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As runners we are always striving for progression and getting a new personal record feels pretty darn good. Getting faster takes work. It takes more than just running. It takes discipline, time and dedication BUT I know you can do it if you really want it. Here are some things to try out over the next few months that can help you to be faster than ever!
1. Train with people that are faster than you. They will share their tips and tricks and you can learn through them what they did to get to the level that you want to be at. The girls I train with every day push me to paces that I never thought were possible. We each have different strengths and weaknesses and by acting like a ‘team’ in our training we are able to pull our teammates up to the next level. Added bonus—> It keeps things exciting.
2. Hit the trails. Not only will running on the dirt be easier on your body compared to running on the roads but there are usually a lot of hills on the trails. Hill work = speed work in disguise. You will build muscle by running hills and after climbing some tough terrains, running on the road will feel easy. Mentally it will build your confidence and make you realize that you really are strong.
3. Do core work most days of the week. It is really important to have strong legs but having a strong core (core includes your hips, back, glutes and obliques too) is also crucial to prevent injuries and to get faster! If we are injured less often then we are able to train harder and run more miles instead of being sidelined because we are hurting. Having a strong core will help you to maintain proper running form which is so important at the end of a race when we are tired. A strong core will distribute stress more evenly throughout your body and take some of the pressure off of your legs.
4. Treat your body better than ever. Allow yourself to get plenty of sleep. Eat those foods that you know you should be eating. Foam roll daily and get yourself to a few yoga classes. Recover like a champ because recovery is just as important as the hard training runs. Running and training is hard on our body so make sure that you schedule in these important things so that your body can rebuild itself and get stronger and faster.
Time to get to work! Get out there and run and don’t forget to have fun!