Running Faster


More Fast Stuff
You don’t get faster just by trying to run your long distances faster; it just doesn’t work that way. You may say Ok I’m going to run faster today on my long run, off you go at break neck speed, then you get a bit buggered and you slow up a bit then you realise how slow you are going and you take off again, and then you are so tired you have to walk…get my drift....

There are some little things you can do and think about when you re running to get you running a little faster.

Chase Someone.

You can chase someone anywhere anytime- hopefully there are runners on your course- you see one in front and your goal is to pass that person- many runners in front maybe a slower pace then you, but still overtaking them makes you run faster- then there are the runners in front who maybe a bit faster than you- then you will have to really run fast! 

However, just passing people as you run (even walkers) gives you a sense that you are moving across the ground faster than someone else and that can be very motivating. I am like a terrior, I chase all the time- sometimes I can spend the whole run chasing the one person and never catching them- but boy I know that I have worked a lot harder when I run this way. Also count- everytime you pass someone count them, and next time you are out there, you have to pass more people! Its fun and distracts from what you are really doing- just running!

Time Yourself

Once a week time your run. Always be aiming for a negative split,(read the tip on Splits) that is you run the second half faster than the first, it doesn’t matter if its 5 seconds faster just make it faster. This is a positive in many ways, if you come back faster you know you can handle the distance, you know you have some reserve in the tank; you know you didn’t go out too fast. 

I like to time every km, so I decide what time I’m going to run, I then divide the time and distance and find what I have to stay under each kilometre, this is ideal to do on a course where you know all your km landmarks. I find this helps me to run an even pace, so I want to stay under a certain time each km, if I go over it I have one kilometre to make it up, it’s probably only seconds, and that is easy to drag back in.

Recruit a Marie (or whatever you like to call me)

This is a good one if you run with a buddy or two- on the way out give your running buddy the responsibility of timing you and setting the pace and doing the pushing and letting you know how you’re going, what pace you are at etc- they are the pacer or coach if you like- then on the way back make yourself Marie and it’s your job to set the pace, push and encourage. This is a good thing as it shares the responsibility, it take the pressure off so all you have to do is what you’re told. Its like having a coach when you are running- and coaching really does work.

Break up your long run

You don’t have to put the speed in for the whole 10km when you are thinking about increasing your speed. For instance do your  pace for the first 1km, they say Ok I’m going to run the next kilometre faster than pace and alternate all the way, making your last 1km cool down. Or pace for first Kilometre, increase pace for the next four kilometres but timing yourself, ease off for one kilometre and then try to repeat that 4km pace on the way back. Or try short bursts, just like intervals but on your long runs. So have short bursts to landmarks, trees, light poles roads etc and then go back to pace and continue your run like this, just make sure that you continue your normal pace on the non burst section, don’t slow down too much

Can't do it alone- get some coaching

It can be hard to motivate and push yourself to do fast training sessions. When you do Hill Sprints with me you will probably do about 20, if you do them alone you will probably do about 5 (if that) and then say I’ve had enough of this and just go for a run. It’s amazing what will happen to your running is someone is yelling and blowing a whistle at you and if you’re in a group and everyone else is towing the line. Its so so easy to cheat on yourself, but very hard to cheat when are in a group and someone is telling you what to do! Coaching sessions are usually shorter and harder, but once they are over...that’s it! You maybe also able to get some ideas from the coaching that you could incorporate into your long runs.

Important Points about Running Faster

Don’t try to improve your speed every time you run. If you are pushing yourself or trying to break PB’s every time you go for a run, you will soon start hating your runs and lose motivation. You only need to do this on one run a week or fortnight, just to make sure you are still capable of running your own PB.

You only need to make 10% of your running speed work, the majority of your running should be distance and your own pace stuff.

Don’t try doing any speed stuff over 10km. If you are running more than 10km, just worry about endurance and getting back! A good distance to try speed work is 5km

Remember we are talking about seconds here, not minutes. It takes a long time to get a minute off your time, once you are happy with taking maybe a minute off your 10km, enjoy that for a while and then when you feel you are ready to start increasing your speed again try to work on getting another 30 seconds or a minute off, as I said it takes time and you need to allow your body to recover in between.




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