Tuesday, November 6, 2018

How To Run Fast

I get this question often - "How did you get so fast?". My first thought is, "I'm not fast." My second is, "I wish there was a simple answer, but there isn't." But, in fact, maybe there is... It's just not the easy solution that people want to hear... The truth is, getting faster, running longer, achieving goals TAKES WORK! Plain and simple. You've gotta put your money where your mouth is, put in the effort and chase after your goals with a fire that most have a hard time keeping lit.

PS I truly believe "fast" is relative. Compared to elite runners I'm a turtle, but compared to back-of-the-pack'ers I'm a hare.

Besides the advice of "just do it", I have a couple other tips and tricks I'd like to share that I think helped make me a stronger runner. I absolutely believe everyone has their own journey and not everything that works for me will work for you, so feel free to take the things that work and leave the things that don't. Don't worry, my feelings won't be hurt ;)

So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are tips that (may have) helped me get faster (and may help you).

Get a Sugar Daddy

Okay, you may laugh at this, but hear me out. I am lucky enough to have a hubby with a great job. He is able to provide for our family (me, him and our sassy wiener dog,) without requiring me to work. {Just in case you were wondering, I do work, albeit very part time, which helps me feel as though I am contributing to our tribe, but it's definitely not a requirement to keep us afloat.} With that said, I have all the time in the world to run. I don't have to worry about trying to squeeze in a run before a long day at the office or after picking up kids from soccer practice. Having a "sugar daddy" allows me the freedom to run when it's convenient for me. Obviously this is not a reality for everyone (and, shoot, I don't even know if it's legal ;)), I totally understand that, and I may say it a little in jest, but I would be remiss if I didn't at least mention the huge advantage I have with being able to focus as much time and effort on my running as I want.

Do The Work

I sort of mentioned this in the beginning of the post, but a large part of getting faster has been putting in the work. I write down a plan (yep, I still use the old school paper and pencil method) and stick to it. Of course you may need to listen to your body and adjust things along the way, but if it's on my plan I do my darnedest to get it done. Sometimes that means waking up at 2am to run before it gets too warm or running while on vacation. If you are the type of person who needs a little extra motivation, then I would suggest joining a running group, finding a running friend or searching out an accountabil-a-buddy. Because, like the saying goes "you don't get what you wish for, you get what you work for".

Run Fast

Putting in the work leads me to my next point... This also means doing speed work. You've gotta run fast to race fast. Whether you prefer track workouts, tempo runs or fartleks, you need to make sure your training includes speed sessions or you'll never get your legs used to moving fast. You can't do your training runs at 10:30/mile pace and show up on race day expecting to run 7:00/mile pace. Adrenaline can give you an extra boost, but you need to train your body for speed.

Run Slow

Now this may seem contradictory to the previous point but it'll make sense, I promise. Although I suggest the requirement of incorporating some speed workouts in your training, your non-speed workouts must be done slow. If you try to run your workouts too fast you won't have adequate recovery time between workouts and you are risking injury. Slowing down your easy runs will enable you to get more out of your harder workout days because there will be less residual fatigue.

Believe In Yourself

This isn't where I say "if you put it out into the universe it's yours for the taking" or something like that, but I absolutely believe that your attitude plays a HUGE role in your running. You've probably heard the cliches like "your body only achieves what your mind believes" or "you body will only go where your mind will push it"... and they are common sayings because they are true! Running is such a mental activity and I can't stress enough how important your personal beliefs are to your success. Now I'm not necessarily saying "fake it till you make it", but I am saying you need to instill faith in yourself, in your training, in your potential so you can continue to chase your goals and make them into a reality. Make it a habit of taking stock, looking back at your journey and admiring how far you've already come. Celebrate your success along the way while working towards your future goals. Believe you can do it because you've already done so much!

Remember, speed is NOT the end-all, be-all, so if getting faster is not a desire of yours, that's absolutely okay too! #YouDoYou #NoShameInYourRunningGame

Is getting "faster" a goal of yours?

No comments: