How to run FASTER … (and SLOWER!)

After my succcesful attempt at running 10k in a set time (50 minutes / 8 minute mile pace) this morning, I thought it would be good to write down some way I’ve found to pick up the pace, or to slow down the pace, if the need arises! 😀

Everyone has their own unique pace.  What’s fast for one person, might be slow for another and vice versas.  Pace is determined by a persons goals, fitness levels, health, amount of training they do, and the motivation they have to run fast or slow.  Some people are happy ‘plodders’ whilst others like to ‘beast it’ and run as fast as they can.  Pace also varies depending on how people feel, or where they are in their training cycle or week.

The main thing I want to do when I run is have fun.  I’d much prefer a good social run with a friend, running at a pace which is comfortable for both of us, than run a fast speedy run on my own with only my iPod, tunes and high heart rate for company. Sure you get a buzz from running fast and getting your PB, but there is a lot of merit in running at a pace which is slower than your normal pace. 🙂 

And any good running programme includes fast or hard runs, along with long and easy runs…variety helps recovery and helps prevent injury and boredom.

How to run SLOWER

It’s not often people ask how to run slower… and for most it’s quite natural to slow the pace.  Some runners are always trying to run faster – to beat their PB or their competitor, but there’s a lot of merit in running slower too.

When you run slower than your normal pace, your senses usually become more alive.  You’re running comfortably so your heart isn’t working too hard.  Take in the sights sound and atmosphere. You can relax and enjoy yourself, smile and have fun.

You should take a shorter stride, doing little baby steps.  Keep your arms close to your body and relax your shoulders.  Run with your arms by your side and shake them to ease any tension in your body.  Keep more upright rather than leaning into your run.  You will be running at aerobic levels.  Time to recover and enjoy.

When running on flat, you’ll be wanting to and be able to take in everything that surrounds you.  When running uphill, slow the pace down so that you still feel comfortable.  Don’t push the pace or your heart rate going up the hill.  Running downhill, relax, let the hill take you down the hill, but stay more upright than leaning into the hill to control your slower pace.

Today in Pollok Park, although I was running pretty fast at points, I was still able to open up my vision and see the beautiful view of the sun rays shining through the trees.  It was truly magical! 🙂  If I’d have been ‘beasting it’ I probably wouldn’t have noticed it and my body and mind would have probably been wrapped up in how hard I was working or how sore it was becoming! 

Anyway…here is…

How to Run FASTER

To pick up the pace, put your head down, still looking ahead, you should be looking 10 -30 metres in front of you.  Concentrate on running stronger and faster.  Relax your legs and shoulders.  Open up your legs to take longer strides.  Use your arms to help your rhythm and help you to increase the power of your stride.    Lean into your run.

Try to relax.  Be aware of your breathing.  You will be working harder, so your heart rate will increase and your periphery vision will go.  You will be less aware of your surroundings and more aware of how you feel.  You will be running efficiently or anaerobically.

On flats, remember to keep running strongly.  Look out for hills.   Power up hills, starting slow, building power with the use of pumping your arms in rhythm with your powerful leg stride.  About a third away from the top of the hill, power on up, until you get to the top. 

On down hills, let the downhill and gravity do their work by carrying you down to the bottom.  Relax from the hips down and try to let your legs be free to flow down the hill.  Run with your arms by your side if you need to relax your body. Be aware of your pace and of how hard you’re working. Don’t push it too far.  Try to smile and enjoy yourself.

For more about running with your heart rate: Aerobically, Efficiently or Anaerobically, see here.

This entry was posted in Pacing, Run, Speedwork. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to run FASTER … (and SLOWER!)

  1. miqueldg says:

    Wonderful!! To Everybody I push into the running world I say… don’t try to run the fastest, don’t try to do the longest, just enjoy running, the rest will come later it will arrive one day when your legs will move without any effort and then you will see how fast and long you can run. you said… “The main thing I want to do when I run is have fun” That’s it !! see (about me) 🙂 nice blog

  2. Pingback: How to run and enjoy it! | Lorn Pearson Trains…

  3. Pingback: Make every run a ‘good run’ | Lorn Pearson Trains…

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