Discover 11 Tips On How to Run Faster and Longer

Whether you want to improve your run time, increase your endurance, or boost your overall running performance, knowing how to run faster and longer is essential—and we’re here to help you with just that.

In this article, we’ll show you how to run faster and longer in the most efficient and effective way possible.

If done right, you’ll be able to beat your PB in under a week and run a full marathon shortly thereafter.

Let’s get right into it!

1.   Wear the Right Shoes

Discover 11 Tips On How to Run Faster and Longer: Shoes on cobblestone road next to water bottle

If you’ve been running a long time, you already know the importance of wearing the right kind of footwear. Wearing the right kind of shoes not only makes your runs a more enjoyable experience but also pushes you to your maximum potential.

So, if you truly want to maximize your running skills and beat PB after PB, invest in a comfortable pair of running shoes. These shoes will carry you throughout your running sessions for the majority of the time.

If you already have a pair of running shoes, inspect them with a critical eye.

Most performance running shoes last about 300 to 500 miles or approximately four to six months of semi-daily use.

At this point, the midsole cushioning would have likely lost its resilience and shock-absorbing properties. This will cause more impact on your muscles and joints as you run, which then increases the risk of injury.

You want to avoid this as much as possible, especially if you have a running competition coming up.

Here are some signs that your running shoes need to be replaced:

  • Significant wear and tear, especially on the front part and the outside edges of your shoe and
  • Muscle fatigue and new discomfort in your feet, legs, knees, and hips after running
  • Blisters on your feet after running
  • Poor shock absorption (i.e., feeling the impact of your steps in your feet, knees, and hips)

It’s important to note that there are multiple types of running shoes for multiple types of feet, including lightweight shoes, trail shoes, stability shoes, motion control shoes, and others.

Lightweight shoes are ideal for intervals, sprints, and competitions. They’re not as cushioned as trail shoes, but they allow users to run more dynamically and naturally.

Trail shoes are best suited for runners who regularly maneuver through mud, dirt, hard terrain, and other obstacles. They offer increased protection around the back and the ankle.

Stability shoes are recommended for people with neutral feet (feet with slight pronation). They’re designed to prevent or reduce the risk of pronation while running.

The same is said for motion control shoes, except they’re specifically suited for individuals suffering from over-pronation. They have additional heel cup supports to prevent pronation and excessive motion. .

2.   Work on Your Running Pace

To run faster, you have to work on your pace. The best way of doing this is through interval training.

Start with short bursts of speed work by running at intervals near, at, or faster than your VO2max pace, and then return to your usual pace.

Continue doing this until you surpass your regular running pace. You’ll find this quite tiring at first, but as you develop your physical and mental stamina, your body and mind will keep up with the pace and anticipate your bursts of speed.

For the uninitiated, VO2 max refers to the maximum volume of oxygen your body can process when exercising, hence the term VO2 (V for volume, O2 for oxygen).

If you still haven’t measured your VO2 max pace, now’s the perfect time to do it.

On your next run, warm-up, then run for 8 minutes at the maximum intensity level you can sustain. If you were able to run a full mile at your maximum pace, this means that your VO2max pace is 8 minutes per mile.

The easiest and most efficient way to exercise speedwork is to run up a hill that takes anywhere between 30 seconds and 5 minutes to climb at 85-90% of your VO2 max pace. Then, jog back down to recover.

You can also run fast bursts between trees, lamp posts, food stalls, and other markers in your area.

While doing so, don’t forget to regulate your breathing and listen to your body.

This workout will push you outside your comfort zone, but it shouldn’t cause you despair.

There’s a difference between discomfort and pain. If you feel pain, this means you pushed yourself too hard, too fast. Slow down and run at a slightly slower pace.

3.   Gradually Increase Your Mileage

Surely, you’ve heard of the 10% rule (10PR) for increasing mileage. If not, allow us to explain.

For every mile you ran the previous week, increase it by 10% of that amount. This means that if you’re running 10 miles this week, you should only run an extra mile the week after.

That said, the 10% rule isn’t the most effective when it comes to running faster and longer. After all, not all runners run the same number of miles every week.

The 10% rule might be suitable for casual runners, where they’d only have to increase their mileage bit by bit. But what if your mileage per week exceeds that of beginners?

For example, let’s say you’re clocking about 40 miles a week. If you follow the 10% rule, this means that you have to increase your mileage to 44 miles the week after, then to 48 the week after that. This is way too aggressive and might even lead to injury.

In the same vein, the 10% rule can make your mileage increase too slow. For a beginner, this isn’t much of an issue. But for individuals who want to work on running faster for longer, the 10% rule might be holding them back from reaching their goal pace in a timely manner. 

So, instead of blindly following the 10% rule, refer back to your baseline mileage to determine the best way to increase your weekly miles.

To determine your baseline mileage, look back on your training routine for the last 6 to 12 months and ask yourself this: what’s my average mileage per week? On a regular basis, how long and far can I run without getting exhausted?

If you haven’t been keeping track, follow these steps:

  • Run 3 miles (equal to a 5K race) on an even surface.
  • While running, use a mileage counter to track how long it took you to complete 3
  • Divide the time by three.

Once you’ve determined your baseline mileage, open a spreadsheet (or a notebook) and start planning.

Let’s say your baseline is 10 miles and you want to increase it to 20 miles by the end of the month. This means that you need to increase your mileage by 20% every week for four weeks. That’s a 2-mile increase per week.

Gradually increase your mileage throughout the week so your body doesn’t get tired too easily by the 2-mile increase. As you build and maintain mileage, follow a consistent, long-term schedule.

4.   Run More Every Week

To effectively and safely increase your mileage and speed, consider adding more running days if your schedule allows it.

For instance, instead of training two days a week, train three or even four days a week.

You can also swap a few of your strength/cross-training days with running days.

Ideally, you should run at least two to three times a week and rest for at least one. Just make sure that your running days vary in distance and intensity to keep things interesting and to avoid burnout or injury.

5.   Strengthen Your Core

You can’t run faster and longer without strengthening your core and cardio. In fact, strength training and running go hand-and-hand.

Strength training builds endurance, allowing your body to sustain speed training more easily. It also keeps your running form strong even when fatigue kicks in.

As for speed, experts believe that strength training makes your tendons springier and stiffer, resulting in a more efficient stride and sprint speed.

Last but not least, strength training significantly reduces the risk of injury because this type of training increases bone density and strengthens connective tissue, leading to a decrease in tears and breaks.

For best results, dedicate at least one day of strength training to your weekly schedule. This training should take anywhere between 30 minutes to one hour.

If you can, also add about 10 minutes of strength training after running.

Here are some strength training exercises to add to your daily routine:

  • Back Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Plank
  • Lunge
  • Deadlift
  • Box Jump
  • Kneeling hip flexor stretch

6.   Improve Your Stride Turnover

Stride turnover, otherwise known as stride frequency, refers to the steps you take during a minute of running. By increasing your stride turnover, you’ll naturally run at a faster pace.

Here’s how to determine your current stride turnover:

  • Run at a 5K race pace (i.e., a speed you can easily sustain for three miles) for 30 seconds.
  • Count whenever your right foot hits the ground.
  • Multiply the number you get by two.

Most runners aim to get a stride turnover of 180. However, there are multiple factors that affect this number, including body size, pace, distance, and running economy.

There’s no magic number to stride frequency as everyone’s stride is different. Still, you should increase your turnover to improve your running performance.

You can do this by gradually adding a step or two after every minute of running. Take quick, light steps; pick up your feet as soon as they hit the ground.

Also, don’t overstride; that is, don’t increase the length of your step to run faster. Use your normal stride length.

7.   Tempo Runs Are Your Friend

Unlike interval training, where you run at high speeds in short bursts, the tempo run is sustained throughout the training.

The main goal of tempo runs is to push your body to run faster and harder for longer periods of time. This type of running technique not only improves your cardio but also strengthens your mental endurance.

To safely and effectively perform the tempo run, you need to determine what your tempo pace is.

You can do this in one of four ways:

  • 80-90% of your VO2 max
  • 85-90% of your max heart rate
  • Pace between a half marathon and 10K race speed
  • 8-9 RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion; in between talking and no-talking zone)

Your pace shouldn’t be as fast as your intensity training pace. It should be at an effort somewhere in the middle, where you can talk but with difficulty.

If you can easily hold a prolonged conversation, you’re below the tempo zone. If you can’t talk at all, you’re above the tempo zone.

Tempo runs usually take between 20-30 minutes. If you can’t run for 20-30 minutes straight just yet, divide it into two 10-15 minute sessions. 

8.   Follow Your Training Plan Religiously

Okay, “religiously” might be a bit of a stretch, but you do need to follow your training plan as much as you can. 

Your training plan will keep you on track and gradually increase your speed and endurance without sustaining injury along the line.

You can either create your very own training plan or choose a plan designed by us. Select the distance you’re training for and how long you’re planning to achieve it.

Our training plans are segmented into specific sessions. To maximize your training, we alternate between multiple types of training, including strength training and interval training, as well as long runs and easy runs.

If you do decide to follow a training plan (and we highly encourage you to do so), follow a plan that has at least three days of weekly training and at least one rest day.

9.   Get On a Treadmill

Woman running on on treadmill in gym

Not everyone has the luxury to gear up and run on the open road before or after work.

Enter: treadmills.

On most days, these bad boys are lifesavers. You still need to run outside to effectively run faster and longer, but treadmills give you that extra bit of boost to improve your speed.

For many, running on a treadmill is easier on their feet than running outside. On a treadmill, you don’t have to worry about the outside temperatures, obstacles, and terrain changes.

The belt moves under your feet at a consistent speed, so you don’t necessarily need to be hyper-focused on your surroundings. This will allow you to train on your running speed and stride for longer and with greater ease.

Plus, it’ll allow you to structure your hill sprints, tempo runs, and interval runs with more precision, instead of relying on a heartbeat monitor or mileage tracker.

10.   Eat Right to Play Right

This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t practice good nutrition during training.

According to studies, proper nutrition directly correlates to running speed and endurance.

Without the proper nutrition, your body won’t have the energy to push itself harder and faster. It’ll get tired much quicker, preventing you from running that extra mile.

If your endurance and speed don’t seem to improve even after weeks of training, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I consuming the right amount of protein to build stronger muscles?
  • Am I eating the right kind of fat to maintain and improve joint health?
  • Am I fueling my body with the right amount of complex carbohydrates?

If your answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” you have to fix that ASAP. Evaluate how much your daily caloric intake is compared to the recommended caloric intake for runners and athletes.

Keep in mind that runners and athletes require a greater amount of protein and carbohydrates than their less-active peers. Runners work out more, so they need extra fuel to improve their performance and growth.

11.   Give Your Body Sufficient Rest

Man resting with his legs up on cough

Working hard is great and all, but not at the expense of your rest.

Don’t assume running every day equals running faster. Rest days are crucial to your improvement. They’re when your body heals and recovers itself from injury.

As such, make sure to take at least one day off per week from sports-related activities and running.

This isn’t to say that you should lay in bed the whole day and not do any activity at all. You can still participate in light physical activities, as long as they’re not too strenuous.

On recovery days, you can go out to swim or take a short stroll in the park. You can also go on an easy bike ride if you wish. Yoga and stretching are great, too!

On the topic of rest days, make sure you have enough sleep. You need at least 7.5 hours of sleep to be at your best performance when you wake up the next day.

Conclusion

There you have it, folks; our top tips on how to run faster and longer!

The running tips above are backed by real-world performance and scientific research. If you truly want to improve both your speed and endurance, make sure to follow the listed recommendations. If done right, you’ll notice improvements in under a week.

Good luck!

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