Four Ways to Run Faster

Training for Broad Street? Thinking about a half marathon or even a marathon in the future? Here are just four ways that you can take that old running routine and spice it up to run faster.

Want to run faster? Then strength train by working squats and deadlifts into your routine. By getting stronger, we’re improving our body’s ability to fire muscles faster. No, doing a reasonable amount of strength training will not get you bulky despite what you think. Besides getting your muscles stronger, doing these compound movements will also stimulate your central nervous system for favorable adaptation (i.e. fat loss, improved power, speed, etc.)
Workout example: Do 5 sets of 5 back squats with about 2-3 minutes rest between sets and later in the week work up to a heavy set of 5 deadlifts. Get a coach (not just a friend) to teach you proper movement. 

Heel striking is when your heel lands first in front of you and then you roll forward onto the ball of your foot and push off. This method of running is really inefficient because you’re pushing your bodyweight on each step! Not to mention it’s not healthy for the knees even with big foamy heels. At CrossFit Kanna, we teach the POSE running technique of keeping your feet underneath the body and essentially falling forward on each step. The ball of the foot should land underneath you and your heel does a quick touch down and then back up. Instead of pushing your whole body forward, you’re only really lifting your leg up as you continuously fall forward!
Workout example: There are a lot of drills on the internet to show you how to run properly, but one of the best ways is just to find a grassy area and run barefoot. You will naturally run in a more efficient manner because your body doesn’t like heel striking. Besides that, getting a coach who knows what to look for is extremely beneficial.

If you want to run faster, you have to run faster. What does this mean? Sprints and intervals. You have to change it up from your long slow distance (LSD) routine and get your body moving at fast paces so it can adapt and get used to running faster.
Workout example: Do 10 sets of 200m sprints with 90 seconds of rest between sets. Or run your usual 2-5 miles and every minute on the minute sprint for 10 seconds and jog the remaining 50 seconds.

Doing mixed modal workouts at high intensities (e.g. CrossFit) does wonders for increasing your VO2 max and lactate threshold by keeping you in an anaerobic state for longer. In other words, by getting used to hard workouts, your body sets a higher standard for pain and you’re able to sustain a faster pace on your runs. If you can get used to running on tired legs in a workout, you’ll use that to your advantage at the end of your race.
Workout example: Do 5 rounds for time of 25 air squats, 15 burpees, and 400m run. 

-Coach Chris

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