How to Run Faster

by

I’m blasting it back to grade school PE class here.

Remember those terrible fitness tests you had to do way back when? I always made an excuse and sat them out or strategically “forgot” my gym clothes (because this was when gym class was very uncool).

And I honestly hadn’t tested my fastest one mile run since I was in my early teens. Which is sort of crazy because I am a runner. BUT I am a distance runner- I’ve never claimed to be fast. I am not. I’m the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race girl.  My marathon running pace is somewhere between a 9-9:30 minute mile…which is not fast…it is steady.  So the idea of testing my fastest one mile run sounded scary and just plain terrifying.

Terrifying because I HATE not “winning” at things….I’m pretty competitive…so when my hubs asked if I wanted to join him in testing a one mile run…I clammed up. Then started laughing and making fun of how bad I would be (defense mechanism?!)

But I went. Because I never turn down a fitness challenge.  Even if I wanted to…there’s like a magnetic pull that I just can’t get away from when it comes to a physical challenge.

And I have to say, I surprised myself.

howtorunfaster

I came in at 6 minutes and 48 seconds.  (I BEAT BEN BY 6 SECONDS!!!!!) hehe

I was running blind (I had no idea where the one mile mark was)- Ben ran first and I just had to run until I reached him at the marked finish line.  And man…. it’s super hard to push yourself without knowing how far you have to go!  Next time I give this a shot, I’m positive I’ll get a better time just because I’ll have a grasp on the course and how much longer I have left.  Half of running is mental- and knowing how much you have left is a huge part of the mental battle, at least for me.
I thought I was going to get like 7:30 or something longer…so I was very happy with my time….and happy to finally do this daunting test!!

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Running a fast one mile is a great way to get faster.  Speed training will help you overall as a runner and athlete.

I approached it strategically. I started the run at a fast pace…then I slowed down a little bit mid-way through….then when I guessed I was coming toward the tail end, I picked it up. Then when I saw Ben ahead, marking the finish, I pushed as fast as I could- totally emptied the tank.

When running (especially when running fast), breathing is important: in through the nose, out through the mouth. This is KEY.

Also, focus on low, straight arm swings. Do not cross your mid-line (no cowboy, line-dancing arms here!). A strong, low arm swing will help you run faster.

If you are like me and haven’t done a test like this since your Lisa-Frank binder/composition book days…do yourself a favor and give it a whirl! It’s actually really fun and a great way to gauge overall fitness progress. I plan to do this maybe once a month to see if I improve. Bring a friend, make it a little healthy competition and a time to hang out and do something active.

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I am off to NYC for Labor Day weekend! Excited to see family and friends. Have a safe and happy long weekend!

Xo Katrina

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