Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Tips to help me run faster


Quote  |  Reply

Hi everyone, I was hoping you all could give me a tip or two on how I can increase my run time. Right now I am not very fast. I think I do a mile and a half in about 15:30 and would really like shave a minute off in a weeks time if possible. Thanks for your help.

11 Replies (last)

Trying to shave a minute off that time in a week will be tough, I think.  But if I was in your situation, here's what I'd try (or think about trying):

1)  Try doing a shorter distance, and go as fast as you can.  Do a lap around a track or something.  Mainly to get the feel of what "running fast" feels like.  I know I've got two very distinctive gaits... The one I use for long runs is more like a horse trotting.  The faster one (for a finishing sprint) is more like a horse galloping.  That's the best way I have to explain.

2)  Once you know what that feels like, use fartleks.  Yes, that's a real word, and you can look it up. :)  Basically, just random fast intervals inserted in your run, with slower recovery periods.

3)  Do some hill workouts.  Find a nice steep hill (one that looks challenging to ride a bike up), and go hard up the hill, followed by a cooldown and slow jog back down.  Do that 3 or 4 times for a run.

4)  Try focusing on getting faster strides in, not longer.

5)  Do you have any tool (Nike+, Garmin GPS watch, etc) to help measure your pace while you're running?  that could help you hold a steady (faster) pace throughout your run.

6)  For a long term solution, work on increasing the distance of your runs.  For example, if you're doing a 1.5 mile race, getting to the point that you can do 3 mile runs easily will make the 1.5 mile runs that much easier.  Speedwork (hills, fartleks, intervals) are more advanced techniques that usually come after you build up your base miles.  A certain amount of speed will come just by getting your miles in.

The problem is that you've got what, maybe 3 runs in the next week?  That's enough time to experiment, but not really enough time to train anything new.  So if I was you, I'd probably do a sprint to the finish at the end of your run.  Pick out a spot about 2 football fields back from the end of your run, and push it hard as you can to the end.  That will let you feel what it likes to run fast when you're tired.  Then think about whether you can start that further back (like half a mile) to cut more time off.  And as far as running faster, try the speeding up your strides instead of longer strides.

Whew!  That's all I got! :)  I'm not an expert by any stretch, so most of this is hypothetical.  And make sure to pay attention to your body, especially when you're trying to push yourself harder.  It could be very easy to cause yourself an injury that would slow you down or stop your running entirely.

Clint

6)  For a long term solution, work on increasing the distance of your runs.  For example, if you're doing a 1.5 mile race, getting to the point that you can do 3 mile runs easily will make the 1.5 mile runs that much easier.  Speedwork (hills, fartleks, intervals) are more advanced techniques that usually come after you build up your base miles.  A certain amount of speed will come just by getting your miles in.

Personally this did it for me, I went to a time of 15:30 to 11:23 for my 1.5 mile run.

If you are not doing the PT test on your own, see if you can get one of the fast runners to pace you during the test.  Our squadron used to encourage FAMs and experienced runners to do this with the "slower" folks, helped a lot of us take time off the runs.

Of course -- in the long run, Clint gave you some great suggestions.

Coach_k's idea is a great one, if you can do it!  Even if it's just for a practice run, but even better for your race (if that's what it is). 

Around here, they call them "pace bunnies", and they actually wear bunny ears with their finishing times written on them.  They look quite amusing. :)  But they only do that for longer races, like 10k and longer.

And Megan, how far were you running to get your time down so far?

Clint

Megan, how far were you running to get your time down so far?

Clint, I'd been running for six months maybe? We were tested every six months, and my Fall PRT score was 15:30 and my Spring was 11:23. Possibly a little less than six months. I had started running 1.5 miles at a time and just went up from there, I didn't have a set schedule to increase just whenever I felt like it I'd increase the mileage a little and when I was bored I'd increase my speed by .5 At the time that my PRT score was 11:23, I was running 5 ten minute miles on the tm five days a week. I personally hate speed work, I have one speed, "GO".

By the way thanks for the advice when it came to increasing my mileage in my Mud Run post, your recommendation of .5 each week was dead on! Thanks so much! I always have trouble when it comes to increasing. I hope I didn't just jinx myself... Undecided

Oh how far? Duh me. I maxed out at six miles, five times a week.

Glad I could help!  And that's a lot of miles per week!  Awesome!  I started running in June, and I'm still not doing those kind of miles.  But I'm an old man... :)  How'd you do on your Mud Run?  And I really like doing a hard sprint at the end.  On Sunday, I did my longest run (14k), and still did a 0.75k sprint at the end, at close to my 5k pace.  Feels sooooo good when you stop!  But it reminds me of how it will feel in the middle of a race and you're pushing yourself to keep up your pace, cause you're all tired already.

But what's a PRT, and why are you all doing it?  Must be an American thang.

EDIT: Sorry, just looked up your original post, and saw your Mud Run isn't till next month.  Good luck with it (again)! :)

Clint

My run is November 7th, so I haven't done it yet but the training schedule you recommended feels really natural, I feel like I'm challenging myself but not kicking my own butt.

14K?! NICE!!

PRT is Physical Readiness Test its what the Navy uses to test the fitness of their troops, you have to make a certain amount of pushups, situps and your 1.5 mile run needs to be within a certain time depending on age and sex. Testing is done twice a year. Other branches have different standards and units of measurement.

I agree with everything I've seen. Just be sure to increase distance gradually. And make sure you are warmed up before doing speed work..... I learned that lesson the hard way with a strained quad.

Honestly I'd just run the course or track that you're gonna take your test on, as often as you feel comfortable with, on the actual day of your test nerves will take over and you'll most likely run it a lot fast than you usually do. In the past I've ran the course with someone who is taking the test to kind of pace them, usually instructors don't have a problem with this at all. They do want you to pass after all.

Original Post by meganclifford:

Megan, how far were you running to get your time down so far?

Clint, I'd been running for six months maybe? We were tested every six months, and my Fall PRT score was 15:30 and my Spring was 11:23. Possibly a little less than six months. I had started running 1.5 miles at a time and just went up from there, I didn't have a set schedule to increase just whenever I felt like it I'd increase the mileage a little and when I was bored I'd increase my speed by .5 At the time that my PRT score was 11:23, I was running 5 ten minute miles on the tm five days a week. I personally hate speed work, I have one speed, "GO".

By the way thanks for the advice when it came to increasing my mileage in my Mud Run post, your recommendation of .5 each week was dead on! Thanks so much! I always have trouble when it comes to increasing. I hope I didn't just jinx myself... Undecided

Lol.

One speed, Go.

Sounds like me.

I also took the PFT in November for NJROTC, and then again in May and I went from about 15:30 to 12:20. I just ran more, no magic formula. Lol.

11 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement
Allergy Remedies
Is It Possible to Go Natural?
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.