So you want to get faster: lucky for you, with the right training that is entirely possible. And it won’t take months, either. When you do the right drills, strengthen all the important muscle groups and set a goal you can be running faster in just weeks. Here’s how.

Set a Goal

speed training concept speedometerSo you want to get faster, yes. But, how much faster? Quantify the goal so you have something you can attain. This is also a great way to measure how successful your training is.  When setting your goal remember to make it S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measureable, attainable, related, time-based. An example goal would be: I want to run a 5K in 25 minutes one month from today.

Interval Training

Intervals are a great way to improve your speed because it helps you target two important aspects of speed training:

VO2: This is a measure of how much oxygen your body can effectively use while working out—your body uses this oxygen to convert food into energy, which helps you run longer. Interval training allows you to build this: when you’re sprinting and can hardly get a word out you’ve hit your VO2 max. As you perform interval training more consistently you train your body to be able to use that oxygen properly, allowing you to run longer before hitting that max.

Muscle Fibers: Long, slow running activates your slow-twitch muscle fibers. However sprinting or a faster paced run than you’re used to, requires help from your fast-twitch muscles and intervals help you train them.

Strengthen Your Core

You know that feeling: your mind is telling you to stop; you’re fatigued and the front door of your house is still pretty far away. When this happens, it’s easy to forget about form and technique. The first sign that you’ve slipped into poor form is a hunched back and when this happens you hinder your stride, making it harder to press on.

Correct this with core training. Focus on exercises that engage all the muscles, not just the ones that you can see. Exercises like planks (all variations: walking, up-down, on a bosu-ball, mountain climbers), standing core workouts (knee to elbow touch, front bend) are perfect for this.

Training Drills for Quick Feet

Speed shoes

The final piece of the puzzle is to teach your legs to actually move faster. This is called neuromuscular training and is a critical aspect of the process.

To do this, build quick feet drills into your workout routine. Try exercises like ladder running (hop between a rope latter rungs as quickly as possible), step sprints, and fast jump roping.

With the right training, focus and goals you can get faster in a matter of weeks. Set a goal, write a plan and get ready to cross that finish line, or finish your next workout, feeling stronger.