6 ways to run 5k faster

At some point, we all reach an impasse in our career. It can be frustrating to feel like you’re running every day and you’re not faster despite all your efforts. If you have reached a plateau like this in your career and you can’t do the next PR, then you can try the following 6 things:

race track intervals

If you have a track in your area, chances are you can use it. Colleges, high schools, and middle schools should have tracks you can use. I personally like to run quarters (once around the track). Take your average mile pace from your last 5k and divide it by 4. This will tell you how fast you should do your quarters. For example, if your mile pace is 8:00, try running your quarters at 2:00 each. To start, run a quarter, walk a quarter, run a quarter, walk a quarter, etc… do 6-8 of these to start with and then add a few as you go. As they get easier, try them at a set time. For example, I give myself 3 minutes. I try to run them in 1:45 and the remaining 1:15 is my break. If I get tired and slow down, that means less recovery time. It really pushes you.

Do fartleks while running.

While riding your normal route, try to take some time to add some “bursts” of speed. Tell yourself that for 1 minute you will run at race pace and then calm down to run again. Repeat this as much as you want/can. Often, I will do this through telephone surveys. I run my usual training run for 5 surveys and then sprint for the next 2 or 3.

Add weight training.

In fact, I avoided this for a long time. I just don’t like the gym. However, with a couple of dumbbells and push-up handles, you can do a great strength-training routine at home. Push-ups, tricep dips, and squats will help you get stronger and faster.

Work your core.

Working your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques will strengthen your midsection, which is the powerhouse of your run. Work your core and you’ll run faster!

Take a long run.

If you run the same distance every time, you need to add a long run. Long runs allow you to increase your VO2 max (another whole article…) and therefore run faster. Also, it’s nice to be in a 5K, knowing you can run 2 or 3 times the distance.

Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables until at least noon.

I got this from Tony Robbins in his book unlimited power. I thought it was a bunch of nonsense (sorry Tony), but after trying it in college I have to admit it has made a huge difference in my run times. You can also drink fresh juice. I have a juicer and really enjoy apple and carrot juice. I mostly only eat raw fruits and vegetables, since cleaning the juicer isn’t that much fun. I almost stick with water-rich fruits…in other words, mainly melons, grapes and apples…I don’t eat a lot of bananas, just one a day.

And that is. Do These 6 Things And I Can Promise You’ll Run A Faster Race!

Happy trails!

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