Answer to Question of the Week

Posted: September 30, 2012 in Articles, Question of the Week

We have a great question this week dealing with increasing one’s running pace.  Thank you so much for the question.  Also, this person gave a great suggestion for the site….If you have any suggestions please let me know!….So here we go!

What’s the best way to increase my running pace? Try as I might I just can’t seem to get faster!
Also, I’d suggest you add a Submit a Question category so that people can easily see where to ask a Q of the week!!—Anonymous


There are various ways to increase one’s running pace depending on the type of run the person is training for.  Also, there are numerous factors that are involved in performance, such as motivation, hydration, diet and the amount of training an individual is doing.  However, my basic answer to this problem would be to make sure to do some interval training once or twice a week if you are not already.  Simply just trying to run a faster pace every day can help, but you need something more structured and direct to push your lactic threshold a little higher so you can maintain a faster pace during your run.

Now, the big question is what kind of intervals….this is where understanding what kind of run your training for would be very beneficial.  I have a feeling you are not refering to a sprint but a run that is a 5k or bigger.  Also, I would assume we are not refering to an ultra marathon (more than 26.2 miles).  So our range is 3.1 miles to 26.2 miles.

One of the first things I would add into your program is at least one day of short, high intensity sprints.  These sprints should be an all out effort for one minute with one minute of rest in between or a 1:1 ratio.  This rest is not considered sit down and suck water, but would be a recovery walk.  I would do 8-10 sets of these.  High intensity intervals are good for all types of training, including runs whether they are 3.1 miles or 26.2 miles.  The lower mileage your event is, the more often I would suggest doing these.  These types of intervals are really going to enable your body’s ability to buffer hydrogen that accumulates during exercise which is one major factor of fatigue and what causes us to hit the wall.

You can also do what I refer to as pacing intervals.  These intervals are longer and are less intense.  For example, you may go out for a 5 mile run.  You may run 2 minutes at a pace slightly lower than your normal pace and then 2 minutes just over your normal pace.  Some people go by miles.  They might do one mile at their normal pace another mile at an elevated pace an alternate these paces for 10 miles.

I know this is kind of a vauge answer.  However, based on your goals and your body you could use a variety of different interval runs to increase your pace.  Honestly, I would just play with it a bit and see what works best for you.  Everyone’s body chemistry is slightly different so everyone will react slighly different.  None the less, I would definately add in short, high intenstiy sprints one day a week and try to get another day of some sort of longer, less intense interval runs in.

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