5 ways to run faster this summer

From heart monitors to hill running: how you can turn the heat up your running

summer2

Have heart

“Using a heart rate monitor in training means the fitter you get, the faster and longer you have to run to get in your top training zone,” says Rebecca Cox, Reps Level 3 personal trainer. “The quicker your heart rate comes down in the rest period after high intensity, the less rest you have. Essentially, as you progress, it makes you work harder by showing you exactly what your body is capable of – so you’re not cheating yourself.”

Head for the hills

They may seem like a laborious slog but by incorporating hill runs into your training regime, you’ll improve your overall speed. A study of 10K runners published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning revealed that the muscle development that comes from hill running helped improve finishing times. “Hills build leg and lung strength, and give you the foundation of fitness you need to get faster,” explains Lucie Noble, senior physiotherapist at London Bridge Hospital.

Arm yourself

“Focus on your arm drive when running – a strong action really helps momentum and drive,” says England rugby flanker and sprint trainer James Haskell (www.jhbodyfire.co.uk). The most important phase of the arm drive is how hard you swing them backwards. “Use your arms efficiently by driving your elbows directly behind you instead of out to the side,” he says.

Weight around

Don’t shy away from weight training for fear that ‘bulking up’ could wreck your performance. Italian research among a group of elite runners found that those who did some strength training – specifically dead lifts at a high weight (90 per cent of max) – achieved greater running economy and improved running technique when compared to a group who did numerous reps at lower weight (70 per cent of max). The scientists suggested “distance runners that lift and squat get stronger and therefore can run faster”.

Workout on flats

Doing strength drills where the foot is in contact with the ground on stable surfaces helps develop speed, as sprinting involves reaction forces against stable surfaces. “Back squats, front squats and deadlifts all fit the bill,” says James Haskell. “While exercises that involve the extension of the hip, knee and ankle all improve speed along with single-leg drills like lunges, single-leg squats and step-ups.”

Find the full list of 21 tips in the latest issue of Men’s Running

Written by Rick Pearson | 184 articles | View profile

Please comment on this article below

Up
WATCH: TomTom Runner Cardio Review Project 26.2 training day Mk II WATCH: New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC review WATCH: Exclusive interview with Wilson Kipsang WATCH: Mio Fuse review WATCH: Nike launches Lunar Tempo running shoe Unboxing of the Saucony Kilkenny XC5 spikes Try Broga – yoga for men Michael Johnson talks sport and business PulseOn heart rate monitor reviewed
Down

WATCH: TomTom Runner Cardio Review

TomTom Runner Cardio Review

Project 26.2 training day Mk II

Robbie Britton gives the guys some valuable advice

WATCH: New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC review

These are the brand new, New Balance Fresh Foam Zante NYC

WATCH: Exclusive interview with Wilson Kipsang

Women's Running digital writer, Jen Bozon, was blessed with an exclusive interview with marathon legend, Wilson Kipsang.

WATCH: Mio Fuse review

The Mio Fuse is an EKG-accurate heart rate monitor, that tracks steps, distance, calories and pace.

WATCH: Nike launches Lunar Tempo running shoe

Nike have launched their brand new running shoe, the Lunar Tempo.

Unboxing of the Saucony Kilkenny XC5 spikes

Zac Pattison unboxes Saucony's latest cross-country spike

Try Broga – yoga for men

Think yoga's for girls? Think again! Try Broga

PulseOn heart rate monitor reviewed

Wireless and wrist-mounted, the PulseOn syncs with your phone