Top Ten Run Faster Exercises and Drills

If your running goal is to run faster you need to do targeted exercises and drills that will make your body stronger, nimble and faster. The best exercises for increased running speed are a mix of track and road exercises and strength training exercises done in the gym or at home.

Track Exercises For Faster Running

Interval Training

Interval training as the name suggests it’s a work out routine where you do exercise in intervals, usually very short (from 20 seconds to about 3 minutes depending on work out) followed by a quick break, then exercise, then break.

There are several reasons why this method is very effective. Firstly it allows you to go at or near maximum effort – something that isn’t possible with a flat work out with no breaks, the rest periods in between allow you to keep going at that maximum level for longer amounts of time.

Interval training allows you to do exercise at maximum effort which produces much better results than exercising at 70% or some such level of your maximum in the same period of time. Time is the second part that makes interval training so great. At some point you reach a level where your fitness is so good that doing exercise in aerobic regime (sustainable level) hardly produces any results unless you do it for hours. But doing them at maximum level with short breaks in between allows you to get a great work out in a short period of time.

Do Yasso 800s

It’s used as a marathon prediction workout, but it’s a good workout in its own right. Here’s how it works. Start with your marathon time (or better, your target marathon time). Lets say your goal is to finish a marathon by 3 hours, 10 minutes. Now shift the units so that it becomes minutes and seconds instead of hours and minutes. (3:10 becomes 3 minutes, 10 seconds.) Run 800m at this pace, then lightly jog for the same amount of time. Do this as many times as possible. If you can complete 10 repeats and 10 rests, then in theory, you can run your target marathon time on a flat course.

Run 10 x 400m with 400m rest intervals.

Pace: Determine 5K mile-pace, then divide by 4 and subtract 10 seconds. (Example: 19:15 5K is a 6:12 mile. Divided by 4 gives 1:33, subtracting 10 gives 1:23 for each 400m interval.) This takes the idea of “easy at first, brutal at the end” to the extreme.” And it’s so easy — Run 400m, jog 400m. After one or two of these, it seems like a breeze. Get to number 6 or so, and all the sudden 4 more is out of the question.

Stride Drills

There are two ways to improve your running speed. You can move your legs at a faster rate, called cadence, or you can take longer steps. A video at the New York City Marathon showed that the top 150 runners had the same cadence, taking 92 to 94 steps a minute. The difference between the top runners and the others was that the best runners took longer strides. exercise for increasing the length of your stride is doing stride drills.

Strides are usually around 100 meters in length. They are broken into three sections; the first section is used to accelerate. During this portion you gradually build your speed so that at the start of the second section you hit your top speed. This isn’t necessarily an all out sprint but rather a controlled fast pace. You then hold this pace for the second portion of the stride. The final section is for slowly easing back down to either a walk or slow jog.

When doing strides the most important thing to focus on is your form. You want to work on running fast but relaxed. Also, make sure you are not over striding. Your foot should be landing directly under your body, not out in front.

Road exercises to get faster

The long Run

In marathon training and half marathon it has been found that 3 runs of 18 – 22 miles over the 8 weeks prior to the marathon are an important predictor of completing the marathon. The long run is also an important element for middle distance runners. The 10K runner will benefit from runs of 8 miles, 10 miles and even up to 14 miles or more. A 5K runner will benefit from runs of 6 miles, 8 miles and up to 12 miles or so.

Benefits of Long Run

  • Strengthens the heart – larger stroke volume.
  • Strengthens the leg muscles – endurance is developed.
  • Mind Work – mental toughness and coping skills are developed.
  • Develops fat burning capacity
  • Increases number and size of mitochondria
  • Increases capillary growth into muscle fibers.
  • Increases myoglobin concentration in muscle fibers.
  • Increases aerobic efficiency.
  • Increase in Maximum VO2..

If you do weekly long runs you are guaranteed finishing a race, injury permitting. The long run is the difference between a DNF and crossing the finish line.

Hill Training

Training on hills is a great way to increase your running speed. Hills for sprinting are a way of increasing resistance, like adding weight in strength training.

Hills provide greater resistance than level ground; the steeper the hill, the greater the resistance. You develop greater push off strength and power in your running stride with hill training. By increasing your stride strength and power, you increase stride length. You will run faster when you increase stride strength and length.

When you incorporate hills into your conditioning program, use the same principles as any resistance training. Start with minimal reps, and allow plenty of rest in between workouts.

Strength Training exercises to help you increase running speed

Do Plyometrics exercises for speed

Plyometrics are a type of exercise designed to produce fast powerful movements, generally for the purpose of improving running speed. A Plyometric movement is one in which a muscle is extended and rapidly contracted again. The purpose of this is to run faster

Here is a video demonstration of plyometric exercise that you can do to improve explosive running power.

Plyometrics are a VERY effective workout for developing both speed and strength. Some professional athletes use plyometics as their only source of training, but i found it more effective if used as part of a more rounded workout routine.

There is little doubt that if you incorporate some plyometric exercises into your regular workouts, you too will experience excellent speed and strength gains by using this type of exercises.

Plyometric exercise routines are like any other exercise routines – You will get much better results if you take the time to warm up properly beforehand, and cool down properly afterwards. Perhaps more importantly then that, you’ll also greatly reduce your risk of picking up an injury during your workouts.

Do one mile Repeats or one kilometre repeats

If you plan to race a marathon at 5 mins pace, run one kilometre at that pace then take rest for 4-5 minutes. Repeat this for 10 times. Physiologically this type of workout serves to build aerobic capacity–make you more efficient at race pace. You can either run faster over a given distance or you can run further at a given pace.

Perform dead Lift to build upper body strength

As a runner, the focus of the upper-body workout should be to gain muscular strength and remain lean. So, go with lighter weights and higher repetitions. Heavy weights are for those interested in adding muscles. Dead lift keeps your upper body lean and light. The leaner and lighter you are , the faster you will run.

Video how to perform a dead lift

Do Squats

The squat is a compound, full body exercise that trains primarily the core running muscles. These are thighs, hips and buttocks, quads (vastus lateralus medialis and intermedius), hamstrings. It also strengths the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body.

squats for runners

Squats are considered a vital exercise for increasing the strength of the legs and buttocks.

Runners will get benefit by doing high repetition squats without added weight.

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