There are many reasons as to why to increase your speed, it will boost your level of fitness, give you the extra edge in a certain sport or just take some time off for your 100m sprint. Running faster will enhance your overall athletic ability allowing you to up your game to the next level. The basics of running faster are to improve your strength, endurance and your agility. But to improve your speed you will need more than just quick powerful legs, the upper body plays a major role in raising your speed to its peak. Throughout this article I will show you how you can achieve all of this.
Getting to know speed
A major role in running faster is to train your body to move at faster speeds, it’s more than just building muscle and that being the end of it. Yes you do need to build muscle but these muscles must be trained to accelerate and generate speed at their maximum potential. Here`s how you can train to move at higher speeds:
- Running down hill- By running down hill you will create speeds which you will not get by running on flat or uphill surfaces. By reaching these speeds that your body is not used to it will be forced to recruit new and more muscle fibers training your body to move at higher speeds.
- Running with bands- This has the same concept as running down hill, this exercise can be done in various ways but what I found most effective was to get an exercise band which can attach to two people at the hips. Stretch the band by one person getting approximately 20 feet in front of the other or when there is significant tension on the band. At this point you will both sprint in the same direction, the back person will be moving at elevated speeds and should pass the front man. When this happens you can reset the bands and run it again.
- Running wind sprints- Wind sprints are 50m sprints at your full out pace, this will help with your acceleration and the start of your sprint teaching you to explode out of the gates. By running short fast distance it will allow you to run more at faster speeds. Take about 2 minutes between runs and be sure to stay hydrated.
Power comes mostly from the legs but you need a strong core and upper body to get the extra push and propel yourself forward with a powerful swing of your arms. Some excellent power building exercises are:
- Bench press
- Military press
To be able to run faster you need to have the muscle mass in your legs that can produce the most power. Some exercises to develop strong powerful legs are as followed:
- Running uphill- Running on an incline will be a harder workout then running on a flat or declined surface so you will build more strength in your legs eventually leading to faster sprint speeds.
- Running with a restriction- This can with bands also by doing it in reverse. Instead of running with the band run against the band. Set it up the same as before but instead of you both running only the front man will run and the man in the back will keep tension on the band but still moving forward. This will case the front man to work harder and build more muscle.
Another way to accomplish this is to run with a weight dragging on a rope behind you or any object of weight that will restrict your speed.
Now I know that some of these exercises contradict each other but to reach your top speeds you need to work with both sides of these work outs. For weeks one and two of training focus on the building power exercises to get a strong powerful base then for the next two weeks work on your speed exercises. Every two weeks keep switching between the power and speed exercises, this will keep your body guessing and not get used to the work outs helping you reach your ideal speed in the shortest time possible.
And as always, stay dedicated to stay fit.