Get Faster

A flat course isn’t the only key to your next PR. Coach Matt Richards of Runners in Action in Lynchburg, Va., offered these training tips to get you to the finish line faster.

Establish a Base – Make sure you take a few weeks to establish an easy pace mileage foundation. “If you jump right into speed work, you’re asking for injury,” says Richards.

Add Striders – As you become comfortable with your mileage, pick up the pace for 10- or 20-second intervals at the end of your regular runs.

Weekly Speed Work – When pace runs are established, start adding speed workouts proportional to your race distance once a week. Mix it up between track speed intervals, tempo runs, and short, explosive hill repeats. “Hills are key for building power, speed, and overall running economy,” says Richards.

Strength Training – Include weight workouts, but avoid leg bulk by focusing on less weight and more reps.

Form Drills – Before running do some high knee-lifts or kick butts. Building strength with proper form helps reduce injury. Richards adds, “If your form is gone, then your race is gone.”