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How to Increase Your Running Speed

MAR. 27, 2023
Want to become a faster runner but don't know where to start? Follow these tips to help increase your running speed and improve your stamina.
Weekly Meal Prep Low Calorie

Becoming a runner can seem like an impossible thing for some people, let alone becoming a fast runner. But if you’re running daily, it’s natural to want to push yourself further. Increasing your speed is a great place to start. Luckily, there are many options to increase your running speed and the length of your runs.

11 ways to run faster and longer

You may want to increase your running speed for many reasons: to improve your performance, to burn more calories, or to just push yourself to your personal best. After adding these changes into your daily routine, you may start seeing an improvement in your ability to run faster.

1. Do warmup stretches to maintain a steady pace.

If you can’t maintain your pace after the first 5 to 10 minutes of your run, it may not be a lack of endurance — it could be that you didn’t give your body adequate time to warm up. Stretching can help you avoid injuries, and you’re more likely to finish your run strong.

A warmup can just be as simple as getting your blood moving: a light jog before you start running full pace or even some jumping jacks. Stretching followed by some light activity can help you feel more energized during your run and maintain a steady pace. You should notice your runs getting easier and easier.

2. Begin strength training to improve your speed.

Strength training exercises can improve your running speed. Just ask FrontRunner member Eduardo Jose Cunha Barbosa, who boosted his running speed by “investing more time in strength training and better nutrition.”

You’ll be building up your endurance, which in turn can help you maintain a quicker pace and become a faster runner. Indeed, conditioning your body to become stronger is one of the surest ways to gain the ability to run faster.

The best exercises to improve running speed

The following exercises can help not only improve your running speed but also increase the distance of your runs:

A burpee is a squat thrust with an additional stand between reps. This exercise will be helpful in improving your endurance.

A squat jump is a squat where on the way up you jump into the air. This will strengthen your legs to make you more powerful.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This exercise is great for burning calories and gaining muscle in a short amount of time.

3. Improve your running form to prevent injury.

Having proper running form can help you run faster, but it’s equally as important for preventing injuries. Knowing where you should keep your arms or where to hold your head, along with many other little changes, are ways to become a more efficient runner as well as prevent yourself from getting hurt.

It’s crucial that you practice and learn the correct way to run. Adopting new techniques may seem overwhelming at first, but after some practice, all your muscles will work together as one.

4. Develop a running schedule to increase stamina.

To see results from running, you need to add running into your everyday routine. Scheduling daily runs can make you a faster runner, but it also holds you more accountable to your workout. Sometimes, the hardest part is carving out time in your day and sticking to a plan.

As you start to develop a steady daily schedule, you may also notice an ability to run longer. The quality of your runs could change, as well, such as feeling recharged and energized rather than winded, lethargic, and sore. The stamina you build through daily running can help you push your pace, especially on distances you’ve become comfortable with.

5. Wear the right running shoes to increase performance.

Wearing the correct running shoes can help increase your speed and performance as well as prevent injuries. Proper running shoes are important for not only your feet but also your whole body. The best pair for you will depend on your pronation and gait, among other factors.

And as you improve as a runner, your running style and chosen distance may change. Different shoes may suit you better, but AJ Andrassy, Global Director of Performance Running Footwear at ASICS, recommends the following shoes for speed running:

This lightweight racing shoe features FLYTEFOAM™ technology.

Check out the running shoe MAGIC SPEED™

For added acceleration, you’ll want the responsive cushioning in this running shoe.

Check out the running shoe METASPEED™ Sky

Recommended for triathletes, this pair helps you make quick transitions between race stages.

Check out the running shoe HYPERSPEED™ 


6. Practice tempo runs to run faster.

A tempo run is a run that is a consistent pace. Typically this run would be at least 20 minutes, keeping the same pace as you go, as long as it’s challenging enough for you. You want this tempo run to be fast but not fully sprinting.

This exercise will help to build stamina and push you to run at a faster pace each time you do it. It will also help to build efficiency within your run, meaning you’ll be able to hold a faster pace for longer.

7. Run in hilly areas to boost your endurance.

Running in areas with more elevation changes, such as hills or steep inclines, are more likely to boost your endurance. Hills make you work harder than if you were running on just flat land. Running at an incline is proven to put more workload on your body, raising your heart rate higher than a course with no incline. By training yourself in different locations with different elevations, you are sure to build your endurance, which in turn makes it easier to push your pace.

8. Wear the proper clothing to remain comfortable.

The proper running gear is essential to top performance. Improper clothing can mess with your body temperature, making it hard for you to keep your stamina. Always wear the right clothing to ensure you have a comfortable run.

But to select the right gear, you have to know yourself. If you’re someone who gets hot easily, or cold easily, dress accordingly. Also, be sure you’re checking the weather and know what conditions you’re in for.

9. Stay hydrated while running to minimize cramping.

On average a person should drink about 3 liters of water daily. Staying hydrated before a workout is important — but even more so when you’re running. Working out causes you to sweat, meaning your body is losing fluids. You need to replace those fluids so your body can function properly during your workout, especially if you’re pushing your pace.

Hydration helps your organs and muscles function properly and is a key factor to avoid cramping. You may be feeling these cramps from the sides of your stomach and even into your legs and calves. For a cramp-free run, make sure to replenish the fluids you’re losing while working out.

10. Give your body time to recover to prevent burnout.

Just like everything else in life, it's critical to give yourself a break. Making sure that you’re focused on the goal and not losing interest is important to stay motivated. Usually, if you’re pushing yourself too hard — say, to achieve a particular time or pace — you’ll be less likely to see a result.

Without adequate recovery time, you’re putting yourself at risk for a mental block or even an injury. When you are feeling a strain in a muscle, the best option is to rest so you don't injure yourself further. The same goes for mental blocks. Everyone needs to rest when you feel a block.

Part of your training for running faster should include downtime. If you fail to get proper rest, you risk setting yourself back weeks. Give yourself the time you need to rest, regroup, and recenter.

11. Track your progress to see how you’re improving.

Tracking your progress is imperative to becoming a fast runner. A record of your distances and times can help you make adjustments in your training and set goals for future runs. Plus, knowing that you’re a couple seconds faster on your mile than a few weeks ago will boost your confidence.

A great way to track your progress is the Runkeeper™ app. With this app, you’ll have the tools needed to become a stronger runner. You’ll have access to workouts and trainer guidance — all at your fingertips. Runkeeper is a great place to track your progression and show you that the hard work pays off.

It’s not impossible to get faster at running. But being a fast runner takes more than just the natural ability to run; it takes training, the right gear, tracking your progress, dedication, and taking care of your body and mind. With work and time, you’ll be on your way to becoming a fast and efficient runner.