Build A Stronger, Healthier Body.
Improving your running speed and power requires hard work and dedication. Following a focused training plan - including some interval training - is a great place to start. Hal Higdon has a bunch of great training programs on his website. Cross-training with biking, swimming, or programs like CrossFit or P90X is also very important. Finally, anaerobic weight training is a great way to improve your speed and, surprisingly, your endurance as well.
Here are 4 simple tips to help improve your running speed and power:
Passion. Commitment. Belief.
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Shorten Your Stride! It may sound counterintuitive, but reducing your stride length actually improves your running efficiency. Aim for shorter and more frequent steps and you will become a lighter and smoother runner. Your feet should hit the ground directly beneath your hips, with your knees slightly flexed. Remember - light and loose in the legs.
Pump Your Arms. Exaggerating your arm movement - swinging them faster and farther will affect your entire body and improve your rhythm. Using your arms to drive you forward as you run activates your core muscles, which in turn gives you greater mobility in the hips and better alignment in the upper body.
Interval Training. Just one session per week will make a huge difference in your running speed. If you want to run faster - you have to, well, run faster! Run for 3-4 minutes at your 5K pace, followed by a 3-4 minute slower recovery run. Repeat this for 5-6 intervals.
Recovery Fluids & Nutrients. As soon as you finish your run, it is imperative that you provide your body with essential nutrients. You need water to replace the fluids lost to perspiration. You need carbohydrates to replace the muscle glycogen that was used as energy during your run. If you don't replace it now, it won't be there next time you need it. Finally, your body needs protein to repair the muscle damage that occurred during the run (damage is normal and happens during every run) and to build new muscle and other tissue. Your body absorbs protein and carbohydrates more efficiently during the first 30 minutes after a run than at any other time.