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Pick Up Your Pace: Four Tips for Running Faster

Feb 1, 2011

Regardless of your prior ability or experience level, you'll likely benefit in some way from a few tips for running. One of the issues that many new runners deal with most often is picking up the pace. It can be very difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone and begin to run faster. However, if you're interested in competitive running, or if you're just looking for a way to improve your own personal records or enhance your fitness level, one of the best ways to do that is to find ways to increase your running speed. Read on for a few tips on how to do this most effectively.

1. Add to Your Turnover Rate

In running, your turnover rate refers to the speed with which you lift your feet up off of the ground. Generally speaking, the faster that your turnover rate is, the faster that you'll go. One of the best ways to improve your overall running pace is to work on building up your turnover rate so that you improve it as well. You can do this by running a set distance or time at a pace that is somewhat challenging for you and counting each time your left foot hits the ground. After resting for a few minutes, try the same distance or time again and work on having a slightly higher number of foot hits; even one or two is an improvement.

2. Make Use of a Tempo Run

A tempo run is a type of training regimen that is used by athletes for a variety of different sports and activities. It consists of a short period of warming up at a slower speed, followed by a medium length interval of medium-hard to hard running, followed by another interval, equal to the first, of cooling down at a comfortable speed. By mixing a tempo run of 20 minutes or so in with your standard running regimen at least once per week, you can improve your overall speed over time.

3. Try an Interval Run

An interval run pushes your body's tolerance for lactic acid buildup by continuing to work you out without allowing time to refresh or cool down completely in between different intervals. After a short warm up, try running at a fairly fast pace for 1 to 2 minutes, then walk or jog slowly for another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat this combination of hard runs and slower recovery periods for a total of between 2 and 5 times. Eventually, your body will become more accustomed to operating at the higher exercise threshold, and you'll be able to push yourself to run faster.

4. Lose Weight

One of the best ways to help improve your speed is to lose a bit of weight. This is true only if you're over your ideal weight, as losing excess weight beyond that may actually cause you to lose muscle mass and speed as well.

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