Sure, everyone would love to be able to run faster and jump higher like the shoes promise. Especially triathletes and the kids that get picked last for soccer in the schoolyard. But the question is, if you want to run faster, are you also willing to train for it…?
(Jess, I hope you’re reading this…!) Read her “No matter how slow you run…” post here.
Wait, before I scare you away from this post, let me assure you that I’ve found a couple fun and easy(ish) ways to get faster with your running. And the plus side is that once you get faster, that makes running at a slower pace much easier.
Save Time With Speed Training and Fast Running
Maybe you don’t have an hour for running as part of your triathlon training plan today. In fact, if you’re like me, maybe on some days it’s hard to even make 30 minutes for a good run. But we are committed to MAKE time, right? And if that’s the case, that’s totally fine – it happens. Instead of saying something like, “oh, what’s the point of a 20-minute workout,” take whatever time you can and turn up the pace to make it a good workout.
I know there is a lot of talk in triathlon training about spending the time, or “getting in the hours/miles” and what not. And there is some truth to that, but I’d say leave that for the serious competitors and long distance athletes…at least for now. This is not a post about being a fast or slow runner, so here’s the point I want to make and how it can help you as a beginner triathlete.
If you can run two miles fast, then you can easily run four miles slow.
So next time you go out for your usual “3 mile loop,” for example, why not change it up with some speed work? Do this one of three ways:
*Try to run the whole thing slightly faster than ever before (hardest)
*Pick up the pace a little bit every other minute or so (still challenging)
*At random, choose a target location somewhere off in the distance and run hard until you pass it. Then slow down just enough to catch your breath and do it again. (most fun and still a good challenge)
Push The Limit (just a little) To Run Faster
What you must do is push your threshold so that you increase your threshold. What I mean is: right now in your current condition, you have a certain level of cardiovascular capacity. For example, if you are used to run a 9-min mile, then that’s what you can comfortably handle. If you want to run an 8-min mile, you have to push through the discomfort levels of running a 8:40, then a 8:20, and then eventually build up the capacity (physical and mental) to run at an 8-min mile.
But don’t worry: you can take the process at your own pace without having to kill yourself – just make sure that every once in a while you push yourself and increase your speed above and beyond what you are used to.
Really all you have to do to be able to run faster is exactly that – run faster. If you take it a little bit at a time, you’ll gradually build up your pace without dying (or at least feeling like you are)! All it takes is a little bit of conscience effort to mix in some speed with your current training plan.
P.S. In the bullet points above, I made mention of intervals and fartleks. Both are great resources in looking for ways to run faster in your triathlon training schedule. I will speak about those two in a future “How to Run Faster” post, so check back with us soon!