So you are confident in your running ability, but what’s next on the agenda? Chances are it’s figuring out how to improve your running speed. We’re not promising to turn you into Usain Bolt, but here are five tricks that should help you become a fast runner.
Warm up before your run
A lot of runners say, no matter their experience, say that the first mile of a run is the hardest. You start your run, you have heavy legs and your breathing feels laboured.
Work Out If You Are An Association Or Dissociation Runner
According to experts on the subject, most runners fall into one of two categories when it comes to mental strategies: association or dissociation. A study carried out at the London marathon in 1996 explored these categories further, finding that the mental strategies could be defined into the following:
- Internal association – This type of runner focuses on how their body feels as they are running. For example, you may consider how your legs are feeling or concentrate on your breathing rhythm during the run.
- Internal dissociation – This type of runner focuses on distracting their mind during their run. You might think about your life, solve a problem or make up a story when running.
- External association – This type of runner focuses on the external detail of the activity. For example, during a race you might have the location of the next water station or your split times on your mind.
- External dissociation – This type of runner focuses on external details not related to the race. You may think about landmarks along the way, or the weather.
By understanding which of the above categories you fall into, you can use specific strategies during your run to help you pick up the pace. If you are a dissociation runner for example, you might find it’s useful to use distraction strategies while you are running (such as listening to music) to improve your running speed.