Ok this one is for all of you who try to become a faster runner and set a new PB at your next race. The principle of a faster race pace is pretty easy: If you wanna be faster in a race you need to run faster in your training.
This sounds a bit too simple and boring. But let me present you some fail-safe workouts that a quite different but lead to the same result: A faster runner.
Actually it’s not really about running faster but at a higher heart rate but obviously one implies the other. If you wanna know more about the basics of heart rate training, check out this post:
A Beginner’s Guide To Heart Rate Training
This is the most straight-forward training method if you wanna be a faster runner. The idea and execution of this workout is pretty simple: Warm up – run fast – cool down.
I wanna stress the importance of warming up and cooling down before and after your more intense tempo run. This is crucial to avoid injuries especially on low temperatures. I usually start out running at an easy pace for around 10 minutes. When my muscles are warmed up and my cardiovascular system is up and running, I then speed up. The pace of your tempo run should make your heart pump at around 90% of your maximum heart rate. This is usually the speed you can maintain for a longer period of time. After doing this a few times you’ll know your body well enough and feel your tempo run pace.
The distance of the tempo run is up to you. If you’re training for a 10k race you can do 6-10km long runs, if you’re training for longer distances it can be more. After your tempo run also try to cool down by running another ten minutes with an easy pace.
Probably the most common training technique to become a faster runner are interval trainings. Though very hard depending on the type of interval run you do, this training method is very varied. I never feel bored on these workout runs because of the intensity and the constant change of pace.
The basis of an interval training are short but fast runs with slow jogging or walking for recovery in between. Again you should warm up and cool down when doing interval runs just as you should before and after any intense training.
You can try different types of interval trainings like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where you do 30-40 second sprints interspersed by 20 seconds of walking. Or you do longer intervals like 1 or 2km at around the same pace as your tempo runs. When doing longer intervals your recovery time is also a bit higher (around 1-2 minutes).
If you wanna know more about interval training and the benefits of it, check out this post:
3 Reasons Why You Should Favor Intervals
Another technique you can do towards being a faster runner are hill workouts. When you slowly run or power-hike up a hill it’s as intense as running fast but it’s easier on your joints.
You can try longer hill runs or do a hill workout as an interval training where you repeatedly run upwards and walk downwards for recovery. If you want to learn more about hill workouts and how they help you become faster, you should read this post:
3 Hill Workouts That Will Boost Your Race Pace
This fun type of workout is also very good to improve your race pace. Its playful attempt makes it a very varied training method that never gets boring. The Fartlek run was born in Sweden and means “the play of speeds”. During this workout you can change your pace as you want. The only rule about it is to change slower sections with more intense and faster sections.
Fartleks are also great to simulate different race situations where you need to speed up for some time to counter an attack by a competitor or to speed up at the final stretch to achieve your anticipated finishing time.
To learn all about the Fartlek run and some ideas on how to execute it, read this article:
What The Hell Is A Fartlek Run?
A word of caution at the end of this “get faster” post. If you are a beginner try to do only one speed work training session per week. Remember that high intensity training should only make up 10 to 15% of your weekly training volume. Also remember that being faster doesn’t have to be your top priority.
Now it’s your turn. Get out there, test these workouts and let us know which training technique works best for you!