How To Run Faster in 2020

January 30th, 2020 / Running Technique

While we all run for different reasons, many of us do chase the dream of being a fraction closer to the Kipchoges of this world. To get there, you need to step out of your comfort zone. Your body is an eminently adaptable system – we adjust quickly to new stimuli and unless we are prepared to change, your speed tends to plateau quickly.

Adding variety and quality to your training week has many benefits to your running regime: it creates a new stress, which, with the right recovery, will help you build stronger muscles, heart and lungs.

Running fast and completing drills can reinforce improved running technique and build strength. It can also give you the mental ‘callusing’ you need to cope with the discomfort you will experience in a short, fast race in Perth

Key drills to get faster

There is no ‘perfect’ way to run, but these drills help to develop your speed and strength. Complete them before hard training sessions and even on easy days to maintain some zip. Perth Runners Technique can always be improved with at tailored assessment at our clinic.


Standing with your feet together jump rapidly up and down in place, keeping your feet in a dorsiflexed (toes up) position. Land on your mid foot to the ball of your foot and aim for a snappy reaction to the ground, which will drive you into your next hop.

Straight-leg kick-outs

With your legs straight, move forward by kicking your legs out in front of you and landing on your mid foot with your laces always kept pointing up towards the sky. Aim to keep your abs and glutes engaged as your foot hits the ground to help you ‘pop’ into your next stride.

Short maximal hills

This is a fantastic way to recruit a high percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres for those of us who are not natural speed demons (ie. most of us). Warm up fully and find a steep path on asphalt.Sprint uphill at maximum intensity for 8-10 seconds, completing 4-8 efforts with at least 90 seconds’ recovery between each.

Speed work for PB hunters

Contact our running coach in Perth for a full training plans and optimising running technique for your chosen race distance, but here are the perfect sessions for distance-specific speed gains:

The mile is the iconic distance so many runners –probably most – have never raced. But you should. A perfect blend of speed and endurance, it demands respect. Giving yourself longer to recover between efforts affords you the chance to thoroughly test yourself at race effort.

The session:

1km / 800m / 600m /400m / 200m, with 5-6 minutes’ recovery between each.
Run the 1km effort at your fastest 3km pace and aim to get a little faster each block with the 400m and 200m at 600-800m pace. The recovery can be static or a slow jog.

Speed sessions for 5 K

The key to the 5K is starting out fast and holding that effort, which is as much a psychological challenge as a physical one. Do you dare run on a red line for long enough? Training for the 5 K is about mentally toughening yourself to accept that discomfort and learning to make it routine – or even something you can enjoy.

The session:

4 x 90 secs / 3 x 4 mins / 4 x 90 secs.
Run the 4 x 90 secs efforts faster than your 5 K pace, with 60 secs’ recovery.
Run the 3 x 4 mins at 5 K pace, with 90 secs’ recovery.
Jog for 2 minutes to recover between each set.

Speed sessions for 10 K

Aside from obvious options such as 6 x 1 mile at race pace, varying effort in longer sessions can deliver a new physiological challenge.

The session:

10 x 3 mins, alternating 10 K pace and 5 K pace with 80-90 secs’ rest between efforts

Think fast, run better

Train and race to effort

Learning to control your sense of perceived exertion is a key skill to master. Give yourself a scale from 0-10, where 0 is walking and 10 is you in an 800m or mile race.

Grin and bear it

Research has shown that smiling can help lower an athlete’s sense of perceived exertion. Try it; at worst, you’ll brighten the day of those Perth Athletes around you.

Prime yourself

Routines can be good for getting you into the right frame of mind, priming you to give your best effort.Work to develop a repeatable pre session and pre race routine. When you lay out your kit, what time you arrive before a race, what foods you eat and what warm-up you do should all be factored in.

Embrace the challenge

‘One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere as a Perth Athlete. Running to your best ability is going to feel painful at some point. If you accept that, and embrace it as a normal and positive feeling, you’ll find it easier to control negative thoughts mid race.

Add purpose

When the going gets tough, try dedicating those final reps, or metres of a race, to someone important in your life – you won’t let them down.

Runners Tech Perth Can give you more tailored advice on running technique and plans. Contact our Clinic today to book a session and run your best!

Other Articles

How to run a marathon in Perth!

Running Technique Perth – Why Form Matters

How To Run Faster in 2020

Run into 2020 in Western Australia like you own it!