Have you ever dreamed of cracking one hour in a 10k or maybe even qualifying for the Boston Marathon? Many people who run have no idea how to train for running races correctly. It seems simple, right? Just lace up your shoes and put one foot in front of the other. That is true, but if you want to find out how to become a faster runner, you need to add some new terms into your running lingo.
Striders are a great and non-intimidating way to add speed work to your regular running routine. Running coaches around the world use this method to help new runners become more efficient runners.
Striders are easy to add to any workout. During your normal run just add 4-5 bursts of speed for about 20-30 seconds at a time. Your goal is to run as fast as possible during those 30 seconds and then come back to your regular running pace. You can do these any time throughout your run. Just make sure you take a few minutes to recover after each striders interval.
Yes, we know “fartlek” is a funny word. Once you’ve stopped giggling, you’ll see the immediate benefits of fartleks in your run training. The word “fartlek” is a Swedish word meaning “speed play.” Fartleks are another great drill for runners new to speed workouts.
Fartleks should be done once a week during one of your runs. Depending on your fitness and your running goals, fartlek intervals can mean different things. If you’re a new runner, then focus on doing three random 30-second bursts of running as fast as you can. If you’re a more experienced runner, then you can opt to do something like ten 1-minute bursts of speed with 2-3 minutes easy running between each interval.
Once you’ve conquered fartleks, then it’s time to add a weekly tempo run in the mix. At first, this may be scary. Tempo runs are not fun, but they increase your lactate threshold and mimic race day when you’re pushing your body to get that new PB.
Tempo runs will depend on your fitness level and your race goals. For example, a tempo run for an experienced runner training for a half marathon will include a 20-minute warm-up followed by 20 minutes at 10k race pace and finally a cool down. That 20 minutes at 10k race pace should feel like an eight on a scale of 1-10.
If you have several years of running under your belt and you’re looking to take your running to the next level, it’s time to hit the track for some serious speed-work. It’s not uncommon for runners, especially those training for half marathons and marathons, to run circles around a track on any given day.
How to Become a Faster Runner
Your race distance and running level will dictate much of your interval workouts, but many marathon runners with do six to ten 800s at their half marathon pace or faster around the track to improve their speed. Runner’s World has a wealth of information on track workouts and training plans, or you can talk to one of our trainers today.
Running is a great form of exercise, especially for those who love a little competition. If you’re looking to nail your next PB, then try these running workouts to become a faster runner today. Of course, if you are serious about learning how to become a faster runner, then you won’t want to neglect strength training. That is where adding Functional Training workouts will also be of benefit.