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8 Tips for Sprinting – How to increase your running speed

Let’s face the obvious – many runners who train for long distances either fear sprinting or skip it entirely in the process. I hear a lot of beginners who don’t even run intervals or never do strides.
The reason – they don’t think it is necessary or they fear sprinting because they believe they look funny.
However, sprinting is important and it should not be underestimated. It can help you run faster not only for short distances and at the end of your race, but it can overall improve your running speed.
Thus, let me share with you some of the critical tips for sprinting in order to increase your running speed.

1. Do not fear to try

As I mentioned above, a lot of runners skip sprinting. But sprinting is not only good for you as a runner, but also necessary.

Start by trying some faster strides either at the end of your easy run or as a separate workout. Although it may not feel super natural or comfortable in the beginning, it gets much easier after you practice it.

2. Sprinting fast takes time

Many runners decide to give up sprinting workouts because they feel somewhat slow or not speedy enough when they doing it.

However, it takes time for your body to adapt to the higher sprint. Especially if you haven’t done any sprinting, your legs may take some time to move quicker. I promise you, you can improve so much, it will just take a little while. Practice makes perfect.

3. Make sure you are warming up enough

Do NOT try sprinting if you haven’t warmed up. Your muscles won’t be ready and you can easily end up injured.

Before trying sprinting, do some easy kilometers/ miles, stretch well, add some drills and include some easier strides before you start sprinting.


4. Do exercises that are going to improve your sprinting form

Your form while sprinting is crucial. You can improve your muscle power which will help you run faster by adding plyometric exercises.
Adding plyometric exercise a couple of times a week will make you stronger and help you run faster.
I found box jumps to be especially helpful because they make you feel so explosive and powerful – this is how you wanna feel when you sprinting as well.
Another great exercises I would recommend are also stairway hops and jump squats.

5. Include gym workouts

It’s not a secret that sprinters spend a lot of their time in the gym. This is true because your muscle power is essential for sprinting.

Having stronger and powerful muscles will help your body to move really fast. Moreover, including gym workouts will help your bone health and prevent you from injuries.

6. Do not focus only on your legs

What drives your legs to accelerate are your arms. Thus, when you sprint, you have to focus on how to move your arms as quickly as possible, so they can too accelerate your legs. Move them backward and forward and avoid any swings out to the sides.
Your core is another vital component in terms of how to build sprint speed. Keep your posture upright and lift high your knees while you sprint. Try to land on your forefoot and keep the movement relaxed and as natural as possible.

7. Sprinting workouts for speed? Try hill workouts!

Yes, hill workouts are a great tool when you want to improve your sprint speed. You can begin by doing some short strides uphill for 10-15 seconds.

Although running uphill is challenging, it will come to your advantage. You can even try some downhill sprints but the gradient should not be very steep. Downhill running will help you move quicker and simulates overspeed. However, it is best to do these on a soft surface to avoid injuries caused by improper formm so choose wisely.

8. When YouTube comes in handy

This may sound like funny advice but it is worth trying! Try to find videos of your favorite professional sprinters. Observe them and the way they move while performing sprinting.

Moreover, you can even find videos where professional sprinters provide you with their tricks on how to become faster when sprinting. This is the time when social platforms can be really useful if you know how to use them wisely.

You can check out this video, created by the Olympic Channel series where Michael Johnson explains techniques and strategies for sprinting. As one of the best-known sprinters worldwide, he will surely give you some valuable information.

Is worth trying to improve your sprinting speed. In my personal experience, running faster over 100m or 200m, always had led me to better results and PRs in distances like 5k and 10k when my speed endurance and overall endurance are developed as well. The faster your legs can move, the easier the slower speed feels. Thus, being able to run fast over short distances, make me feel much more relaxed and comfortable when the speed slows down. Not improving your sprinting speed may be the component that keeps you from getting faster overall, so if you feel on a plateau give it a go.

 

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