Whether you track your speed through your watch, an app or the pace runners, you undoubtedly have set a goal time for yourself and have resolved to accomplish it, but sometimes that’s just not enough. Here are five tried and true ways to get the the finish line faster this spring.
By Pamela Mazzuca Prebeg BSc Kin, Athletic Therapist
We all strive to obtain a PB with every race but the more you race, the more elusive Pbs may become. Here are five ways to increase you speed without increasing your mileage – sometimes you need to train smarter not longer.
ONE: Change up your intensity
Variety is the spice of life and your body loves it just as much. Switching up your run intensities between easy and hard will actually make you fitter than if you were only to integrate moderately challenging runs into your training. On day one go for a fast, yet shorter, run and then on day two ease up on the intensity but increase your mileage. Be sure to always follow a higher intensity run with an easier one the next day to give your body a rest and to prevent injury.
TWO: Stick with it
At the end of the race season you might decide to give yourself a break but just be sure it’s not too big of a break otherwise you may start to lose a bit of your foundation. Training year-round, at any capacity, will allow you to continually improve instead of wasting time building back up to where you left off.
THREE: Rest week
While it is advisable to stay consistent with your training year-round, it is also a good idea to incorporate a rest week every third or fourth week. Rest week is a bit misleading as it really is a week for you to scale back on your mileage to allow your body, and mind, time to recover and rejuvenate. This week’s mileage should be less than the previous weeks in this cycle.
FOUR: Hill training
Hill training is a great way to increase your aerobic capacity and leg strength, both of which will lead to faster race times. Incorporate at least one hill workout a week to get a step closer to your next PB.
If you want to run faster than add in some speed work, it makes sense. Fartlek training, where you alternate between jogging and sprinting is a great way to get in some speed work. Your sprints should be 8-10 seconds of all out effort followed by a recovery jog. This will improve your stride power and running economy.