Best Tips to Run Faster
Are you planning to participate in your first
full-length marathon? If you are, know this:
planning and preparation are absolutely
necessary if you want to finish the race in the
shortest time possible. Don’t think for a second
that you can outrun the rest just because you’re
lean, or you’ve been working out in the gym.
Conditioning and preparation for a marathon is
quite different from lifting weights in a gym,
so it’s time that you set aside your
preconceived notions and start taking the steps
that will ensure your success. Here are some of
our best tips, so you can run faster during an
1. If you want to perform at your peak during a marathon, you need to have the right gear that complements the terrain and weather conditions in the marathon’s location. For example, if you are going to participate in a trail marathon, chances are the landscape is going to be undulating, and there’s going to be a lot of debris strewn across the trail. Protect your legs, and wear trail-marathon shoes so you can comfortably finish the marathon. If you are running in cold conditions, wear a shirt that wicks sweat and wear a high visibility jacket on top. Use your common sense and plan accordingly, so you are neither too hot nor too cold on race day.
2. Hydrate yourself sufficiently in the weeks prior to racing day. We cannot emphasize this enough: if you aren’t fully hydrated and your body is starved for fluids prior to race day, your muscles aren’t going to perform well. Some people will say that they can go on for ten miles or more without drinking. Well, you can too, but that doesn’t mean your natural pace is sufficient to break your personal record.
3. Perform a variety of running techniques to help improve your pace and cadence. Effective running techniques including HIIT (high intensity interval training), hill runs, and fartleks. The most popular technique for beginners is fartleks, because they introduce randomness to the equation. Randomness is a fact of life when you are running marathons because, unless you are running in a covered track underneath a big stadium dome, you are going to encounter steepness, changes in surface friction, etc. Fartleks will condition your body for the ever-changing demands of a real marathon.
4. Combine walking and running while training and during the actual marathon. No serious runner breaks out running at full speed and maintains that speed until the finish line. Even professional marathoners pace themselves so they do not burn out before they reach ¾ of the marathon. The walking/running training method is beneficial in this case. The walking/running method will naturally pace the runner, and improve your breathing technique as well. To perform this technique, set a fixed time or distance for walking (e.g. 500 meters) before running at a moderate pace for another fixed distance (e.g. 1000 meters). Alternate walking and running, progressively taking shorter walks and accomplishing longer stretches of running. Your natural running speed will manifest as you perform this technique, so pay attention to your finishing times so you can gauge just how quickly you can actually run!