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How To Run Faster And Improve Your Run Time

10th February 2023

10th February 2023

By Shivraj Bassi

When the zombie apocalypse hits, this is the article you'll thank your lucky stars that you've read...

Not only that, being able to run fast is important for your fitness, as it's correlated with increased strength and power. So, while we wait for the dead to rise (or, more accurately, keep our fingers crossed that they don’t), we've collated some advice on how to run like the wind, become stronger and burn more fat during your workouts. 

If you've clicked on this article, you may be wondering how you can increase your running pace. Perhaps you’re training for a race, looking to increase your stamina, or really are training for the zombie apocalypse – whatever the reason, we’re here to help.

Firstly, it’s important to note that what you put into your body is just as important as how you move it. For all you runners out there, take a closer look at The Fit Protein to help you strengthen and replenish after a tough sprint session, and for that extra push, check out The Energy Booster for the energy kick you need to push yourself harder, train for longer and grow towards those all-important fitness goals.

Now without further ado, here's how to run faster, and improve your run time in six simple steps.

1. Perfect your form

Now you know that you need to effectively fuel your body before a run or a workout, let’s take a look at your form. Working on the technical aspects of your sprinting is essential to help you run fast. That’s a fact.

When Olympic sprinters dash for the finish line, one thing they all have in common is their running technique. But what is that technique, and how can we incorporate that into our personal techniques?

When they burst out of the blocks they lean forward, pump their arms, and keep their head down as they accelerate. As the race goes on they get taller, their contact time with the ground decreases, and their legs move exceptionally quickly.

So even if you're running to beat your personal best rather than a gold medal, this is the running form that you should be looking for. Whatever the reason you’re running, good form is essential. Unfortunately, it's not as straight forward as you may wish, the science behind the perfect running form is more than half of the task. Ensuring your body is ready and in the right form is crucial.

2. Warm up

First up, prepping for your workout is key, and warming up is essential. When it comes to warming up for a run, and advice around how to run faster: Dynamic Drills are the way forward for sprinting. Dynamic Drills help get your blood pumping, and temperature up. 

Start with 10 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as a light jog. Then move into some dynamic mobility drills such as skips, high knees and arm swings to loosen up your hips, ankles and shoulders. Just keep moving to keep your heartrate up and to keep your body warm.

If you’re one to wonder, “how can I run faster”, it's time to really take into consideration that you need to warm up so that your body doesn’t hurt itself, as running is hard enough. If you take the time to prepare your body for sprinting, you'll run faster and reduce the chances of injury. The last thing you want is a sprained ankle keeping you on the sofa for a month.

Why am I struggling to increase my running pace?

You can’t expect to run faster when your body isn’t ready, and this could be why you’re not seeing the results that you want. Especially when you’re expecting to improve your run speed. Ensure you really take that time to get your mind and your body ready for the run so you are prepared to achieve your fitness goals.

3. Don't waste energy

It’s essential that you don’t waste energy when you run. You need to use everything you have to propel yourself forward as fast as possible. It’s important that you conserve your energy and that you don’t waste it.

To increase your run speed your legs need to move faster, which requires more energy. You should pump your arms, keep your hips steady, your chin in and your stride short. Lean forward slightly and aim to land on your mid-foot, as this will help prevent your strides from becoming too large.

Conserve your energy throughout the run and stick to a pace that works for you and that you feel comfortable.

4. Start trying out some speed sessions

If you were wondering how to increase your running pace, look no further.

“How to increase your run time” and "how to increase your run speed" are two hugely popular searches on the internet, and thankfully, here at Innermost, we’ve got the answer.

How to run faster and longer 

Try doing 10 x 50m or 10 second maximal sprints with full recovery between each one. Adding this to your workout will improve your conditioning for any sport you play, as well as your day-to-day life. As you work through your plan make, sure to keep refining your technique to make sure you keep improving.

Training your body to handle a certain speed takes practice. Learning to increase your running pace won’t happen overnight.

Just keep persevering and trying your best and your body will adapt to what you’re asking it to do. You could even try workout techniques such as Fartlek Training - which is a great way to improve your stamina and performance

5. Surprisingly: hills help

When you need to mix up your workouts and really test your speed, try doing some resisted sprints to get you on the road being a faster and more powerful sprinter.

Hill sprints are a fun, challenging way of adding resistance to your workouts. Find a moderately sloped hill and do hill repeats as many times as you can.

When you’re beginning to think that you know you can do better and you’re wondering how you can improve your running time, try pushing yourself to the extreme as once you’ve got the hang of sprinting or running up a hill.

When it comes back to it, running on a flat road will be much easier and you will notice that your body has been conditioned to more than normal running.

6. Lift and resist for speed

Let's face it, you need to be strong to run fast.

Resistance training combined with speed workouts is a great way to improve your power. Focus on exercises such as squats, lunges and deadlifts to get your legs and core stronger. Getting your muscles stronger means that they are capable of doing more. Getting those muscles awake and ready to be pushed means that your body can handle more.

These exercises will help you to recruit the fast twitch muscles that you need to run faster and more powerfully. Try adding strength workouts to your routine two to three times a week to see fast results. Stability and form all depends on your muscles and how they are carrying your body.

The more muscles you have to help your body achieve your goals, the more times you can it!

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From the Bedroom to the Gym: Is Your Sex Life Affecting Your Workout Performance?
The relationship between sex and workout performance is one that’s long been debated by scientists and fitness fanatics alike. It’s complicated and multifaceted, so answering the question of whether your sex life is affecting your training is difficult. That said, today we’re going to take a look at a variety of evidence, both academic and anecdotal, as well as several different scenarios and at least try to reduce some of the mystery around the subject. First, it helps to understand what’s actually happening to the body, both physically and psychologically, during both activities.   The Effects of Sex on the Body Sexual activity causes several changes to occur in the body:   Physical Changes That Occur During Sex During sexual activity and the lead up to it, the human body undergoes a process known as the sexual response cycle. This is the case for both males and females, though the cycle can be highly individual and may not be the same each time for each person. Describing the full sexual response cycle is beyond the scope of this article, however it consists of 4 phases: Desire Arousal Orgasm Resolution Factors such as elevated heart rate, increased blood flow and pressure and heightened muscle tension all come into play. If you’d like to read about the sexual response cycle in more detail, check out this great article from Cleveland Clinic.   Psychological Changes That Occur During Sex Several psychological changes occur both during and after sex. Most notable are the release of endorphins and oxytocin, which are associated with improved mood and a better sense of wellbeing. These are also responsible for reduced stress levels, which brings a multitude of additional benefits that are of particular interest to those of us participating in regular training and exercise. Cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress, is catabolic in high levels, meaning it can cause the breakdown of lean tissue. So, whilst it is unclear whether sex itself affects workout performance, the reduction in stress levels it may bring is definitely beneficial for preserving our results!   The Effects of Exercise and Training on the Body Exercise and training also cause the body to undergo a number of changes. These occur both during and after the physical activity. There are in fact a number of similarities in changes that happen during exercise and sex:   Physical Changes That Occur During Exercise The physical changes that happen in the body vary based on the type of exercise being undertaken, however, there are some that are common to exercise in general: Increased heart rate Increased blood flow, especially to the muscles Faster, deeper breathing due to additional oxygen needs Heightened activity within the circulatory, respiratory, musculoskeletal and endocrine systems A full summary of the changes that occur within these systems can be found here. More aerobically demanding exercise will, of course, place greater emphasis on the circulatory and respiratory systems as well as causing fat to be metabolised as an energy source. Resistance training, which often relies more heavily on the lactate and creatine phosphate energy systems, instead promotes greater muscular and endocrine (hormone) activity. Note the common physical changes between sex and exercise here, as they do crossover!   Psychological Changes That Occur During Exercise The psychological changes that occur during exercise are similar to those experienced during sexual activity and are mostly related to the release of endorphins and other ‘feelgood’ hormones. These help to regulate mood, and it is common knowledge that frequent exercise and leading an active, healthy lifestyle promotes a feeling of wellbeing.   Does Sex Affect Our Workouts? This is where things become complicated. Though extensive studies have been done on the subject, the results of these have varied massively. We must also take into account the experience of individuals, and this anecdotal evidence again has huge variance. Let’s look at both:   Sex and Training: What the Science Says Scientific studies on the relationship between sex and training are contradictory at best. There’s no denying the positive benefits of both activities, particularly from a psychological perspective, but as for the effect of sex on actual performance in the gym the results are inconclusive. A study, published in April 2021, by Kirecci, Albayrak and co. examined the effects of sexual activity of 50 men in the 24 hours prior to training on lower body strength. The study measured effects by having the men perform 3 separate squat sessions, each at the same time of day. Each of these sessions occurred after participating in or abstaining from sexual activity the night before. The men performed 5 sets of 5 repetitions of their maximum squat weight during these sessions and the difference in weight lifted was observed. The study concluded that ‘sexual intercourse within 24 hours before exercise [has a] detrimental effect on lower extremity muscle force, which suggests that restricting sexual activity before a short-term activity may be necessary.’ Aside from this study, most others found either no notable relationship between sex and athletic performance. A meta-analysis of 9 crossover studies, conducted by Zavorsky and Brooks and published on 16 September 2022, confirms this. The analysis concluded that ‘The results demonstrate that sexual activity within 30 min to 24 h before exercise does not appear to affect aerobic fitness, musculoskeletal endurance, or strength/power.’ This is perhaps more notable, because these studies incorporated different types of exercise and were not restricted purely to a strength/power based activity like squats.   Anecdotal Evidence: What About the Experiences of Real Gym Goers? The anecdotal evidence is, as expected, highly individualised. However, there tends to be a bias against the results of most studies, particularly in those participating in sports involving strength and aggression. For example, many fighters claim that they perform better when they abstain from sex in the days leading up to a contest. Similarly, bodybuilding forums are full of debate on this topic and many claim they note a significant decrease in motivation to train at maximum intensity after sexual activity. It has been hypothesised that this may be due to a downregulation in testosterone production after sex; during orgasm the mineral zinc is released in the body and this is also a precursor for natural testosterone production in the body and may, therefore, provide some reasoning as to the experience of many trainees.   Key Takeaways The relationship between sex and workout performance will always be a complicated one. The effects of one on the other in terms of physical fitness and, in particular, mental wellbeing, are clear, but when it comes to actual performance this appears to be highly individual. We’d advise doing what feels best for you but not worrying too much about it. Instead, prioritise your nutrition and make sure you’re fuelling your workouts properly. While you’re here, why not take a look at the Innermost range? We’re proud to be completely transparent about the ingredients in our products and we always ensure they’re of the highest quality. Check us out, and be sure to get in touch if you have any questions! Read more