I’ll start out his post by saying I don’t consider myself fast. I’ve come a long way from where I started, but in my eyes I still have quite a ways to go. However, I have gotten many questions on how I increased my speed so I thought I’d share some of my tips.
I first set the goal to quality for Boston with a tiny bit of hope I could pull it off. I’m not even sure I really believed it was a possibility at the time, I just knew it was a dream.
For most of our relationship, my husband has been a pretty successful runner. Always improving, always striving for more, and after a while it rubs off on you.
Before I officially went into marathon training, I decided to do a 10k training plan to specifically work on speed. It was a step back in mileage but a step up in intensity. It was tough, but I think it really prepared me for marathon training.
There is no secret to getting quicker unfortunatly. It takes hard work and dedication, but if you put the time in it will pay off. Needless to say, here are a few tips for those looking to increase their speed.
If you don’t have patience with yourself it’s going to be a long ride. Improvement takes times, some days aren’t going to go as well as you expected, but make sure to always pick yourself back up and keep going.
Have a Plan
If you are newer to running, having a plan can make all the difference. Now that I have run long enough I know the key speed workouts, but I still enjoy using a plan to simplify things.
Pick your plan and stick with it. Trust that those that created it know what they are doing. No matter how worried I was that I hadn’t run over 16 miles in marathon training with Hanson’s, I trusted they knew what they were doing.
Guess what? They sure did!
Do It For You
A long time ago I used to want to get faster to be able to run more with my husband. What was the problem with that? Eventually I got bored because I wasn’t doing it for me.
If you want to improve, great! Just make sure you are doing it for you. When I set my goals for me it was night and day!
Stick With It
There are workouts that are going to be awful. Trust me, I’ve been there. You will have days where you feel on top of the moon and days where you feel like you can barely move your legs.
Embrace both of them and keep pushing forward!
Balance Speed Work
Speed work and tempo work put a lot of force and pressure on your body. You have to make sure you are balancing them out with proper easy/recovery runs.
Don’t skip these days, they are just as important as those workouts!
It is vital to make sure you are fueling properly so that your body can recover from hard workouts.
Make sure you eat/drink something within 20-30 minutes of your workout. Focus on getting a good carb to protein ratio in this. This can arguably be one of your most important meals of the day.
If you are like me, I am never hungry right after a workout. Instead I take a protein/carb shake and then eat breakfast a few hours later.
Learn what works for you.
One Day At a Time
Don’t look ahead and realize how far you’ve got to go, approach your progress one day at a time. Focus on the workout you have in front of you and then move onto the next day.
This is vital for anything. Only worry about what you have in front of you.
I still use every single one of these tips as I slowly begin getting my body ready to go back into marathon training in a few months. Stick with it and you will meet your goals! Oh, and I promise when you finally do meet that goal it will all be worth it!
I recently read Meb’s new book Meb for Mortals and thought I would share some of these quotes with you. They all are very true to being successful and reaching your goals. If you haven’t checked out this book, I highly recommend it!
“Consistency doesn’t mean you run every day no matter what. Instead, consistency is about running freuqenly enough that it’s a regular part of your life.”
“Goals form your road map to success. You won’t get near your potential without having good goals.”
“Commitment is a form of risk taking. That’s another way of saying their’s faith involved in commtiment, because you don’t know if you’re going to reach the goal.”
“I’m not the most talented guy. Whatever I’ve achieved stems from how I apply the three keys to success in running (and life); good goals, commtiment, and hard work.”
“If you have given it your best while working toward your goal, you have to be satisfied, even if the outcome is short of your ultimate goal.”
How often do you do speed work?
What’s one big goal you have?