Remember being praised for being the fastest runner in school? It’s definitely exhilarating to be a speedy runner, but how can you achieve this as an adult?
Naturally, when you begin running more regularly, your speed increases easily and quickly. However, as this becomes part of your routine, you may need to add new workouts to build up your speed.
Some of our favourite exercises to make you a faster runner include:
Many of you may already be familiar with deadlifting, and it works pretty much every muscle, including your hamstrings, glutes and lower back, which are important for sprinting.
Bend your knees and grasp a barbell with an overhand grip – make sure your hands are shoulder width apart. Lift the bar to your thighs, driven by your leg muscles and forward movement of your hips. Pause and pull your shoulders back, then lower the bar.
Another well-loved exercise is the squat, and with a box squat you can increase the weight without adding too much force to your knees.
Using a box that’s around knee height, squat down so your glutes rest on the box for one to two seconds. Then, stand back up by driving through your heels and hips. This can be done unweighted or with a barbell.
Imagine you’re a kangaroo for this next exercise!
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, take off with both at the same time – you want to jump as far as possible whilst landing on both feet.
Taking your step-up to the next level to make it sprint ready.
Using a bench or box that’s about knee height and to your right, raise your right foot so it’s hovering the top of the box. Then, plant it down and power off the ground with your left leg and drive your left knee into the air. Lower your left foot down, then restart with your right foot again. Do the reps on one side then repeat on the other.
There’s no need to be afraid of running up hills – first, start with a 50-100m route with a 30-35% gradient.
Starting at the bottom, sprint up as fast as you can with your knees high, chest up and shoulders back. Walk back down, and repeat following a 5-second break.
Dead bug with resistance band
If you want to make this exercise specific to running, do alternating arms overhead.
Attach a resistance band to an upright bar and lie on your back with your feet closest to the bar. Ensure the band is secured around your knees and raise your legs so they are bent at 90° and above your hips.
Move your left arm over your shoulder towards the floor, then as you raise it back up move your right arm. Your core should be as neutral and tight as possible, with little rotation.
These are just a few of our favourite exercises for improving speed, but make sure you stay up to date for more of our top tips to make the most out of your workouts.