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Running is a great form of exercise that can help you stay fit, healthy, and energized. But what if you want to take your running to the next level and increase your speed? Whether you’re training for a race or just looking to improve your personal best, there are several strategies you can use to run faster. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and techniques that can help you become a faster runner.
1. Develop proper form
The first step to running faster is to develop proper form. This includes maintaining good posture, keeping your arms and shoulders relaxed, and landing on the balls of your feet rather than your heels. When you land on your heels, you put more stress on your joints and reduce your efficiency, making it harder to run faster. Practice proper form by focusing on your posture and foot-strike during your runs. Also, make sure your back leg extends to straighten.
2. Increase your stride rate
Another way to run faster is to increase your stride rate. Stride rate is the number of steps you take per minute while running. Research has shown that increasing your stride rate can improve your running economy and speed. To increase your stride rate, focus on taking shorter, quicker steps. You can use a metronome or a running app that provides a cadence to help you achieve a faster stride rate. Most running coaches recommend a stride rate of 180 strides/minute.
3. Incorporate interval training
Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity running with periods of rest or low-intensity running. This type of training has been shown to be effective in improving running speed and endurance. Incorporate interval training into your running routine by running at a high intensity for a short period of time, such as 30 seconds to a minute, followed by a rest period of equal or longer duration.
Three effective interval workouts:
A) 12 sets of 2 minute sprints with 3 minutes of rest between sets via walking
B) 6 sets of 4 minute sprints with 3 minutes of rest between sets via walking
C) 4 sets of .5 mile with 3 minutes of rest between sets via walking
4. Incorporate strength training
Strength training can also help you run faster by improving your muscle strength and endurance. Focus on exercises that target the muscles used in running, such as your legs, hips, and core. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are all great exercises that can help improve your running performance.
5. Improve your flexibility
Flexibility is another important factor in running faster. When your muscles are tight, they are less efficient and can reduce your range of motion. Stretching and foam rolling can help improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. Incorporate stretching and foam rolling into your pre- and post-run routine to help improve your flexibility.
Balance is incredibly under appreciated with proper running training. Running essentially has 2 phases, single leg stance and rocking stance. Both should be trained to encourage knee stability and to reduce impact forces on joints.
In conclusion, running faster is possible with the right techniques and training. Develop proper form, increase your stride rate, incorporate interval and strength training, and improve your flexibility to help improve your running performance. Remember to listen to your body and gradually increase your intensity to avoid injury. With consistency and dedication, you can achieve your running goals and become a faster, stronger runner.