You’re a runner. Whether you run for the fun or the glory, you want a return on your investment. You want to run faster. You want to know that each run is making you better. Is it? Are you improving? If not, there’s hope.
For a faster 5k and injury-free running, follow the guidelines I’ve listed below.
1. Train Faster. Track workouts are for elite athletes and masochists, right? No. Track workouts are for people who want to get fast in a short period of time. Plus, training at or above race pace prepares your body to race at that intensity. If you run mile repeats at a 7 min/mile pace during training, the likelihood of you running that pace on race day are greater than if you skipped the aforementioned. How much should you run? If you’re racing a 5k-10k, do 400 meter repeats. If you’re racing a half or full, do 800 meter or mile repeats.
2. Lift More. Runners love to run. They just run, run, run. That’s fine but for optimal health, you need non-running activities, like strength training. Don’t dismiss me. I’m not telling you to get swole. I’m telling you to get strong. Push ups, goblet squats, planks, and lateral step ups are your friends. These exercises improve strength, core stability and posture. You’ll be able to run harder and recover more quickly. Win. Win. And don’t forget your core. Try my 7 minute ab workout.
3. Eat Less. Your mileage has increased. As a result, so has your food consumption. Runners stall progress when they think, “I ran today so I can eat whatever I want”. For the genetically gifted, this mentality is fine. For the rest of us, no bueno. Yes, when you run more, you should eat more. The problems come when your “more” becomes “way more”. Carb-loading shouldn’t be a daily occurrence. Save the pasta and bagels for race week.
4. Run Hills. Flat roads lead to nowhere. Hills lead to greener pastures. Whether it’s focused hill repeats or a hilly route, your butt needs this training. Literally. This bang for your buck workout improves your leg drive, your leg strength, and your aerobic capacity. If you need another reason to run hills, it makes your butt look better. Not that you would want that.
5. Do Yoga. It’s not propaganda, it’s real talk. Your flexibility is a hot mess. You can’t even touch your toes. You know I’m right. Stop complaining that yoga is boring. Find a better teacher or a different format. A runner’s body needs pigeon, down dog, and triangle. Yoga will save your poor hamstrings, and your running career. Trust me. Namaste.
Implement these changes and email me when you get that PR (personal record). These tips will improve 5k time and help you run faster. Keep me updated on your progress. I love you.