1) THOU SHALT WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR!
We will begin with a nice simple one. Invest in a good pair of running shoes, go to a running shop rather than your average sports shop. This will allow you to try on the running shoes and run on a treadmill before you purchase them. They have specialists there who can help find the best trainers for you to match your running style and your budget. A decent pair of trainers also can be the difference between being injury free, or not!
2) THOU SHALT MIX UP THE TRAINING PLAN!
When training for long distances try not to become to time orientated. By all means track your runs and your distance, but on different days you will perform differently and if on each run you constantly are focusing on beating your time from the last run it becomes a very tedious process. Our top tip here is to focus on different things each time you run. For example:
Monday - Hill Intervals
Tuesday - Long Run
Wednesday - Quick tempo 5-10K
Thursday - Circuit training developing muscle endurance
Friday - Long recovery run
3) THOU SHALT STRETCH UNTIL SUPPLE!
Stretching is another crucial aspect to allow you to perform better, if you are stiff and tight then it will affect how fluently you can run. By addressing this and adding in a short 15-minute session of stretching a week it will go along way to improving your performance. YouTube is a great resource for finding some simple stretching routines that only take a brief amount of time!
4) THOU SHALT NOT RUN OF FUMES!
Another very important aspect is diet, you must fuel your runs effectively and following your runs its vitally important to refuel. Or this will greatly compromise your performance and when you try to push on harder for that last kilometre. Aim to eat something light approximately 30-45 mins prior to your run, and then make sure you consume another post run snack/protein shake shortly after you complete your run to optimise recovery.
5) THOU SHALT NOT FALL INTO OVER TRAINING!
Don’t over-train, if all you do is run continuously you will run yourself into the ground. You may want to get better at running but try other forms of cardio such as biking or swimming, this can help to improve your endurance in different ways, and therefore improving your running. Plus, placing different stresses on your body can also make you more resilient to injury. Also, make sure to incorporate rest days into your programme. To do this, aim to have 1-2 days a week where you allow your body to recover properly, this then allows for much higher quality training during the week!
6) THOU SHALT HIT THE GYM, NOT THE ROAD!
Our final piece of advice for running faster is getting into the gym. You will be surprised at how athletes like Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill, and even Jo Pavey will have spent countless hours in the gym lifting weights to improve their strength. The end result? A more robust set of legs that can work more efficiently, produce more power, and create more capacity for their running times to be smashed! Start with simple moves like squats, deadlifts, lunges and calf raises to build a good foundation, and then add more weight, reps, sets as the exercises become easier.