I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my progression as a runner and I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to grow as a runner over the past year and a half. Not only in terms of getting faster, but in terms of the knowledge of running and my body (and myself, more generally) that I’ve gained. I’ve gone from struggling to break the two hour mark in the half marathon to running a PR of 1:50:22 and now I’m shooting for a big marathon PR. I thought I’d share a few of my keys for getting faster in the hopes that some of this might resonate with you all.
- Figure out what training method works for you and then exploit that. For me, the Hanson’s Method has yielded incredible gains for me. So that’s how I train. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? It took a lot of trail and error for me to figure this out, but it was worth it.
- Consistency. This has been huge for me. The consistency of running very regularly and of not skipping runs due to unplanned circumstances has been a game changer for me. Running consistently has allowed me to build up a great running base that has been key in my getting faster.
- Easy = easy and hard = hard. This sounds basic but it was a hard learned lesson. I would regularly run my “easy” runs at whatever pace felt good – whether that was an 8:45 mile (which is close to marathon goal post) or an 11:00 minute mile. Basing easy runs on feel rather than pace was a mistake. It meant that I was frequently too tired to be able to run truly hard for workouts that required it. I now subscribe to the philosophy that I can run my easy runs too fast (and I try to avoid this) but I can not really run them too slow. This keeps me able to run the hard workouts that I have on tap and hit those paces.
- Build confidence. This goes hand in hand with my last tip about going for it. Building my confidence about being able to do things that I previously thought were out of range has been key in actually getting faster.
- Go for it. Sometimes you just have to push yourself and not be afraid to blow up. It can be scary, but I’ve found that by going for it, I’ve been able to discover that I’m capable of much more than I would’ve thought just a couple of years ago.
What are your tips for getting faster? What’s worked for you?