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Running – How to Get Faster

25 December, 2014

This is the stage I am at, at the moment. I’m trying to increase my speed and decrease my run times. I’m not a fast runner but I’ve recently wiped two minutes off my PB across 5km so I think I can safely say that it is working.

There are two key things I have done to improve my time of late; intervals and an increase in sessions.

I am still not quite running 5km without break, but I knew I was getting close. I also knew that my times weren’t improving at all even though I was running more and walking less across the 5km. So what I did was went back to basics. I started Couch to 5k again, and focused on running fast during my run/jog intervals. When the Couch to 5k app failed to be useful, I would run a certain number of paces and then walk for a certain number. When I ran I focused on speed – run like you stole it. I also worked on increasing my cadence (steps per minute) rather than increasing my stride length (which was my tendency when I sped up).

The second thing I did was increase my running sessions. For most of this year I had only been running once a week at parkrun. A few weeks back I began adding a second run to my week, a short run. What I generally try to do is a warm up walk (about 3mins) and then run without stopping until I get to at least the 2km mark (which includes the 300m or so I walk as a warm up). Then I walk to cool down and make sure I have a good stretch.

I have made one other change recently, although it’s not running focused and it’s really quite hard to tell if it is making a difference but I have cut dairy from my diet. I’m not following any fad diet or anything, I just had so many digestive troubles that I decided to cut back. The more I cut back but occasionally indulged, the more obvious it was that the digestive troubles stemmed from my dairy consumption so I have had to cut it out entirely.

I can’t guarantee that my tactics will work for everyone, all I can say is that this is what has worked for me.

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