So you want to run faster. Great! Now the question is...how?
The short answer: To run faster, you have to run faster.
"Hmmm..." you say. "If I could do that, I would. Care to elaborate?"
Sure, Read on for details:
For the sake of having a coherent example throughout this post, I'm going to use the example of decreasing your time on a 5K or 3.1 mile foot race.
Let's assume you have perfect running form and a fairly decent aerobic base (you can jog about 30 minutes at a time without stopping) but you can't obtain the speed you desire due to muscular and cardiovascular inhibitions (your muscles and your lungs give out on you anytime you speed up).
The best way to start increasing your speed is to do high intensity interval training or (HIIT) workouts. This includes Tabata training.
What the heck is Tabata Training?
- Aerobic energy system: the energy system you use to complete tasks greater in length than a few minutes (oxidative on the chart). Oxygen is converted into energy your body can use to complete the task.
- Anaerobic energy systems: when performing a task that requires a lot of power or speed, and can only be performed for a few seconds to about 60 seconds, you use your anaerobic energy systems (phosphagen and glycolytic on the graph) . This energy does not require oxygen and therefore is finite but can be improved with training.
- VO2max: the amount of oxygen your body can bring into the lungs and convert to useful energy via the aerobic process. The fitter you are, the higher your VO2max will be.