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10 tips to run faster and better

Last updated on: November 9, 2011 15:24 IST

10 tips to run faster and better

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With the Mumbai Marathon not very far away, Lifemojo.com offers ten tips that can help you run faster!

Running is a sport that is inexpensive and accessible in nature. There are various health benefits that you get from running which sets it apart from other methods of aerobic exercise.

Running not only forms the basics of various outdoor sports, but is also regarded as one of the most important components of fitness training.

Strength, stamina and concentration, together make a good runner. Once you get your basic running knowledge right, the next thing on your mind is speed

There is a misconception amongst young runners that speed is in born. There are many techniques and pieces of advice on how to run faster. Here are a few to get you started right away!


Image: Mark Sadowski/Creative Commons

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Increase your breathing speed

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A lot of times the only reason you run slowly is because your oxygen intake is low.

As a result, the body is not getting fresh supply of oxygen when it requires it the most.

The only way to overcome is to increase your breathing rate so that the muscles are supplied with more oxygen, which will help them perform better.

You can also do some breathing exercise or pranayam to help you breath faster and more efficiently.


Image: Sebastian Mary/Creative Commons

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Run with the correct posture

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Many people think that there no precise science in running, it just comes naturally. This is a very big misconception. Running requires you to do it in the correct posture. Always land on the ball of your foot and take the landing impact in your calf muscle.

With practice you will get the correct stride which will not only help you to run faster but also for longer distance. You should aim to run with a 'slight' forward lean throughout the whole body with your chin down and your head still.


Image: Dru Bloomfield/Creative Commons

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Vary your pace

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Running at the constant speed will make your body get used to that pace.

This can be detrimental to your training regime as your body will try to remain in the comfort zone and will not push itself to the limit.

Your natural speed may be much more than you can imagine.

Therefore, make sure you run at various paces through a training week.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Run with someone faster

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The mind always loves challenges.

By watching someone running faster than you, your competitive nature will compel you to run faster just to keep up.

You can also follow their pace and watch their movement of legs and perfect your running technique.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Change frequency

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Running a constant distance everyday is not recommended. You should not run for more than 5-6 days a week. And each run should not be similar.

You can have short sprints one day followed by a long jog the other day.

In fact varying the distance throughout a training cycle can help to keep things interesting.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Don't over-stride

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In order to cover long distance in a short amount of time, most runners try to over stride.

Whenever you over-stride, your lead foot goes in front of you acting as a brake.

Keep your strides normal and look forward to increase your pace.


Photographs: Jim Winstead/Creative Commons
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Rest

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Make sure you take rest one day in a week so that your body gets the time to recover and you reduce the chances of injury.


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Hill training

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A great way to build physical and mental strength is to incorporate hills into your training. Find a steep hill with a well-groomed path, sprint up the hill and then walk back down.

As running up the hill (against gravity) is stressful, when you run on flat land your speed naturally increases.


Photographs: Sean Dreilinger/Creative Commons
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Lose weight

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The less heavy you are, the faster you can go. Running becomes more difficult when you gain weight. But conversely, becoming underweight may negatively affect performance and health. So make sure that you are at the right weight according to your height.



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Strengthen your core

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A distinct characteristic of a fast runner is a strong core. There are various weight training exercises, pilates, yoga exercises to strengthen ones core muscles.

As with any endurance sport, 'doing more' will only lead to burn out and injury. However, the above approach with a little patience will help you to take your running to the next level.



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LifeMojo is a wellness company, helping people to live a healthier life. LifeMojo provides online and on phone nutrition consultation services to help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals.