While there are all kinds of tips and tricks that can help runners improve their endurance and ability to go the distance, what about speed? How can a runner begin to shave time off a finish when everything else is in place?
It might not be possible to increase speed in leaps and bounds, but taking a second or two off the clock is often more than feasible. In many cases, the answer lies in the stride the runner is taking. An improper stride can slow things down, while a properly formed stride can take seconds off the clock quickly and efficiently.
While many runners thinks this means increasing the length of strides, that’s just not the case. To get faster, it’s important to increase the speed of running strides, not the distance a single step covers. A runner’s foot should always land under the body – not out in front of it. To enjoy the greatest speed, push off with the toes of the rear leg for optimum propulsion.
There are a number of other things runners can do to help shave a little bit of time off their finishes. They include:
- Building endurance – Endurance and speed do often go hand-in-hand. As a person begins to fatigue, speed can suffer greatly. The longer a runner can keep up a proper stride, the faster he or she is likely to be on the finish.
- Practicing – Running with proper form for enhanced speed can take some getting used to. With this in mind, it can be critical to make sure practice is a part of the regular routine. This is especially so when a big race is on the horizon. Work with a trainer to get on a practice schedule that helps build endurance and speed both.
- Eating right – Diet is important for runners. This is a high-energy sport that can take a great deal out of the body. Be sure to fuel the body right on a regular basis and don’t overlook the importance of proper hydration, too. When the body isn’t fueled and hydrated properly, fatigue will set in quickly.
- Dressing right – Runners need to wear proper shoes and clothing to be comfortable as they move. If comfort and support are compromised, speed will likely suffer.
Gaining speed in running isn’t necessarily as easy as it is to build endurance. Take the time to practice, pay attention to diet and make sure the right stride is taken. When these things combine with proper clothing and comfort, runners are likely to see the results they’re after.