Here are five quick tips to improve your speed.
1. Improve your stride length: To go faster, you need to either make each stride longer or move your legs faster, right? Practice running a longer stride by doing “striders” after a workout. Run about 50 yards, starting slowly and gradually increasing to 5K race pace. Keep focused on your posture and having a long, smooth stride.
2. Run faster: Pretty simple right? But lots of people run the same pace at every run. Take one run a week and make it your tempo run where you pick up the pace. Make sure to warm up and cool down adequately.
3. Hit the track: Track workouts will certainly help you develop speed. Find a group to make it more competitive (and fun) and make it a once-a-week workout.
4. Give yourself time to recover: Speed workouts are great, but they also can lead to injuries if you don’t allow yourself enough recovery time. Take an easy day or two after the track workouts or temp runs.
5. Lose weight: The rule of thumb is that for every pound you lose you get two seconds per mile faster. Lean runners certainly eventually hit diminishing returns on this one, but if you can stand to loose 5 or 10 pounds, that will certainly help your speed. Best of all, if you do the first four tips, the weight loss tends to follow.