Running is a sport that some people must work hard at, while others have a great genetic disposition to run fast, with less effort. Regardless if you are slow or fast, there is always room for improvement. Long distance runners want to run faster, longer, while sprinters want to run fast speeds in short distances.
Although there are exercises to help gain speed, there are other techniques you can use to aid the process.
The Gangster Lean
It's not really the gangster lean, but leaning back during your race is one way to slow down. Not all runners are guilty of this, but even some of the fastest runners lean back, with their chest out, head up and feet in front. This causes you to slow your fast stride, or stop accelerating. Instead, keep your body slightly forward, head straight, with your feet just behind you, never looking behind to see where the competition is.
Focus on the finish line
Your mental focus is just as important as the physical aspect of running. Whether you're running sprints or cross-country, your focus should be on breaking records or making the time you expect. Focusing on the other runners or personal issues breaks your stride concentration, breathing and efforts to push hard.
Never, never, never give up
Although Winston Churchill's famous quote "Never, never, never give up" was not meant for running, it still holds true. No matter how tired, or unsure of the result, do not let doubt or worry get in the way. It is easy to stop trying and quit when this happens. Feeling defeated will only slow you down, so push yourself to the finish line.
Keep your form
Although your form has several components, such as foot strike, arm swing or the way you hold your head, keep proper form to move faster. Extra energy is lost on movements that slow you down when you use improper form. Keep your head and back straight, swing your arms naturally and try to improve your foot plant. Your natural gait can take time to change, so take the changes in stride.
Don't over-stride your stride
It seems over-striding would be one way to get a leg up on your opponent, but this running style causes injuries and slows your pace. Out-striding your natural stride causes you to strike the ground with your heel, which acts as "breaks." It also places your center of gravity behind your feet, another component that does not help increase speed.
Lisa M. White
Copyright ©2011 CPT Lisa M. White™. All rights reserved.