Tag Archive for: Run Austin 2020

These tips can help you increase your speed as a runner

Whether you’re a first-time runner or not, you will eventually want to increase your speed. This is the best way to set new PRs! You’ll have to put in the work though. It takes hard work and dedication to increase your speed. Below are 7 different ways that you can increase your speed and chase those PRs. The more of these tips you integrate, the better. Pro tip: make sure you effectively warm-up before any run or workout.

Interval training

This means exercising with periods of high and low intensity to run faster. Running an interval involves running faster than your everyday pace. The intervals revamp the efficiency of the oxygen delivered to your body. This will help increase your speed and efficiency. Learn more about how interval runs and these 6 other types of runs can help increase your speed.

Interval workout example

  • Jog for three minutes
  • Sprint for one minute
  • Repeat this cycle four more times, resting in between each repeat

Use the treadmill

If you want to run faster, you need to practice. Buy a treadmill and use it as a source for you to keep yourself motivated during bad weather days. Especially if they keep you from going outside for your daily run. The treadmill assists with leg turnover, making it easier to run faster. Push the pace as much or as little as you want. Increase your speed over time to see improvements.

Run hill repeats

This can be challenging, but it’s worth it. Running hills is a form of resistance and running mechanic training. You’ll increase your muscle strength, especially your glutes and calves. The muscles needed to sprint across the finish line! Pro tip: get the right running shoes for you with our helpful insight.

Add strength training

How you increase your speed is not just about running. You need to keep yourself active and functioning. Strength training involves physical exercises that improve strength and endurance. It is associated with the use of weights but can take a variety of different forms, like booty bands. Start with small weights and increase your goal gradually. If you manage to beat your record, you are doing great. 

Try yoga

Yoga has extensive benefits beyond our imagination. Add yoga to your daily or weekly training plan and you won’t be disappointed. A study showed that twice-weekly yoga sessions increase flexibility in your joints and improve the balance of your body. The added stretching could also prevent injuries like shin splints.

Be steady and focused

Things take time, so don’t get off the track. You won’t achieve your big goal overnight. Set up smaller, weekly goals along the way. Take it easy on yourself. Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! Take challenges and try running faster than the day before.

Eat right

Let’s turn to optimal fueling. We can talk about making sure you have enough to eat before you run and eating enough to recover properly. Just don’t let your sugar cravings overtake your goals! Eating healthy and hydrating properly will help you work harder. 

These are some of the most tried and valued running techniques. You can have your unique ways to help you increase your speed. Do you have any unique ways that have helped you increase your speed or have you tested any of the above out? We would love to hear.

Recover faster with our 6-step long-run recovery timeline

Your 3M Half Marathon training plan will include long runs which will progressively increase over time. They’re the core to building the endurance needed to achieve your goals. Just like any other run or workout, you need to recover and prepare for what’s next. This long-run recovery timeline will help expedite the recovery process, from the moment you stop your watch until you lay down for a well-deserved nap. Follow our advice, build it into your schedule, and make sure you’re ready for whatever is next on your training plan. Wait, before you even start the long-run recovery timeline, make sure you avoid these five simple training mistakes.

Pro tip: adjust the timeline as needed to fit your schedule.

Rehydrate (within 5 minutes)

Runners lose fluids during runs and workouts when sweating. This is the price you pay so your body can stay cool during the run. It’s important to drink at least 16 ounces of an electrolyte-enhanced drink (like Nuun Hydration) when you’re done. Drinking this will begin the rehydration process and restore needed electrolytes and nutrients Pro tip: have a drink ready before you begin that’s specifically for after your run.

Stretch and foam roll (within 5-15 minutes)

You’re pushing your body further and further, reward it with stretching and foam rolling. Whether you’re increasing your distance or lowering your time, you’re asking a lot of your body. Take care of the muscles that take care of you. Stretching and foam rolling allow fresh blood to flow to the muscles. This speeds up recovery and helps prevent lactic acid from settling in. It can also help you avoid the pain from shin splints. Pro tip: check out these other reasons runners love to foam roll.

Eat a snack (within 15-30 minutes)

Grab some fruit, beef jerky, or your favorite GU Energy Chews. Eat something that won’t upset your stomach or dry out your mouth. You need to replace the energy your body consumed during your long training run. Plus, it’ll give you a nice little energy boost. Keep hydrating!

Cool off (within 30-60 minutes)

Take a cold shower or jump in a cold body of water like Barton Springs (stay no more than 15 minutes). The cold water can help your body’s core temperature return to normal and reduce inflammation. If it’s cool outside or slightly windy, take your stretch session outside.

Eat a meal (within 1-2 hours)

Time to eat! By now your snack is wearing off and your stomach is beginning to rumble. Depending on your mileage, your body probably burned thousands of calories. Time to replace them! Grab something to eat, whether it’s a pre-cooked meal, something you prepare, or you go out to a restaurant. 

Nap (within 2+ hours)

The ending to a perfect long run, a nap. You’ve stretched and foam rolled, eaten, hydrated, and showered. It’s time to let your body do some repair work. Find somewhere that’s dark and cool. A 30-60 minute nap is perfect, depending on what you have to do for the rest of the day. It’s not a bad idea to stretch/foam roll one more time and drink some more electrolytes before your nap. 

Some runner’s recovery timeline might differ. You can adjust this to fit your schedule. But the core of this long-run recovery timeline will assist in repairs your body needs. This will help you get ready for whatever is next on your training schedule.

Don’t begin your next run until you learn how to effectively warm-up

Going out on a run can be risky if you haven’t effectively warmed up. Warming up has a crucial role to play in how well your body will perform during your run. If you don’t effectively warm-up, you could feel more tired or your muscles could start to cramp within the first mile of your run. Follow our warm-up routine below and avoid these five training mistakes to keep everything running smoothly.

Benefits of warming up before running

A good warm-up helps the body get ready for a workout. It activates the muscles and helps you run faster and for longer. Without warming up, your muscles will be turned off. This is normal, especially for people who go on runs either in the morning or after work.

A good warm-up routine helps you by:

  • Activating the muscles in your body and prepping them for your run.
  • Improves circulation within the body. This means that oxygen and other important nutrients are being transferred more efficiently.
  • The joints of the body become better prepared to successfully complete the run.
  • The muscles are warmed up. This gives you better stamina and allows you to run longer.
  • Avoid cramps, pain, or running injuries like shin splints.

But just any warm-up routine won’t do. Your routine needs to be tailored to meet your specific requirements and body types. A 37-year-old who enjoys morning runs will have different requirements than a 25-year-old preparing for a marathon. In both cases, however, the right warm-up routine can make all the difference between a successful run and a difficult one.

How to effectively warm-up

As a runner, you’ll want to focus on stretches and exercises for your legs. The legs are the most important part of the body for the runner and you should devote more exercises to activating your leg muscles. For runners, static stretching is a bad idea. When you do your exercises, your body responds by lengthening your muscles. This is due to the stretch reflex. When you warm up, it is to activate this stretch reflex.

When the stretch reflex expands the muscles, the spindles in the muscle send information to the spinal cord. The spinal cord responds by relaying information on shortening the muscles. This relationship between lengthening and shortening muscles is the result of a good warm-up routine.

Static stretching lengthens the muscles even more without the required shortening happening later. This is not ideal for runners when warming up. Instead, dynamic stretching works best for warm-up.

Good warm-up routine

A good warm-up routine will include all the exercises necessary to make your run a success. This is a combination of releases, lunges, squats, and other exercises. If you go on a short half an hour run, a five-minute warm-up can suffice. But longer runs or more complicated routes need better warm-ups. An effective warm-up routine is especially critical to runners returning to the sport after taking time off or recovering from injury.

Here is a 10-minute warm-up routine for a one-hour run. 

  1. Hip flexor release (5 times)
  2. Knee to chest (5 times each leg)
  3. Heel to glutes (5 times each leg)
  4. Washing machine (5 times)
  5. Touch the ground while keeping your legs straight (5 times)
  6. Hip rotation (5 times)
  7. Hamstring raises (5 times each leg)
  8. Inner thigh squats (10 times)
  9. Forward lunge (5 times)
  10. Side-ways lunge (5 times)
  11. Reverse lunges (5times)
  12. Mountain climber (10 times)
  13. Circle the knee (5 times)
  14. Ankle circles (5 times each leg)

You can also include skipping. A good warm-up routine will help you finish your runs with your body feeling great. Prep your body for your runs to get the most out of running. Do you have a specific routine to effectively warm-up? Let us know in the 3M Half Marathon Facebook Group or Twitter!