How can improve my running speed, taking into account that I have been running 4-5 km 3 times per week for almost 10 months now?As the old running joke goes:
How do you run faster?
By running, faster.
To improve your running speed, you've got to put in the km at a faster pace. There are two great ways that I've increased my speed:
- Dedicated speedwork
- Running with faster partners
Of the two, running with faster partners is the more fun, organic option. Just find a running group where you are in the middle to the back of the pack in terms of running speed. Then make friends with runners who are faster than you are, and try to keep up with them as they run.
The peer pressure to keep up with your new friends will force you to dig deep and run at a faster pace.
Then just keep making friends with faster and faster people!
Now on to speed work. This is a way to make potentially faster progress, but it is usually less fun than the above social method.
Speed work means doing running workouts that are specifically designed to increase your speed. Usually the idea is that you will run shorter distances at a higher pace than your current pace for longer distances. Getting your body used to running faster will cause you to get faster even at longer distances.
A few great types of speedwork are:
- Track work- Running 100/200/400/800M intervals, e.g.
- Tempo runs- running at your LT (lactate threshold aka at a very fast but recoverable pace)
- Fartleks/ indian runs- typically running with a group where you trade off time as the person at the front of the group setting an aggressive pace, and the rest of the group tries to keep up.
- Tabata treadmill- the only reason I use a treadmill! Set a treadmill at a fast pace- near sprinting. Run at this pace for 20 seconds, then with the treadmill still running, hop to the side and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 4 minutes total. Then vomit.
Best of luck- run happy!