Train First For Distance, Only Later For Speed

While there are all kinds of tips and tricks that can help you improve your endurance and ability to go the distance, what about your speed? How can you begin to shave time off your finish when your foundation of distance is solidly in place?

It might not be possible to increase speed in leaps and bounds, but taking a second or two off the clock is often more than feasible. In many cases, the answer lies in high-intensity training appropriate to your conditioning level. Speed work will train your quadriceps muscles and the Type II muscle fibers in all the lower limb muscles. If you run slow all the time these muscles remain untrained and unable to provide you improved times and ultimately longer distances.

While many runners think speed training means increasing the length of strides, that’s just not the case. To get faster, it’s important to increase the speed of running strides, not the distance a single step covers. High intensity training is extremely beneficial, but your proficient biomechanics should not be altered. A runner’s foot should always land under the body – not out in front of it. To enjoy the greatest speed, push off with the toes of the rear leg for optimum propulsion.

There are a number of other things runners can do to help shave a little bit of time off their finishes. They include:

  • Building endurance – Endurance and speed do often go hand-in-hand. As a person begins to fatigue, speed can suffer greatly. The longer a runner can keep up a proper stride, the faster he or she is likely to be on the finish. You will have days you feel stronger and faster than others; you can count on it.
  • Practicing – Running with proper form for enhanced speed can take some getting used to. With this in mind, it can be critical to make sure practice is a part of the regular routine. This is especially so when a big race is on the horizon. Work with a trainer or running coach to get on a practice schedule that helps build endurance and speed both.
  • Eating right – Diet is extremely important for runners. This is a high-energy sport that can take a great deal out of the body. Be sure to fuel the body right on a regular basis and don’t overlook the importance of proper hydration, too. When the body isn’t fueled and hydrated properly, fatigue will set in quickly.
  • Dressing right – Runners need to wear proper shoes and clothing to be comfortable as they move. If comfort and support are compromised, speed will likely suffer. A cheap pair of shoes and clothing that overheats your body will slow down the best of runners and inhibit your ability to improve and move towards your goals.

Gaining speed in running isn’t necessarily as easy as it is to build endurance. If you want to be fast; you have to train fast! But don’t make the common mistake of overtraining. You must feel strong and quick in developing more speed. So, take the time to practice effectively, pay attention to your diet and make sure the right stride is taken. When these things combine with proper clothing and comfort, you are likely to see the results you’re after.

About the Author

Marin health and fitness expert, John Spongberg is the founder of Personal Training in Marin as well as an accomplished author, speaker and life coach. He is dedicated to helping people reach their optimum level of fitness, health and body satisfaction through a unique, comprehensive whole-person approach, customized to each client.

Mr. Spongberg creates a successful experience for individuals who are ready to take the next step to, once and for all, achieve the extraordinary health, vitality and body they’ve long been dreaming of. Your satisfaction is personally guaranteed 100% or your money back!

If you’re ready, you can reach Mr. Spongberg at (415) 322-7033 or visit his website at where you can download your free copy of his special health and fitness report, The Truth About Losing Weight

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