• Lanzarote cycling tour
  • Lanzarote cycling tour

5 ways to improve running speed

Have you noticed a stagnation in your speed in the running race? Are you still training as before, even longer, but you notice that your pace does not improve?

Nuestro colaborador Personal Running nos da sus mejores consejos para mejorar la velocidad en la carrera a pie

Surely you have reached that point of stagnation in which you need to add a little more quality to your workouts and combine aerobic work both extensive (soft shootings) and intensive (happy or quick shootings), with anaerobic work, technical work and also muscle power that manages to improve your energy production systems and make you improve your performance.

Below are different forms of training that we should include in our sessions to improve our speed in the running race:


Series training or interval training is the main type of training we must do if we want to increase our speed. This type of training is a very intense training, and through its realization we will increase our capacity for effort and increase our threshold of suffering.

These workouts will produce a large amount of lactic acid, to which the body will respond by improving its elimination capacity, increasing our performance.

It consists of splitting our training, making different series of a certain distance with a break between the different series, in order to make these shorter distances at a higher speed than we could carry in longer distances.

These series are made to rhythms similar and superior to the rhythms of competition, and they are performed at an intensity higher than the anaerobic threshold. Thanks to this we habituate the organism to satisfy very high energy demands, which will be even higher than those that will be used later in the competition.

It is not advisable to always perform the same series of the same duration, but we must vary both the distances and the number of series depending on the time of the season in which we are, as well as the rest time. The short series (between 100 and 400 m) will give us more power and specific speed, which will be very useful, for example on the slopes or in the final part of the races. The long series (between 500 and 3000 m) will provide us with a specific improvement of the racing rhythms and greater anaerobic resistance.

A similar training is variable continuous training, fartlek or changes in rhythm. The difference is that this type of training there is no rest, only variations in speed with fast parts and slow parts. Before starting the series training it is advisable to start with training of this type, and once dominated and especially when the main competition approaches, move to series training with greater intensity.


The work of the tcareer technique is imperative to improve our way of running. It may seem like a type of secondary training, but it is a fundamental part to improve efficiency in the race and with that to be able to maintain a greater pace for a longer time.

These exercises will gradually change our career towards a more correct, effective and economical way of running. It will strengthen our muscles, strengthen our ligaments and tendons close to the ankle, preventing possible injuries, decrease energy expenditure and get our stride wider.

In addition, in each stride your foot hits the ground, this impact against the ground implies a loss of speed, which will make you have to use the energy of your muscles to keep pushing forward and maintain a constant speed.

If we manage to make a cyclical career gesture by investing a smaller amount of energy, we will be able to increase our performance. And if in turn, we get our stride slightly wider (provided it is effective and does not make the support is initially with the heel), this will make us have to use less strides to make the same distance, with what we spend less energy and therefore we will be more efficient and we will obtain a better performance.


To get more muscle power to help us in the race we will use the slopes to perform specific training in them.

With this kind of strength training specific we will get that our muscles work with more intensity than running on level, resulting in a more efficient stride and increase in speed.

As we have said in series training on flat terrain, do not always train on the same slope and do the same number of repetitions. Varies your workouts with slopes of different types, with different slopes and different distances. The short slopes and with greater slope (slopes of less than 100 m with more than 10% of unevenness) will give us an explosive force and therefore a higher specific speed. With the longest slopes and with the lowest slope (slopes from 100 m and with gradients of 5% -10%) we carry out a greater work of strength-resistance, which will provide an improvement of our rhythms in the race, since this work on a slope it is customary for the muscle to recruit a greater number of muscle fibers when it begins to feel fatigue.


Good coordination will allow your feet to move faster and your momentum on the ground to be faster, stronger and more effective. Performing a work of foot coordination and stride frequency, will allow us to develop "fast feet or reactive feet". Through this concept of "fast feet" we try to make the support of the foot on the ground as short as possible by making the foot take off immediately after having hit.

The shorter the contact time of the foot on the ground, the greater our speed, due to a greater use of inertia and less loss of energy.

This work can be done through certain specific technique exercises for the work of the stride frequency, such as: skipping low, fast jumps with feet together, alternative impulses of feet with extended knees, etc.

Another good way to work is with exercises on stairs and even in banks, performing different coordination exercises, frequency and muscle power with the intention of improving our frequency in the race. The most specific work for this type of training can be done in a coordination staircase, through a large number of exercises that will improve our coordination capacity and our speed in support.


This last point is advisable to do it only when you have a certain level of training and we have done a good job of strengthening the lower body muscle, because otherwise it could be too aggressive training for our muscles, tendons and joints.

It's a type of training that is based on the performance of different types of jumps: to a foot, to two feet, horizontal, vertical jumps, with different heights, etc., and often it is also called as multi-jumps.

The jumps are exercises in which a combination of force and speed is made, trying to move as quickly as possible and the greatest possible distance, where very explosive and powerful movements are made.

In the realization of this type of training will have to start by performing exercises of low intensity, and as you get more experience and greater power can be incorporated exercises with greater intensity. Being a very intense training at the muscular level, it is not advisable to carry out more than one weekly training of this type, and it would be necessary to leave a rest day or perform a training of soft-moderate intensity in the following day to have a good recovery.

Further information: http://personalrunning.com/

Photo: ITU

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