Want to know how to run faster? While endurance training is great for building stamina, it’s essential to add specific strategies to your running routine to improve your speed consistently.
Otherwise, you may be putting a lot of effort into running longer without noticeable speed and pace improvements.
The good news is that training to run faster will generally make you a stronger runner across race types, including 5K, half marathon, and marathon.
Read on to learn how to get faster and how to increase your mileage without getting tired or risking injury.
In This Article
In This Article:
15 Tips How to Get Faster and Better at Running
According to the results of a randomized controlled trial, 15 minutes of core work a few days a week can help you run faster. That said, running faster is a process, so you want to take it step by step.
Focus on base building, improve your endurance, and run for a longer amount of time. You also want to evaluate your training to make sure you keep making progress and identify areas you can improve.
So, let’s dive in for some tips on how to run longer, faster, and better without getting tired!
1. Follow a training plan
Your age, gender, weight, activity level, and other factors all play a role in your running speed. The best training plan to make you run faster should take all of these into account.
You could try using a running app to help you train and stay motivated with a personalized plan that will show you how to increase your running pace by adding sprints, stretching, and other exercises to your workout.
2. Eat well
Balance your nutrition with the Healthy Plate method by proportioning 50% non-starchy vegetables and fruits, 25% whole wheat carbs, 25% lean protein, and some healthy oils, like olive, avocado, or flaxseed, in your plate. Caffeine before a run can also give you a boost of energy.
3. Improve your running form
Improving your running technique can help you run faster and reduce the risk of common running injuries. To do so, pay close attention to how your foot hits the ground: avoid landing on your heel and make sure to arch your toes up toward your shins (known as dorsiflexion). Counting your strides can also help you establish a more efficient running rhythm.
For a more detailed look at your form, consider video analysis. You can either ask a friend to record you or set up a camera on your own. Watching the footage will help you spot areas where you can improve, making your runs faster and safer.
4. Do strength training
Cross-training can keep you engaged on the days in between runs and improve your running performance. For instance, exercises that strengthen your abs can improve your core endurance and running economy. Core strength also safeguards the spine during exercise, reducing the risk of injuries.
You can build intensity and speed with plyometric, bodyweight exercises, such as box jumps, skipping, single-leg hopping, and broad jumps. You also want to train your hips to increase your power output. Working your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and evertors can also make you run faster.
5. Try weight training
Research found that weight lifting, combined with at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activities, can lower the risk of early death by 41%, compared to no exercise at all. It is a great way to strengthen and correct muscle imbalances, thus increasing your running efficiency and performance.
Lift weights at the gym or at home. Try out deadlifts, barbell squats, and step-ups. You may see better results doing different types of weight training throughout the year rather than focusing on the same exercises.
6. Optimize your breathing
Training your breathing muscle, the diaphragm, could help you run faster and longer. Start with simple but effective breathing exercises for runners:
- Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth at an easy pace to increase your ventilatory threshold.
- Breathe deeply in your belly rather than in your chest – practice while sitting at first, then when walking, and finally when running.
- Inhale for two counts and exhale for two to pace yourself better.
- Count your breaths as you run.
Tip: breathe through your nose to increase your oxygen uptake.
7. Add tempo runs
If you’re aiming to boost your running pace, a tempo run workout is your go-to. To do a tempo run, start with a warm-up, then run at a challenging but sustainable pace for a set amount of time or distance. The goal is to find the perfect balance between your usual pace and your top sprinting speed, allowing you to run faster for longer distances.
Paying attention to your running cadence—the number of steps you take per minute—can also help optimize your tempo runs and overall speed.
Always remember to cool down after your run to minimize injury risk and help your body recover.
8. Include interval training
Speed workouts, like sprint intervals, can boost both your muscle strength and aerobic stamina. A study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that just six sessions can significantly improve your running performance.
In the study, trail runners did 4 to 7 sprints of 30 seconds each, taking 4-minute breaks in between. Practicing this three times a week led to a 40% increase in aerobic speed. Plus, interval training is time-efficient, helping you achieve faster results compared to other endurance workouts.
9. Do skip rope workouts
Similar to plyometric exercises, jumping rope works various muscle groups simultaneously, helping you improve cardiovascular fitness, build stamina and endurance. When you jump rope, your leg muscles stretch and then quickly release stored energy, making you move faster and more powerfully.
Skipping rope is not only a fun warm-up but a way to build endurance fast. One study found that skipping rope as a pre-run activity for 10 weeks was effective in improving 3K time-trial performance in amateur endurance runners.
10. Try uphill running
Warm up and find a 100–200m hill with a moderate incline. Run up the hill at a hard but consistent pace, keeping your upper body straight. Jog at a slower pace or walk back down to recover. Start with 2–3 repeats and add one each week. Once-a-week hill training is usually sufficient for most runners.
11. Run on a treadmill
The treadmill is easier than outdoor running, but is still an effective way to build both speed and endurance. What’s more, it assists leg turnover—also known as cadence or stride rate—helping you run faster.
It can also make it easier to do your workout when the weather outside is bad rather than skipping training altogether.
For best results, do short interval workouts on a treadmill, building them into your running routine.
12. Increase your mileage
If you’re wondering how to get better at running, simply train to run longer distances. Increasing your running mileage improves your running economy and makes you a better runner all-around.
But you have to do it smartly. Follow the 10% rule – increase your weekly mileage by this percentage and not more. Your running program should reflect this approach.
Tip: Run with a faster runner or join a group, like Road Runners Club, if you can.
13. Rest and recover
Don’t forget to take breaks and make sure you sleep well. Well-rested athletes finish faster and have better reaction times. Also, If you suffer a running injury, how well you recover often depends on the quality of your rest.
According to a study, beginner runners who followed the 10% rule didn’t experience fewer injuries. So, even if you increase your mileage steadily, rest days are crucial. Fit them into your running schedule to lower your injury risk.
14. Learn to endure discomfort
A bit of mental toughness is key if you want to improve your speed and become a more competitive runner. Learn to endure discomfort, and when the miles add up, remember why you started and why you love running.
Work not only on your body but also sharpen your mental game. Try meditating, maintaining a positive attitude, and staying focused yet relaxed in your day-to-day life. It should help you push yourself to reach those running goals without exertion or injury.
15. Enjoy the process and recognize your progress
If you want to learn how to get better at running and reach your running goals, you have to enjoy the process. Make sure you follow a running plan that suits you, listen to uplifting music on your runs, and wear running gear you love.
Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your hard work. Reward yourself by buying yourself that pair of running shoes you’ve always dreamed of or by having a drink with your running mates at the end of the week. Share your progress with your running community and loved ones.
How do I run longer without getting tired?
If you’re wondering how to run longer without tiring, focus on boosting your endurance and stamina.
You can build endurance fast by skipping rope as a warm-up, which enhances your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. Also, incorporate speed workouts, like interval runs, into your training schedule. Interval training offers quicker gains in speed, form, and endurance than most other speed work.
By improving your fitness level and muscle strength, you’ll find it easier to maintain your pace and energy levels on longer runs.
Why can’t I run faster?
If you’re struggling to run at a faster pace, there could be several factors at play. First, ensure that your training program is well-rounded, incorporating different elements like strength training, interval workouts, and tempo runs.
Second, nutrition plays a significant role; an optimized diet can help shed extra pounds, effectively making you faster.
Third, your form might need attention. Running with poor form not only hinders speed but also elevates injury risk. Video analysis can help pinpoint areas for improvement.
Correct breathing techniques and a positive mental attitude can also contribute to your running performance and help improve speed. If you’re stuck after even consistent training, try seeking personal guidance from a certified running coach.
To become a more efficient runner, staying consistent, motivated, and sticking to your running plan is important. Run more often if you have to, but don’t overdo it.
Here are some more tips on how to run faster and longer:
- Mix it up with some strength training. Plyometric exercises, like box jumps, skipping, single-leg hopping, and broad jumps, as well as lifting weights, are great for working your leg and core muscles.
- Warm up by skipping rope to improve your fitness level and increase your stamina.
- Add variety to your routine with some running exercises. Challenge yourself with some uphill sprints and speed training, like tempo runs.
- Increasing your distance can help you improve your running speed. Follow the 10% rule – increase your weekly mileage by this percentage, but not more.
- Maintain a proper running form to prevent injuries. Avoid landing on your heel and arch your toes toward your shins. Use a video analysis for further insights.
- Improve your diet by achieving a healthy ratio of non-starchy vegetables and fruits, whole wheat carbs, and lean protein on your plate.
- Add rest days to your routine and ensure a good night’s sleep to recover and minimize the risk of injury.
- Recognize and celebrate your progress, and reward yourself for your achievements.
Wondering how to run longer and faster than you’ve ever dreamed of? The Joggo app can take you there. Think of us as your personal running coach, fitness instructor, and nutritionist – right in your pocket. Together, we’ll create a personalized training plan with custom-tailored tips and tricks to consistently improve your running speed.
- Anderson, O., 2019. Running form: How to run faster and prevent injury. Human Kinetics.
- Barrow, J.D., 2012. How Usain Bolt can run faster–effortlessly. Significance, 9(2), pp.9-12.
- Sutrisno, A. and Braun, D.J., 2020. How to run 50% faster without external energy. Science Advances, 6(13), p.eaay1950.
- Goater, J. and Melvin, D., 2012. The art of running faster. Human Kinetics.
- Wynn, M.L., Clemente, C., Nasir, A.F.A.A. and Wilson, R.S., 2015. Running faster causes disaster: trade-offs between speed, manoeuvrability and motor control when running around corners in northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus). Journal of Experimental Biology, 218(3), pp.433-439.
- Robinson, C.B., How to Avoid Injuries and Run Faster.