You’ve heard it before. In order to run faster, you need to run faster! Use these three running exercises to get faster without it even feeling like work!
The toughest part about running faster is that it HURTS–at least initially. The intensity of a quicker pace mixed with the panic of trying to hold onto your breathing can be a lot to handle.
So, how do you adjust in order to accept and even embrace this type of intensity Here’s something that worked for us:
We’re going to give you a little strength training workout–an “intro to intensity,” if you will. You’ll be combining bodyweight exercises–burpees with squat jumps.
But wait! Before you roll your eyes at us, keep in mind that the misery is only going to last for four minutes! Ready to get started?
1) Start with two feet under your hips, standing tall, toes straight ahead.
2) Sit your hips back to place your hands on the ground in front of your feet.
3) Now either step or jump your feet back to a straight arm plank.
4) From here, do a “controlled crash” to the ground–chest and hips laid flat on the ground.
5) Now snake your chest up, leaving the knees on the ground.
6) Once the chest is off the ground, snap the hips to reverse the arch and bring the feet back into your hands, just under your hips.
7) Now, stand up.
8) Raise your arms overhead and hop.
9) That’s one burpee.
10) *If that is not sustainable for more than a few reps, ditch the “fake push-up”. Simply step or jump out to the plank and immediately bring feet back in to stand.
Now we’re ready to fire up the glutes and hamstrings with squat jumps. Here’s what the squat jump looks like:
1) Stand tall, with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
2) With your toes pointing straight ahead, sit the hips back and bend your knees slightly.
3) Make sure your knees are pressed out laterally, too.
4) Next, as you sit into the squat, bring your arms in front of you.
5) Once your hips are as parallel to the ground as they can be, squeeze your butt and press it down towards your heels.
6) From the depth of your squat, you’re going to throw your arms back behind you.
7) At the same time, press your hips forward into full extension as your legs straighten.
8) Instead of coming back to standing, the momentum from the arms will help elevate you into a slight hop out of the standing position.
9) Out of the jump, roll through the toes than the heels to find your standing position again.
10) Immediately from the landing, you’ll find your next squat position with the arms back in front.
11) That’s one squat jump.
12) Complete 20 seconds of squat jumps with ten seconds for rest in between sets for a total of four minutes.
Throw this into your training plan twice a week for strong leg muscles and awesome results!
Our hip flexors are the gas pedal for our running. The more we use them, the more power (and speed) we can generate!
In order to use them more, we’ve got to make them stronger and more dynamic–and we’ve got JUST the thing!
The box jump is essentially a plyometric squat jump up to a higher surface. Here’s what it looks like:
1) Start standing tall.
2) Next, drop into the squat the same way you do for the squat jumps, EXCEPT your arms will swing behind you.
3) You’ll START to come out of the bottom the same way, EXCEPT your arms will now come forward.
4) As your feet are about to leave the ground for the jump, you’ll squeeze your core and tuck your knees up to your chest.
5) Your legs will bend up in front of you and your feet will flex.
6) This is your leverage for getting up to a higher surface.
7) Next, you’ll land on the next surface in your best attempt at the next squat.
8) Now, press out of your heels, squeeze your butt and stand tall.
9) Safely step down to the original surface by sitting hips back and letting one foot down at a time.
10) That’s one box jump.
A few things to be mindful of–especially if you’re brand new to these:
1) Start small.
2) Most gyms have multiple box heights. Don’t be afraid to build up.
3) If you’re outside and using a curb or other makeshift concrete raised surface, practice a few step-ups first to ensure you’ll clear it.
4) Accuracy is key.
5) Be confident. The higher and stronger you bring your knees up, the more success you will have.
Here’s a drill you can mix into your training:
1) Perform 5-10 box jumps.
2) Now, run 200-400 meters. It can be down the block, once around a track, or something similar.
3) Do another 5-10 box jumps.
4) Run 200-400 meters again.
5) Repeat for 3-5 rounds total.
This drill is awesome for increasing that hip strength and directly applying it to your running. Try throwing it into your training program once a week!
The last of our running exercises to get faster! Fartlek means “speed play”.
The Fartlek technique for runners is nothing short of EFFECTIVE. Try this out on your next run:
1) You will pick sections of your run to “push it” on.
2) You make the rules.
3) Pick something that you’ll encounter a number of times over your course: stairs, a telephone pole, a hill.
4) Each time you get to whatever you chose, you have to run faster for the entirety of that obstacle. We’re not all-out sprinting here, but it should be about 70-80% of your max speed.
5) If you picked hills, you need to kick it into the next gear until you’re at the top of the hill.
6) You can then return to a slower pace until you hit the next hill or obstacle
7) Throw in five to ten lunges in between each loop to weave in some strength training
This is an awesome way to make running faster fun and interesting!
Like we said, you don’t need to do these exercises all the time, but mixing them into your training in some capacity will benefit your running and speed BIG TIME!
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