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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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