How to Run Faster

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Do you have the need for speed? Who are we kidding, of course you do. If you’re ready to make your dream of hitting the ever-elusive 12.5 sprint a reality, you better settle in and get ready to soak up some knowledge. This is Burn 60 101: How to Run Faster.

What is Speed?

Speed isn’t just the little green number on the right side of your treadmill, it’s a mathematical equation.

Speed = Stride Length X Stride Frequency

Stride length: the distance covered between two consecutive placements of the same foot. So, the distance between your right foot step and your second right foot step.

Stride frequency: steps per minute. Also known as cadence.

Put simply, speed = the amount of ground you cover X steps per minute.

 

Getting Faster, the Efficient Way

Think about this. Speed = Stride Length X Stride Frequency. To get faster, you can increase your stride length or increase your stride frequency, right? Correctomundo.

BUT one is better than the other, take a guess… Stride length! Why? Our goal at Burn 60 is to turn you into an efficient runner. We want to increase your effort while lowering your exertion.

When you increase your stride frequency, you increase your effort a.k.a. your heart rate, which leads to quicker fatigue. And that’s BAD.  When you increase your stride length you cover more distance without increasing your effort – ding ding ding, EFFICIENT!

 

How to Increase Your Stride Length

Before we cover this topic, let’s talk about a BIG NO-NO when it comes to increasing your stride length…

You do not increase your stride length by stepping out further then your normal stride.

This produces heel-striking, which acts as a break AND It’s the #1 way to get injured while running.

To increase your stride length (ground covered when both your feet are off the ground), you need to maximize the amount of power you generate pre-take off, by striking the ground at the center of your mass. This increases force production and propels your further. 

This sounds like a pretty complex concept, so we’ll break it down for you. Focus on the following topics in your training and you’ll increase your stride length in no time…

 

Tips for Increasing Your Stride Length

Take Shorter Steps

  • No, we’re not crazy! This sound counterintuitive, but by taking shorter, more compact steps you maximize takeoff force from your center of gravity. Remember, over striding leads to heel-striking, slower speeds and increases your chances of ankle, knee, hip and back injury. Focus on exploding up, not reaching out.

Strengthen your hips, core and glutes

  • Most of the power in your running stride comes from your hips. By focusing on core and lower body strength training you’ll increase your power and lengthen your stride. Running on an incline is also another great way to increase your power.

Take the Time to Stretch

  • By performing dynamic stretches (like walking lunges or squat jumps) before your runs, you increase your hip flexor and hamstring flexibility. Which, Increases the amount of power you generate at take-off and the fluidity of your stride.

Increase your Aerobic Capacity

  •  By focusing on your running form and increasing your endurance, you train your body to better handle exertion. The better your body handles exertion, the more consistently you can generate power throughout your run. Checkout the article “Why Train with a HR Monitor" for more on this topic.

Want some good news? The Burn 60 workout is designed to increase your athletic performance! Every one of these tips is covered during our :45- :60 full body workouts. The more you Burn, the faster you’ll run. That said, it’s important to understand the mechanics of speed and to listen to your body. You’re not going to get faster by killing yourself. Focusing on form and stride execution is the key to faster speeds. See you on a treadmill and happy running!