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20 Ways to Run Faster

20 Ways to Run Faster

Welcome, brave challenger. You want to run faster, do you? If so, you’re in the right place! Apply these 20 ways to run faster than you ever thought possible and blow past your competition quicker than you can say, “undelay!”

1. Do it right

Proper form is step one to any exercise plan. Watch some videos of the best runners in the world and pay close attention to how they carry their body forward with efficiency. Keep your gaze forward, maintain a tall and relaxed posture, swing your arms forward and back, and strike the ground with the mid-foot under your hip. If you have a knowledgeable training buddy, have him/her observe your form and identify any weaknesses that you need to work on. This will help you learn to move mindfully with purpose.

2. Fast and furious

Crank up the intensity by performing sprints two or three times per week to boost your speed and make your workouts more convenient for your busy schedule. If you live in a neighborhood that includes light-posts on your side-walk, you could turn to perform a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout by sprinting to one post, jogging to the next one, sprinting to the next one, and so on.

3. Strengthen your core

Strengthen your core muscles to run smoother and faster (and develop a nice set of abs!). The plank hold is one of the most effective core exercises for beginners.

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4. Pace yourself

Running full speed ahead every day is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out in a hurry, so make sure you vary your workouts to include low, medium, and high training intensities to avoid burn-out. You could alternate your pace during a single workout session to include a brisk walk, a moderate jog, and a hard sprint. This will also help you make your training more fun and interesting.

5. Less is more

Keep your training attire nice and light so you can move with ease. Try a minimalist pair of sneakers on for size if you are serious about your results.

6. Run to the hills

Take your workout outside and uphill for fresh air and a change of pace. Hill sprints are one of the most effective ways to develop speed and muscle strength. Find a big hill in a neighborhood park and run sprints to the top. Walk back down for a brief cool-down before doing it again. Repeat for 5-10 circuits depending on your experience level for a fast and convenient workout that will help you run faster. If you live in a big city without a park, you might want to consider treadmill hill sprints, a fast way to burn fat.

7. Focus forward

Keep your gaze focused forward with your eyes looking straight ahead to run faster and crush your previous personal record.

8. Lose weight

The less weight you carry, the faster you will be. Of course, if you are already at your ideal weight, this point doesn’t apply to you, and please talk to your doctor if you have any conditions before beginning a weight-loss plan.

9. Train for strength

Squats and lunges are your friends! Not only will they give you a booty to be proud of, but they will also develop strong legs that will be better able to move your body quickly and with ease. Perform the following home body-weight resistance training session two or three times per week:

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I’m also including push-ups and wall-pulls or body-weight rows, because it is important to perform a balanced strength training routine that covers every major muscle group. Wall-pulls and body-weight rows are beginner pull-up replacement exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.  The push-ups, pulls, and rows will help you build upper body strength and toned arms.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-20 repetitions of each exercise based on what is appropriate for your experience level and rest for about 1-2 minutes in between set. Click on the exercise name to check out a demonstration video.

10. Jump up and down

Invest in a jump-rope, crank up “Eye of the Tiger,” and channel your inner-Rocky! Jumping rope is one of the best ways to develop fast feet (and it’s not difficult to see how fast feet might help you run faster). You’ll also develop your coordination and balance, which will help you move with purpose and grace.

11. Get loose

Get on the floor and start stretching! Perform some gentle yoga poses, especially for your hips and legs, after every single training session. Your body will thank you with less soreness and more flexibility. Click here to check out a full cool down yoga routine you can do at home.

12. Fuel your body

Eating junk food before your training session would be like pouring sugar in your gas-tank before the family road-trip. Eat some carbs in the form of whole-grains and pasta for long-lasting energy that will carry you through your workout.

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13. Keep a journal

Running without purpose will take you nowhere in a hurry. Invest in a journal specifically for the purpose of recording your workout results so you can keep yourself accountable and on track. Write down the details of every training session and give yourself the goal of improving in some way every single day. Keeping a training log will also keep you encouraged, because you will have a written account of how much faster you are becoming.

14. Find support

Strength in numbers is a powerful concept. Find support from some friends or family who also want to run faster. Invite them to run with you for some friendly competition and social support that will help you stick to your workout plan. If you don’t know anyone who would like to join you, the internet is a great place where you can find support anywhere in the world. Search for message boards and support communities of like-minded folks, because you are not alone (far from it!).

15. Push yourself

If it was easy, everybody would do it, so please realize that you must push yourself beyond your comfort zone. I know getting all hot and sweaty might not sound like fun, but it is necessary if you want results. Assuming a scale of 1-10 describing how you score during the training, you should aim to discontinue the exercise around #7. You should feel challenged, but not exhausted. Keep a training journal and give yourself the goal of improving yourself every day. Improvement can come in several forms, such as: a faster mile, a longer run, or an additional sprint circuit.

16. Drink coffee

Caffeine has been proven to improve your workout intensity and speed. Just make sure you don’t dump a mountain of sugar in your brew: instead, add a splash of milk and dash of cinnamon for a healthier and more delicious caffeine fix.

17. Get psyched

Grab your iPod and crank up the volume! Choose some training tunes that will get you psyched and let workout know who’s the boss (you!).

18. Mix it up

Apply all of the different workout styles I’ve mentioned here to keep your training fun and interesting. Do some body-weight resistance training to build strength and burn fat. If you’re in a hurry, give your body a quick hit with some sprints uphill or upstairs. Take a breather by going on a nice brisk walk at the park with your lover or pet. And don’t forget to train your core and flexibility so you can improve your balance and posture, which will help you run faster (and with purpose!).

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19. Rest and recover

Pushing your body constantly without pause will result in exhaustion at best and injury at worst. Take at least two rest days per week where the only training allowed is a nice walk or some gentle yoga poses. Make sure you’re getting around 6-8 hours of sleep every night, because studies show that consistent sleeping patterns produce quicker reaction times and faster race finishes. If you have a tough time getting enough shut-eye at night, check out this simple strategy for better rest in less time.

20. Be patient 

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep moving forward in the direction of your goal and I promise you will reach it. Consistent hustle always wins. (Write this mantra down and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day if you could use a positive reminder!)

Have any other tips?

I hope the above twenty ways to run faster will help you become faster than you ever thought possible. If you have any additional tips for increasing speed that you’d like to share, leave a comment below because this would benefit everybody!

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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