Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Tips To Run Faster: 16 Ways To Run Faster And Longer

Tips To Run Faster

What are the best tips to run faster?

tips to run faster

There are many ways to improve as runner. How much time are you spending at or below your goal race pace? What percentage of your weekly mileage is spent running slow versus fast?

Do you desire to be a better runner, lose weight or dreaming of earning a Boston Marathon qualifying time?circular_logo_rundreamachieve

Your chances of success will depend upon your level of commitment. Are you able to continue and not lose enthusiasm despite setbacks?

All top athletes got where they are by way of extreme amounts of hard work and dedication. That being said, they are no different than you and I.

These are individuals who simply chose to commit to their goal. There is a massive difference between interest versus commitment.

Running fast is an art. It doesn't take much skill to run slow but it does to run fast. That being said, we all have different goals. Your intention may not be to become an elite runner. Perhaps, you desire to run your first 5K or lose weight.

Find you why in this sport. Fully commitment to making whatever it is you wish to do a reality.

Persist Longer

Persistence is key to success in endurance sports. Your level of commitment and ability to maintain enthusiasm will dictate your future success.

You will learn about yourself and often times you will find just how much potential you truly have by persisting when others let up.

Persistent athletes run faster because they have studied what does and doesn't work in training. If you truly want to run faster than you have to be persistent.

Easy running will never challenge you. Your body adapts to the stress you place on it, if that stress is too minimal there will be no physical gains from that work.

You can't drop 5 minutes off your half-marathon time by running relaxed miles everyday.

2. Focus

It takes skill to run fast and you have the potential to improve just as much as any elite runner anywhere in the world. The key is training to gradually extend the distance and pace of your long run.

In addition to that, you want to spend some time running at sprint speeds.

The trick is to get the body to use fat as its main fuel source in the race. Furthermore, to also conserve carbohydrate. The body only has about 1800 calories of carbohydrate stores. Athletes burn between 100 to 130 calories per mile.

Where do most athletes experience the so-called “wall”?

You guess it.

Mile 17 or 18.

Focus on training at faster speeds. What will this do? One, you won't experience the wall. Two, you'll be able the needed energy the last portion of your race. Lastly, it will build confidence that you are able to maintain pace longer than your competitors.

Stay Calm

3. Relax And Focus

The first muscles of the body that usually tense up first are the facial and shoulder muscles.

So, consciously use power words as you're running such as ‘relax', ‘smooth and powerful' or ” I am in control.

This is one of the best tips to run faster in that a relaxed body will generally function at optimal performance levels.

You can run faster in your training and racing simply by learning how to practice running more relaxed.

Too much wasted energy leads to stress, re-direct elsewhere where it counts and you will run faster.

4. Pace Yourself

Does it matter you are not leading the first mile? No.

What matters is where you at at the finish line.

Be patient early on within the race. One of the top tips to run faster is to stay calm and as relaxed as possibly early on in the race.

There are far too many runners who go out too aggressive and pay for it.

Conserve Energy

train for marathon5. Try Fartlek Running 

Fartlek running teaches the body to handle pace changes in the race.

This is one of the better tips to run faster.

Why? You want to be able to react in the race. Fartlek running teaches you to run at varying paces in training. Thus, you are able to handle moves your competition makes in the race.

Remember, the training is where you want to test yourself and make your mistakes. The race should never be as hard as training.

You want to use leverage. Leverage is simply doing more with less. Fartlek running creates that leverage by making you strong and focused. In addition to that, you are forced to run fast while fatigued. This is why the Kenyans make it look so easy.

They have spent an enormous amount of time doing fartlek training.

Vary Your Pace

Implementing fartlek workouts into your training can be your secret weapon.

You want to vary your paces in training. The main reason I was able to drop my marathon time from 2:43:36:2:19:35 was due to this.

Long slow running makes for long, slow runners – Sebastion Coe (former world-record holder for the mile and 800m

Varying your pace in training will also make you more mentally tough. The best athletes have to handle being uncomfortable. Fartlek running will teach you exactly that.

Slow running doesn't teach us to react to surges in a race. Fast, fartlek training will.

Furthermore, using fat as your main fuel source at race speeds takes high-end is what you want to do. How can we achieve this? Faster running for longer periods of time.

Remember, the benefits come from the rest, not the workout itself.

Weight Loss

6. Lose weight

Studies have shown that weight less can take an average of 2 seconds per mile off of your race time.

7. Focus On Your Form

Focus on keeping your shoulders and face relaxed in training and in the race. This is one of the best tips to run faster. A relaxed athlete will generally outperform a tense one.

The time to practice running relaxed and focusing on proper form is in training, so that come race day any issues can be instantly corrected while racing.

8. Forget The Comfort Zone

Steven Pressfield, calls it the Resistance in his book Do The Work.

All of our lives since we were young we are taught not to question, to adhere, follow the rules.

You and I are here for too short of a time to comply.

Get Away From Normal

Normalcy surrounds us all. The best tips to run faster are going to be associated with thinking outside of the box. What are you doing differently than your competitors? If you want to lose weight are you interest or fully committed to achieving that goal?

I do understand what this sport entails. Hard work and endless dedication is what it takes to be successful.

You need to get out of your comfort zone.

Start doing something about your training. You have a great deal of potential, act on it.

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Expect Some Pressure

9. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

One of my biggest pet peeves as an athlete is people thinking I have talent.

I don't.

Dathan Ritzenhein has talent. I watched that kid run 15.18 on my cross-country course at Malone University while I was in college.

He absolutely destroyed the field that day.

My best 5K in high school was 15:53. In addition, he has run a 2.07 to my 2.19 marathon. Big difference. That being said, I do have a lot of drive.

If you don't have a lot in the way of talent make use of your work ethic. Talented runners don't always win the race. Often times, it is the smartest athlete that does.

Set The Standard

11. Inspire Others

Why is this in the list of tips to run faster? You'll be motivated to set the standard high. Be the example others want to follow. Set your standards high. Hold yourself accountable to get out the door to train when you don't want to.

There is much more satisfaction helping others than just telling them how many miles you ran last week. What good does that do for them? Inspire someone to get in shape and change their life.

Adjust Your Focus

10. How Fast You Run Doesn't Give You More Worth

I have a lot of experience in this sport but there are things I learn everyday from my readers, from the emails I receive, from interacting with other runners on different social media outlets that exceed anything I have done as an athlete.

Be motivated to run faster, let it inspire you to do great things with your physical and mental abilities but don't forget to be humble.

There will always be someone faster somewhere in the world.

There are school children in Kenya running three times a day who have more motivation than I have. It makes me question if I am doing all I can.

I hope I run a fast enough marathon time in the near future to give up my VIP treatment to someone a major race would never pay attention to.

It was Christ who said that it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.

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Be Process-Driven

11. Invest In The Process 

The bottom line is this. Goals should not be meant to be easy.

Dream big dreams.

You and I will on live this life once (that we know of). It is important to be massively committed to whatever it is you want from this sport. Setting high goals will force you to tun faster. Your expectations go up and your actions follow.

The only limits in this life are the limits we place on ourselves – Nate Pennington

Where is the challenge in having easy goals?

Set your goals high.

You have to live on the edge because the comfort zone is not your friend.

No one is guaranteed tomorrow so fully commit now.

‘I hate every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life a champion'- Muhammad Ali

Change Equipment

12. Change Your Shoes Every 300-400 Miles

You will run faster by staying injury free.

Training in worn out shoes will not assist you in anyway in running faster.

13. Listen To Your Body

This is crucial to becoming a faster runner.

You don't have to run every day. Everyone is different. Your goal may not be to run a marathon under 3 hours.

You don't have to train 7 days a week or twice a day to become a faster runner.

Furthermore, It isn't about mileage or how many days a week you run.It is about what you put into the miles you do run that matter most.

Remember, quality over quantity.

Are you injured? Take some time off and relax. There is more to life than just running. In addition to that, there will always be other days to run. A nice break will work wonders for your future performances too.

A great alternative is to get in the deep end of a pool and pool run. Zero impact on your joints and tendon.

Small adjustment, major fitness gains and you can take the injury you would have dealt with by continuing to run on it, out of the question.

Is it going to suck trying to run in the deep end of a pool when all you want to do is train as usual?

Absolutely.

What would you rather do. Train in the pool or be out of commission for a few weeks or worse, a few months?

Easy choice right?

More is not always better.

Work smarter, not harder. I ran as high as high as 142 miles a week trying to break 2.22.00 and I broke 2.20.00 running 90 mile weeks.

Seek Out Competition

14. Pick Competitive Races

One of the best tips to run faster is testing your ability in competitive races.

You want to go where the competition is.

Never be afraid of competition, it will bring out the best in you – Dr. Joe Vigil

15. Fight The Resistance

Seth Godin, in his book, Watcha Going To Do With That Duck, puts it like this,

Hard work is about risk.

Don't be afraid to fail. In addition, take a leap of faith in training and when you race. Expect to do great things. Playing it safe keeps most people from achieving great results.

Stephen Pressfield, terms the resistance as anything that stops you from living the life you envision living.

What are the things stopping you from achieving the fitness or running goals you hae set for yourself?

Do you think you are too old, fat, or too slow?

Change your way of thinking. This is so important to becoming a faster and more successful runner.

We have a choice to do or not do. .

Focus on the areas of your training and life you do have control over. Disregard the rest.

You'll be less stressed and more focused to do so.

Utilize A Heart Rate Monitor

16. Use A Heart Rate Monitor

There are many runners who have absolutely no idea if they are running too fast or too slow in training.

Can you still run great without one? Absolutely. That being said, some of the world's top runners and coaches use heart rate monitors religiously.

I have used heart rate monitors since I was a freshman in college.

Jack Hazen, my collegiate coach while attending Malone University introduced me to this form of training..

Jack was named the USA 2012 London Olympics Men's and Women's assistant distance running coach.

Again, it is only a recommendation and you should always train what works best for you.

Closing Thoughts

Fight the resistance, dream big and train big. Don't expect this to be an easy process because it isn't.

Your goals will test your physical and mental capacity but I promise you that if you stay persistent and don't waiver you will run faster and demolish any impossible goal you set for yourself.

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