Weekly Routine to Improve Running Speed
Speed is a key aspect of running, along with resistance. And although you're always going to excel in one over the other due to the natural physical condition of humans, you can nonetheless plan a specific routine to improve your speed.
Those who practice running, both beginners and professionals, always want to run faster and break their own records. That’s why in this article, we’ll guide you through a weekly routine to improve your running speed.
Types of training to increase running speed
Sometimes it’s not enough to run 10 kilometers each day to try to break your latest record. You need something more effective and specific. One of the popular quotes among runners is, “if you want to run faster, you need to train faster”.
This means that you must choose a more intense routine, but with shorter distances. The “explosive” effect of the following exercises will allow you to improve your running speed.
Day 1: Core
Yep, you guessed it! You must work all of the muscles in your core, which are always working when you’re running. In your routine, include exercises such as crunches, planks, hip twists, and lower back exercises.
Day 2: Short sets
In order to run faster, you’ll want to finish short sets, meaning that you must do runs of 100 to 400 meters. This allows improvement not only in terms of running speed but also technique and strength. You can do six sets of 100 meters as fast as you can and then come back to your normal pace.
Dedicate one day of the week to do these 6 sets. Other options you can do are, for example, 10 sets of 200 meters with one-minute breaks between each set, six sets of 400 meters with 90-second breaks, or four sets of 100 meters with 60-second breaks.
Day 3: Plyometrics
Plyometrics is basically jumping in different variations: single leg jumps, bouncing, etc. Runners can improve their performance by a high percentage during a competition if they add these exercises to their routine.
Day 4: Running uphill
Thanks to slopes you’ll be able to improve strength with every step. Slopes are one of the best options to start running faster, although not all athletes make use of them.
Slopes help you play with inclination and distance. In order to start, we recommend that you choose an inclination of up to 7 percent and keep the pace for no more than 50 consecutive meters.
If you live in a place with only flat paths or with slopes of a higher percentage, you can use treadmills at a gym, which allow you to control inclination. Running uphill strengthens your legs and prevents fatigue during competition, especially in flat running tracks.
Day 5: Strength
Who said that runners shouldn’t do a weightlifting routine at the gym? If you’re looking to increase your running speed, one day a week you’ll have to resort to dumbbells, barbells, and discs.
Suggested exercises for runners are barbell squats, barbell lunges, bicep curls, triceps curls, shoulder press with dumbbells, dumbbell pullovers, barbell calf raise and similar.
Day 6: Fartlek
This technique allows you to run faster without affecting how many kilometers you do. Plus, it allows you to enjoy longer periods of recovery and it’ll help you get used to changes in rhythm during the competition
An example of Fartlek training includes 4 minutes at maximum speed and 3 minutes at your regular pace. Then 3 minutes at maximum speed and 3 minutes at your normal pace, then 2 minutes fast and 3 minutes at a slow pace, and finally one minute at maximum speed versus 3 minutes at an easy pace.
On the seventh day of the week, you’ll enjoy your well-deserved rest. Your muscles will thank you for it! And, the best is that you’ll be able to run faster and more efficiently by alternating the exercises. Remember that not everything is about kilometers or records!