If you want to improve your race times all you have to do is run more, right? There may be other ways to speed up your time according to running.competitor.com. As a runner you should only devote your training time to things that will benefit you and your time.
1) Vary Intensities
Running fitness is determined by the volume and intensity of running you do each week and the way you challenge yourself in your runs. Due to this, it’s important to give yourself weeks of training where there is an equal combination of hard and easy runs. This will make you fitter than a week of equal combined intense training in which every run is moderately challenging. A typical week should include three designated hard runs: a run featuring short, fast effort; a longer run at a moderately high intensity; and an even longer endurance run. Each of these runs should be separated with slow, easy runs.
2) Be More Consistent
Consistency is the key to success in running. Training consistently year-round will help you maintain your gains. Time off is a good thing, but you want to avoid taking more than the minimum time off. This will allow you to stay physically and mentally fresh.
3) Practice Step Cycles
A multi-week training period in which the running workload is varied from week to week is called a “step cycle.” The idea is to start a step cycle with a week of training that is challenging but manageable, then increasing it slightly the following week, and continuing this pattern. Four-week step cycles typically work best for more experienced runners. Three-week step cycles are appropriate for more runners.
4) Run Hills
Adding hill running to your workouts is a great way to step up your training. Running uphill develops aerobic capacity and leg strength, while running downhill improves leg “stiffness” and running economy.
Including a little sprinting in your training will make you a better distance runner. It will increase your stride power and running economy. Just a little bit of sprinting will really improve your gains. Efforts lasting 8 to 10 seconds of all-out running, each week, will make a difference you can feel.
6) Do Plyometrics
Running is a form of jumping. Research has proven that replacing some running with plyometrics enhances running economy and race performance. Try just doing 5 minutes of jumping exercises after completing an easy run twice a week.
7) Strengthen Your Core
There is scientific proof that doing core strength exercises improves running economy and performance. Add in some crunches and planks three times a week.