How to sprint faster

Drastically improve your running speed and learn how to sprint faster with these tips and tricks.
By Lee W
(4 minutes read)

Want to learn how to run as fast as Usian Bolt? Ha, can’t promise that…

What I can promise though is if you follow the tips mentioned below, you will be able to run noticeably faster….

greatist.com/fitness/25-ways-run-faster-now

Nail your form

The key to running at any speed is to practice proper running technique. This means keeping your upper body tall yet relaxed, striking the ground with your mid-foot landing under your hip, and swinging your arms forward and back (not side to side) at low 90-degree angles.

Try interval training

Short on gym time? Try interval training. This means exercising with periods of high and low intensity to build speed and endurance — and burn major calories in less time too!

Don’t forget to sprint

There’s a reason you see all those “real runners” doing short sprints before the big road race. Strides are a series of comfortable sprints (usually 8 to 12, between 50 and 200 meters each) to improve acceleration technique.

Make the treadmill your friend

The treadmill’s belt assists with leg turnover — also known as stride frequency — so it’s actually easierto run faster. Plus, you have the power to push the pace right at your fingertips. Just make sure you get on the machine before turning up the dial.

Stretch daily

The jury is still out on static stretches. According to a 2014 literature review of 11 studies, it’s unclear if they really prevent running injuries. Trusted Source But leaders of the pack know stretching daily — especially targeting those hip flexors — increases flexibility for better strides.

Switch up your pace

Fartleks is a funny Swedish word meaning “speed play.” Yes, our inner 10-year-olds find this hilarious. By alternating jogs and sprints, you can gradually build up speed and endurance.

Jump rope

Take a lesson from boxers and add jump rope workouts to your routine. Boxers know that fast feet means fast hands. But for runners, fast feet just equal fast feet.

Trade up for lighter shoes

We’re not saying you need to embrace barefoot running, but sneakers are getting lighter and lighter to mimic your foot’s natural movement and improve your stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means more energy for faster feet.

Work out your core

Stronger core muscles, especially lower abs, allow runners to tap into more force out on the road.

Change how you breathe

Learning how to breathe while running at faster speeds takes practice. Use both your nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly breathing — fill the diaphragm, not the chest, with air on each inhale.

Head for the hills

Yes, we know it’s the worst. But running on an incline outdoors or on a treadmill is a form of resistance training. You’ll build solid muscle in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves — all the same muscles needed to sprint across that finish line.

Skip the sweets

Junk food guarantees a sugar high and slows you down. Stick to whole grains and pasta before runs, which provide longer-lasting energy — without the crash.

Play with resistance

Try a running parachute behind you for added resistance (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like). Or if your budget allows, see what it’s like on the other edge of the resistance spectrum with an anti-gravity treadmill.

Lift weight

Stronger, leaner muscles will help you get to the finish line faster. And while runners shouldn’t take up bodybuilding, a 2016 study showed that two to three strength training sessions per week can go a long way in improving your speed.