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A common frustration amongst runners is the inability to get faster. You’re putting the hours in but the PBs are a thing of the past, your performances begin to plateau and you seem to run all distances at a similar pace. So how do you get your running mojo back and take your performances to the next level. SiS ambassador Max Willcocks talks us through his top 5 tips to become a faster runner.

1. Interval work:  If you want to run fast, then you have to run fast. If your aim is to run faster, then you have to incorporate interval sessions at least once a week into your training. Intervals are short, sharp fast runs where you run at a speed that is much faster than you would normally go for a run but for a much shorter time period. You also stop and rest between intervals allowing your body to recover as much as possible between reps. If you are doing intervals then it’s important to include extra carbohydrates into your session- either an energy gel or energy drink such as GO Electrolyte.

2. Strength work:  Running faster requires strength and a larger range of motion. Even body weight exercises will help develop strength. Squats, lunges and step ups, are all worth including in a strength session. The aim is to develop stronger muscles and also improve your arch of efficiency (the range of motion that you are able to generate power through). Strength work comes with a requirement to rebuild broken down muscles. 1.4-1.8 g of protein per kg of body mass per day should be enough to build and recover. Products such as WHEY20 or REGO Rapid Recovery are easy products to hit those numbers.

3. Tempo work:  To improve speed you need to improve your aerobic capacity. This means maintaining a quicker pace for longer. Tempo runs are continuous and performed at what can be described as ‘an uncomfortable pace’. Tempo runs will help improve your maximum aerobic function, but they require high muscle glycogen availability during the session. Beta Fuel mixed with 500 ml of water provides an added 80 g of carbohydrate to fuel your training.

4. Diet: In order to perform better, one of the simplest things we can do is eat better. As a whole, if we fuel mostly from carbohydrates, think fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses, we will actually store more glycogen in our liver and muscles. Increasing the percentage contribution of carbohydrate to your diet from 40-70% can increase the amount of glycogen your body will store and thus have available for exercise before needing to refuel.

5. Recover: If there’s one thing thats going to exhaust your body and immune system its training to be quick. It puts more stress on your body so always make sure you recover properly. This includes making sure you consume carbohydrate and protein soon after tough sessions, rehydrating effectively post-training and increasing micronutrient content of the diet.

Follow Max on Instagram as he takes on running challenges from 10ks to ultra marathons: https://www.instagram.com/maxwilko/

Max Willcocks
Written By

Max Willcocks

Max is a Science in Sport ambassador and avid long distance runner.