How to Run Faster

Learn how to run faster and how to run longer without getting tired.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #11

Quick & Dirty Tip #4 for Running Faster: Run Hills

The best running coaches in the world know the deep, dark, and dirty secret of runners: hill training. The beauty of hills is that they allow you to achieve high intensities without the same amount of joint impact and pounding you’d experience while running on flat terrain. So by using hills regularly in your training, you both reduce your risk of injury and increase your intensity. For your long runs, attempt to regularly include courses that contain hills, and at least once every two weeks, attempt to include a hill sprint workout, in which you run up a steep hill at maximum sustainable pace for 30-60 seconds.

Quick & Dirty Tip #5 for Running Faster: Plyometrics

Plyometrics are explosive exercises like bounding, hopping and skipping. The benefit of these exercises is that they teach the elastic muscles of your legs and feet to quickly absorb your body weight and rebound from the ground. As a result, you minimize your ground contact time and maximize the distance you travel with each step. Even if you improve by just milliseconds per steps, over thousands of steps, that can be a huge speed boost. To avoid injury, plyometrics should not be a daily routine; just doing them once a week can provide enormous benefits.

Good plyometric exercises include hopping with one foot or both feet onto a raised surface like a step bench, performing explosive jumps from a lunge or squat position, or standing under a basketball hoop and repetitively tossing a ball against the backboard while jumping to retrieve it. For a video of one of my favorite plyometric exercises, Jumps Onto A Box, click here.

Run Faster By Being Consisent

The best way to become a faster runner is to ensure that your running routine is not constantly interrupted with sickness, vacation time, injuries, or business. Running every 48-72 hours keeps your muscles prepared for the unique movements of the running gait. On mornings where you'd be tempted to sleep in, slumber in your running tights with your shoes beside the bed. Always toss your running shoes in your bag or backpack before leaving for work. Include running gear in your suitcase when packing for vacation, no matter how short it may seem (48 hour airport layovers happen!). And remind yourself on those super busy days that when it comes to consistency, a short 15-20 minute jaunt is better than nothing at all.

By losing weight, increasing your cadence, using a treadmill, running hills, performing plyometrics and incorporating consistency, you’ll be able to take your running to an entirely new level.

Running image from Shutterstock


About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.