As a personal trainer and running coach I have learned that no matter what your running time, there is always a personal goal to beat this time, to use all of the ways to run faster. This is especially the case of you run road races such as 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and marathons. After all, running is an individualized sport where you compete against yourself. There are several things you can do on race day to quicken your race time. Here are 7 ways to run faster.
1. Visualize a Strong Finish
Whether you are running a race or out on a quick run, envision a strong finish and you will achieve this. If you can visualize positive results you will have a better chance of achieving this. This is one of the most effective ways to run faster.
2. Stretch before You Run
Gone is the day where static (non moving) stretches were ultra beneficial before a race or any run. Now it is important to focus on dynamic (moving) stretches such as jumping jacks, marching in place, or speed walking.
3. Stay Positive
60% of running results come from having a positive mindset. If you set yourself in the right frame of mind you will finish stronger and be happy with your running results. So stay positive and keep your focus on your goal to run fast! Your body is capable of incredible tasks but only if you allow it to do so.
4. Don't Go out Too Fast
Starting too fast in a race or leisure run can put you in oxygen debt for the remainder of the your run and hurt your overall time and place, while starting too slow can put you far back in the pack and make catching other runners more difficult. So find a comfortable pace that will push you just enough, but not too far, and set this as your running pace. Your breathing will be labored but you will not be exhausted.
5. Burst into Hills
The more you run or race the more hills you will encounter. Hills are more intensified in a race as compared to your everyday training runs. This is because you should be racing up these hills much quicker! When you run up a hill in a race, you are moving against gravity and your own momentum. The best way to overcome these challenges and avoid getting bogged down is by inserting a speed burst as you enter into the hills and overcome them with confidence!
6. Kick It into the Finish
When you are running a race, don't crawl across the line - explode into the finish. Whether it's the last 50 meters or 500 meters, increasing your pace at the end of the race can cut valuable seconds from your time and improve your finish several places.
7. Let the Adrenaline Lead You
Most runners also benefit from the adrenaline of nearing the finish and find it easier to increase their pace near the end. As you near the end of the race, increase your pace - most runners try to accelerate their speed inside the last 200 meters and gradually build up to a full-out sprint. Within the last 50 meters of your race, you should be running as hard as possible. Go ahead and give it your all!
If you practice, cross train and really work it in a race, you can run faster! And as a result you will feel more accomplished. Now what race will you run next to test your newfound skills and run faster?