How to Run Faster




Introduction: How to Run Faster

About: You also have many workers: stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and people skilled in every kind of work in gold, silver, bronze and iron- beyond number. Now begin the work, and may the LORD be with you. 1Croni…

This instructable shows you how to run faster.

Before attempting any physical regimen make sure you get checked out by a doctor.
Also observe safety rules in your area when running.
Wear appropriate safety gear, don't run with headphones and watch out for traffic/predators.
Stretch before and after running. In cold weather do some warm up exercises first, then stretch.
Cool down is just as important too. Walk a quarter mile or so after a hard run. Let your heart rate go down gradually.

Step 1: You Will Need:

Good running shoes (more about this later)
Reflective gear (required when running during dusk/after dark, recommended for daytime use)
Appropriate running clothing (again more about this later)
A schedule set aside to run.

Step 2: Buying Shoes

Buying shoes:
One of the most important pieces of equipment is the running shoes. How fast do you think you can run with cowboy boots? Flip flops?
Before buying running shoes find out what kind you need.

Basic guideline. After you take a shower step onto a brown paper bag.
Normal arch will need a stability shoe.
Flat feet need a motion controlled shoe
High arched feet will need a neutral cushioned shoe.

Most of your famous running shoe companies have websites that go into more detail on purchasing one of their shoes that are right for you. Make a list and go to the shoe store and pick them up, touch them and try them on.
The difference in brand/style is cost, but try to find a light weight shoe that meets your needs.
Its recommended that you change your shoes around every 500 miles. That's about 6 months of frequent running. So remember that when you decide to drop a few bills on shoes endorsed by professional athletes.

With the wrong shoe you could end up with shin splints, stress fractures, back problems, foot problems and a not so fun running experience.

Step 3: Running Clothing

Running Clothing:
As cool as jeans are, tight blue jeans do not make the best outfit to run in.

I wear spandex compression shorts underneath regular running shorts. And regular cotton t shirt.
Ladies would benefit from a good sports bra.
Basically for boys and girls: the object is to limit things from bouncing about when you run. If you cant keep the poodles in the yard when you run then its not going to be comfortable to you. (Also studies show it can actually make them sag more)
Also spandex shorts keeps your sensitive items from being exposed to other people when warming up. You don't want to be stretching and someone accuses you of stealing hamsters from the pet store.
And do everyone the favor and wear regular shorts over spandex. No one wants to see what your working with.

Step 4: Technique Is Not Important.

How you actually run is not to important.
Keeping your toes pointed inward/outward /parallel with the marching surface, it doesn't matter. When you get too focused on the mechanics of running then you actually start slowing down and you could add stress to your feet and legs by running in a form that is not natural to your body.

When you start getting tired, increase your stride. Never, never slow down and start walking. Even a light jog is faster than walking. Jog until your heart rate/breath stabilizes and drive on.

Step 5: Rythmn/Breathing

Natural rhythm and breathing is important when you run. I try to breath every other time my left foot hit's the ground.

Ever wonder why the military calls cadence when they run. Its to regulate breathing/step. Also it takes your mind off of running so miles fly by. (and its fun to yell profanities when you run)

Step 6: Now We Improve on Speed.

Now we improve on speed.
To get a rough estimate of how much you improve grab yourself a timer and run on a measured course. A good distance is 2 miles. Record this number. You can use your car to measure the course if its on a street. But make sure you run the same course each time you test yourself.

Grab a calendar and make a plan.
A good plan is running every other day. The other two days you could do cardio or lift weights. The goal is to smoke yourself every day, go ahead and wear yourself out. Also running with a buddy is good too.
If you have a friend that runs a couple minutes faster then train with them.
If you own a dog even a small dog, and they are leash trained you can benefit from running with your dog. Your dog has 2 more legs than you so he will be faster so try to keep up. And your dog can benefit from the exercise as well. They make road guard vests for dogs also.

A simple idea is as follows:
Mondays: Jog for 20 minutes
Tuesdays: Cardio/weight lift (about 1 hour)
Wednesdays: Sprint 60 seconds followed by 120 seconds of speed walking. Repeat 6 sets or so.
Thursdays: Cardio/weight lift (about 1 hour)
Fridays: Run 2 miles.
Sat-Sun: Rest.

If you're a bit chunky then substitute a day of running for a day of walking 1 hour each week.

Each week you can increase the intensity a bit. Also vary your course. If you are used to running on a track. Run on a sidewalk.
If you are used to running on flat surface, run up the stairs or up hills.
Bleachers at a sport park are a good place to run up/down. Make sure they are good and stable first.

Step 7: Some Things to Avoid.

Adding Weights

To increase endurance/speed some people attach weights to their bodies with the theory that added mass= added work for body= added gain.
The downside is that your body is only designed for so much before it wears out. The current trend in fitness is to loose weight, not getting fat. Running is stressful on the body, tacking 30 lbs onto joints, bones and the heart can be too much.
A better idea is to run up hills or run stairs. The incline will work different muscles without putting too much stress on bones and joints.


That aint good for anybody. Drink plenty of water at night before running the next day. Its better to run in the morning or evening when its cooler but its still good idea to drink plenty of water before exercises and afterward.
If you have to drink alcohol, drink beer. Its better than distilled alcohol.
Beer is mostly water, a mixed drink is mostly sugar.

But still drink some Gatorade or regular water as well.

The more you work out and the more your body becomes accustomed to the heat the more you sweat. So drink water to replace those lost fluids. It's a lot easier to drink water than it is for someone to find a vein and push a liter of fluids into you while your passed out.

Its recommended to drink a quart of water an hour before physical activity.

Running with music.

Running outdoors with music is very bad. Someone could sneak up behind you and assault you or you could get hit by a car. Plus its illegal in some areas. Remember to keep your eyes and ears open.
If you want to enjoy some music, head over to a gym and grab a treadmill or run on an indoor track.
Ipods make great gifts for thieves. Leave it at home.


Shaving your legs/head/various body areas will probably not increase your run time. And you will look like a freak in the locker room at the gym. People will look, and they will talk.
Plus hair does grow back. Remember when your sitting in class or the office and your itching badly.


Avoid the get rich quick schemes. If you cant pronounce it, you probably don't need it.
Multivitamins Okay
Calcium Okay
Ibuprofen Okay

gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid Not Okay
Atropine/epinephrine Not Okay.
Testosterone/ human growth hormones Not Okay.

Step 8: In Conclusion

Law of Diminishing returns:

The good news is that if you never ran a mile or more before then you can easily improve your run time by 2-4 minutes per mile.
If you normally run 6 minute miles, it will be very hard for you to get down to 5:30 min or even 5 minute miles.

Here are my stats:
Male: 22-26 yrs old
Run time 2 miles = 17:00 (Aug 07) (sloppy ball of clay)
Run time 2 miles = 14:42(Sep 07)
Run time 2 miles = 15:58 (Nov 07) (Diet was cigarettes, beer and fatty cakes)
Run time 2 miles = 15:00 (Apr 08)
Run time 2 miles = 14:38 (Aug 08)
Run time 2 miles = 13:48 (Oct 08) (chiseled in stone)

Not the best but decent.

Remember: Drink water. Stretch before and after exercising. Drink water. Wear appropriate gear. Drink water. Be safe. Drink water. Have fun.


Cool website on nutrition planning if your trying to loose weight or gain mass. You can enter the food you eat/ exercise and it calculates caloric intake and how many calories you burn/need. Plus its free.

Burning Questions: Round 6

First Prize in the
Burning Questions: Round 6

Be the First to Share


    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Barbecue Speed Challenge

      Barbecue Speed Challenge
    • Arduino Contest

      Arduino Contest



    9 years ago on Step 2

    Save your money and your feet. Learn to run barefoot ;) Or buy a pair of Keds or Converse Allstars and learn how to run properly. Foot injuries have been on the rise since the 60's when "proper" running shoes were introduced. The trick is knowing the proper motion the foot is supposed to follow. Dont strike the ground with your heel, its un-natural and your foot isnt designed for it. Land on the balls of your feet. The natural movement will lend forward momentum and take alot of stress off of your foot. Your foot is perfectly designed for walking and running as it is, it doesnt need any help. You may even find you can run for longer distances as the energy leaving your foot is transferred to the ground creating more momentum instead of lost in a sea of foam and rubber. Happy running and like Hatter says check with your doctor first and do some research to find out what is right for you.


    9 years ago on Step 6

    I use daily mile for measuring my distances.
    Or you can just use google maps or google earth.


    10 years ago on Step 6


    Right now, I do cardio almost everyday. Is that a problem? For example, I run on the street on Monday and Thursday, and I run on the treadmill on Wednesday and Saturday, and I use the elliptical on Tuesday and Friday. I rest on Sunday. I typically do 4 miles each time I run on the street, and 50 minutes (average 5.6 mi/hr) on the threadmill, and 50-60 minutes of elliptical.

    My muscles don't really hurt, so I am not sure if that is an issue


    10 years ago on Step 6

    For measuring how far I run, I use the pedometer app on my iPod, they have a lite version for free and it does the job pretty well. Just search for it in the app store.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    I have Cross Country shoes. Should I just wear them when running? Or use sneakers?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    run barefoot. its better for you. look it up, its been proven. seriously though, check it out.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Either that or in really thin soled flip-flips, there's a South American tribe that runs hyper-Marathons, like 300 miles in one go, and all they wear are flip flops made from strips of leather to protect their soles.


    10 years ago on Step 3

    I'll consider anything to keep the "poodles" from sagging!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this nice instructable. Very entertaining, and some good advice in there, too.


    10 years ago on Step 3

    Not sure what studies you are referring to about sagging poodles (I prefer "the girls") but it is not movement, but hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy and/or aging that accelerate the effects of gravitational pull. Thanks also for suggesting that all hamsters be concealed, their running habits should be kept under wraps.


    11 years ago on Step 4

     Ive always heard opposite of this. The difference between endurance and spurt running. Im not a runner and hearing things like 25 miles a week bothers me. But in my short 2 or 3 miles runs I usually build up and slow down. Ive gotten more out of it than trying to run and jog the whole way. Is it a matter of preference not to work your heart for sudden stress and then relax if you dont plan on being a marathon runner?


    Reply 11 years ago on Step 4

    I've seen alot of beginner running programs that are walk runs. Start with a short run say, 2 min, then walk 2 min. You can then gradually lengthen the runs and shorten the walks.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this great ‘ible!  Despite what some people say, I feel that you hit the nail on the head with helping people from finding excuses and short-cuts instead of just running.
     The only thing I want to mention is that people should look at their target heart rates (THR).  (There is plenty of info on THRs all over the web.)  I’ve been in the Army for 20 years and I just ran a half marathon in the Iraqi Desert this past May.  What I found that most people do is that they push themselves TOO hard.  Then they get discouraged. 

    If you want to improve, get a heart rate monitor, and run on a treadmill where you can get a constant pace (this is just until you are more used to running at a pace.)  Then, only run to get to 80% THR.  If you start exceeding it (and you will at first,) SLOW DOWN (but don’t walk.)  I personally swear by this method and it has served me very well.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this!  For everyone else, go out and run!

    1LT Moose

    Pie Ninja
    Pie Ninja

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Weights will help you run faster, provided you take them off before you start, and wear them all the time when you aren't running.

    Pie Ninja
    Pie Ninja

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    It really depends, start off with a small amount like 10 kg, then, once you get used to that, add another 5 or 10 and keep adding as you get used to more and more weight. Just make sure you wear them literally all the time, (except when you shower, or, if you wear a vest, you need to wash it) even when you sleep.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    And HOW should u wear it, cuz if u wear it in a weight vest then I'll look ridiculous...