Whether you’re running to catch a bus or sprinting for a touchdown, improving your speed is a workout goal many can relate to. So how do you train to get faster?
You might think if you want to get faster you just have to practice sprinting more, but sprints alone aren’t the only or best way to improve your speed. You’ll want to match sprinting up with some other workouts and make sure you’re using your sprint time effectively if you want to increase your speed.
Train for Strength
It might seem counterintuitive to focus on strength when you want to be fast. But you need strong legs to power that increased speed. Training to strengthen your quads, hamstring, calves, glutes, and ankles will pay off with increased speed. If speed is your main goal, you can work with a personal trainer to come up with a strength training routine that matches your unique body type.
When sprinting, you should use the front of your foot to drive speed. When you run up a hill or up sets of stairs, you naturally use the front of your foot. You also lean forward as you run uphill. Hill running naturally trains you to use the best sprinting position for increased speed. It also strengthens your legs.
As you’re training, make sure you stay committed to having good technique. This goes for your strength training as well as your sprinting technique. Here’s where it helps to be part of a good gym. Even if you’re not working with a personal trainer at Extreme Studio Performance, our staff will provide helpful tips to make sure you’re using our equipment in the right way. To get even more support for proper technique, join a group class or sign up for personal training.
During the running part of your speed training, be smart about how you run. Take time to warm up and cool down. Only do max-effort sprints 2 to 3 days a week, do sets of short sprints, and make sure you’re resting between sets. When running, keep your knees high and run standing up tall rather than hunched over. Keep your arms relaxed and bent, making sure you’re not tensing up and tightening your hands into fists.
Somewhat ironically, speed training isn’t something that happens quickly. Be patient and stay motivated so you don’t get discouraged. Gains in speed may be slow, but they will happen if you’re working with your body in the right way. To make the most of your workouts and stay motivated, join a gym like Extreme Studio Performance where people from all walks of life come together to encourage each other and work on their fitness goals. Also, consider working with a personal trainer.