How to Run a Faster Mile

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Preparing

1) Endurance

To increase the speed you run 1 mile, try and to do 2  or 3 mile runs to build up your endurance.  For example, if you run 1 mile in 8 minutes, try and run 2 miles in 16 minutes.  

2) Run for the Hills

Hills are a fantastic way to build both strength and endurance.  Even though the mile is more of an endurance race, doing short, 100 yard interval sprints are a great way to prepare and build up speed.  As you run up the hill,  try to stay relaxed and set your gaze straight ahead.  Keep your shoulders down, pump your arms,  and be sure to take long strides and push hard off the ground.

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3)Fuel your body

As you continue to push your body to the limit, it’s important to stay hydrated and NOT to run on an empty stomach.  It’s a common myth that exercising on an empty stomach promotes weight loss, when in fact it just lowers your metabolism.  Also, a lack of food means a lack of energy and you wont have as much strength to run.   About an hour before you exercise, eat easily digestible foods that are low in fat and fiber like a banana or a cup of oatmeal.

4)Technique

Perfecting your running technique will increase your speed, endurance, and help prevent injuries.  It’s a crucial element, however, many people seem to skip this step and in the long run drastically hurt their performance.  Here is a video explaining proper running technique

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5) Variety

While keeping a consistent schedule is crucial, its always good to change things up a little.  For instance, don’t run 3 miles around your neighborhood every day, instead have a different exercise for each day.  Maybe one day you will do sprints up the hill, the next day run two miles, and the day after that lift weights at your local gym.  Here’s a chart that will help you plan out your daily workouts.

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Race Day

Warm-Up:

Having a proper warm-up before the race is an extremely crucial part to physically and mentally prepare.  About 30 minutes before the event begins, run a lap or two around the track, or about a quarter to a half mile, at a slow pace to warm up your muscles so you can properly stretch. After you jog  it’s important to stretch all of your muscles and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.  Once you’re done, keep your muscles warm by doing high-knees or but kicks and running short sprints until the race begins.

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The First Lap:

Contrary to what you might believe, it isn’t smart to run your first lap  slower than the following three in an attempt to save your energy.  Of course you don’t want to use all of your energy, but it’s important to start strong.

Lap two and three:

Keep a steady pace and make sure you have good form

The Last Lap:

This is when you need to put every last ounce of energy you have left in your body on the track.  Run as fast as you can, even when you think your legs can’t go any faster, pick up the pace!

 

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