If you follow me on Instagram and Youtube, you’ve likely seen my journey as a runner, especially running half marathons. I will often get questions or comments about my pace and how I’ve gotten it to where it is. I am not anywhere close to the time and pace that I use to be when I was running in high school but there have been some great improvements from coming back from old injuries to today running half marathons on a regular basis.
Generally, I’m around the 10:30 min/mile mark for an easy/comfortable pace but some days I go slower and some days I go faster all just depending on how I feel…but I wanted to share some tips to be a faster runner because I definitely have incorporated some different things that have helped me improve my pace. For reference, my old “easy” pace used to be closer to 7:30/8 minute/mile when I was in high school, and when I started back from injury it was 12:30/13 minute/mile.
Now, I’m not a certified running coach or anything like that, but these are the things that have helped me personally be a faster runner and improve my pace!
Tips to Be a Faster Runner
- Use the Downhills: I was a cross-country runner in high school and I preach to others while we run that you need to use the downhills, meaning, allow the momentum of going downhill to let you run a little faster. Of course, try not to face plant but let the momentum propel you a bit more.
- HIIT/Circuit Training: This 100% made the biggest difference in my endurance and my strength. These workouts have helped me get stronger and have better endurance. I do this HIIT/circuit training at least 3x per week and then I run 4x per week with Sunday being a rest day. This style of training made my muscles stronger but also, since I’d train with a high heart rate during these workouts, I got more comfortable and acclimated to the higher heart rate. What I essentially just described is conditioning.
- Use your Arms: Pumping your arms when you run also really helps. It just gives you a little more oomph and power and will help you out rather than making your legs do all the work. Another reason why the circuit strength training helps too is that it gets those arms stronger, and in turn, you put that into the effort running.
- Listen to music: Specifically, music that matches the pace you’re trying to hit! I am known for listening to movies for long runs, races, and treadmill runs but when I am out for a casual or race pace run, my music will reflect that. I easily run 30 seconds faster per mile when I have on music versus when I’m just listening to a podcast or something like that. I have a ton of really great playlists for running on my Spotify and Apple Music.
- Push Yourself During Your Runs: If you’re actively trying to get faster, running in an interval sort of style by incorporating some longer stretches of faster pace will help you get faster. Try to do 15 or 30-second intervals of running a little faster than your base pace throughout a run to start getting used to it. Gradually you will get used to that faster pace!
Those are my main tips to be a faster runner! And remember, with running you need to be consistent. You can’t go out for a run every 2 weeks and expect to see improvement. I’d say you probably need to be running a minimum of 2-3 days per week if your goal is to improve your endurance and speed. When I am training for a race, I will follow a training plan that keeps me diligent on what days and distances I am doing.
If you have any helpful tips, be sure to leave them in the comments below! As always, thank y’all for stopping by and reading. I will see y’all back here next time.