trouble quickly because any abrasion or pinching adds up more quickly when the pace is high. Once again, track workouts – with quality socks in hand – are the place to start.
3. Elevate your intervals.
Time to kick it up a notch. Start with 20 second sprints on moderate grades and progress to 30+ on steeper roads. Increase grades and reps with shorter-recovery periods between each effort. Imagine how fast you’ll be when the roads level.
4. Get posture support.
Sloppy form, head shaking or bobbing and extraneous arm movements slash biomechanical efficiency. While each runner’s body is different, energy sent into unproductive directions is a deterrent to speed. Efficiency still counts over faster, shorter distance.
5. Stir in recovery.
Adequate rest (or “active rest” connected with light cross-training) matters. Mileage isn’t the only metric, as running on paved, hot or unstable surfaces contributes to wear on the runner. Monitor your metrics and recover accordingly.