Many people use a number of excuses why they just cannot seem to run any faster. They say their legs are not long enough; they are not built correctly to be runners and a variety of other reasons. The truth is anyone can run faster with proper training and conditioning. In addition there are several techniques that have been designed specifically to help people run faster than they do. It does not matter at what pace you happen to be running at right now, there is always room for improvement so before giving up hope let us take a look at some of the things you may be able to do to get yourself going a little bit faster.
Your Big Toe Is Your Friend
That sounds like a funny and almost ridiculous statement but when it comes to running it is an extremely true statement. When getting ready to take off always push off with that trusty big toe. Consider your big toe to be somewhat of a spring board. You can seriously improve your forward acceleration just by using that big toe aggressively. In addition, relying more on the big toe and less on your heels will help you to relieve some of the pressure you often feel on the heel area of your foot when getting started.
Use Your Arms
Have you ever noticed the way a professional track runner will swing his/her arms forward and not hold them across his/her body? This is because swinging your arms from side to side will only cause you to wobble rather than move in the direction you want to and that is obviously forward! For this reason it is best to swing your arms in the direction you want to be going. One good way to be sure you are swinging your arms correctly is to make sure that you are ever so lightly brushing your thumbs up against the side seams of your shirt while you run.
Tuck That Chin Down
Instead of running with your head held high as would be the instinctive way to run, try tucking your chin downward instead. When you run with your head held up then what you are doing is putting additional weight on your mid section thereby putting way too much strain of your heels. This also seems to gear your body up for a stop rather than a go and if you are trying to run faster then you want your body ready for the go, certainly not the stop. Look for that area that is about four to five feet in front of your feet and keep your focus there.
Work on Your Running Speed in Your Spare Time
Nothing makes perfect like practice. Anytime you have a little extra time hit that track and use the techniques listed here. Do this at least two or times a week. Think of running as something like learning to play a musical instrument. You must perfect the art in order to be good at it. Running is something that comes natural to all human beings, no matter how tall or short they may be. There is nothing that sets you aside from anyone else but building your endurance and increasing the amount of time you practice. Keep a stop watch with you and each time you run that track try to get just a little bit better time. If you keep up at this there is no way you will not become a faster runner.
Strengthen Your Legs
This should go without saying but you need to be doing some hill climbing or using a treadmill with a pretty steep incline. You want to build those leg muscles up so that they will be able to withstand the duration of your running. Remember there are many good runners who start out very fast but die out much too early due to weak legs. If you do not want to be one of those runners then keep those legs strong and make sure they will get you to the finish line.
Eat a Good Amount of Protein
Make sure you drink protein shakes and eat a good amount of foods that are rich in protein. Also, try not to listen to people who will tell you carbs are not your friend. A fair amount of complex carbohydrates are very good for people who participate in sports like running track. Carbs turn into pure energy and if you are going to be doing any distance running you will need to eat complex carbs and foods that are known to promote energy just before a race. Protein rich snacks are excellent for endurance as well so keep plenty of those on hand, especially before your work out.
Build Up Your Turnover
In running the term turnover simply speaks to the amount of times you left or right foot hit the ground in a one minute time frame. Start counting your turnovers and do some simply math to figure out how many you need to be at to get a certain distance within a specific amount of time. An Olympic runner is probably going to have about 95 strides for each minute. You may not be able to start there but you should be aiming for at least 70 as a realistic goal initially, if you want to be a runner. You will then want to gradually try increasing that turnover by about 5 points until you are able to reach 80 which is a very good number to be at.
Think of running as anything else. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. If you set your mind to anything at all you can do it. It just may take some practice and some diligent work but it can be done and never think your dreams are impossible.