"Running fast is very individual," says Eva Hirschhauser, Tech& Brand Representative at True Motion. While for hobby runners an average time of six minutes per kilometer can already be fast, Such a time is comparatively slow for more ambitious runners. While professionals run between three and four minutes per kilometer over longer distances, the world’s top male runners even run just under three minutes per kilometer in perfect conditions.
So to find a definition for fast running is almost impossible. "What we mean by fast running always depends on personal training status and general physical fitness", summarizes Eva Hirschhauser. While the marathon world record for men is 2:01:39 hours and for women 2:14:04 hours, a study conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (World Athletics, earlier IAAF) and Run Repeat study carried out, shows that amateur runners run a marathon in about four and a half hours on average. Fast is therefore, who runs faster than the average and thereby sets a stimulus to its cardiovascular system.
What we should consider when we want to train fast running
Even if we can train fast running well – without a clear goal in mind we quickly lose motivation. To increase our average speed, we need discipline. This is how runners who work out for 5.000- or 10.000-meter runs and half-marathons or marathons train, sooner or later at their pace. Mostly this works. Because often new best times spur us on for the next competition.
Although fast running can potentially train all runners*, we should keep one thing in mind: If we have orthopedic or clinical pre-existing conditions that affect the cardiovascular system in particular, we should consult our doctor before our first tempo-intensive training sessions. You can make sure that there is nothing standing in the way of a higher load.
If there are no health concerns, applies before the first workout: The right preparation is crucial. As more intense sessions put more strain on our bodies than we’re used to, we should warm up well before faster runs. "The warm-up should last at least ten minutes", says Eva Hirschhauser. This protects our muscles from injury. "The biggest mistake is to go full speed right away."
For a similar reason, we should Do not schedule tempo units on days that are too cold either. When the temperature drops, the performance of our muscles drops as well. This makes us run less efficiently and increases the risk of injuring muscles, tendons and ligaments. If we now increase the load on our muscles additionally due to fast running sessions, we risk injuries in the lower trunk, legs and feet.
Not only our training condition, but also our running equipment influences our running speed. Heavy running shoes prevent us from achieving personal best times. The more weight we carry on our feet, the more strenuous the session will be. The consequence: We run slower.
How to train fast running correctly
Determine our threshold pace
Train speed with tempo runs
Running faster and longer through interval training
Set a good tempo with the running game
At first glance, the so-called driving game is somewhat reminiscent of interval training. Similar to this one, we can base the driving game on distances – or alternatively, time intervals. However, while in interval training we take a real break after the short, crisp runs, in the driving game we keep moving. The advantage: We don’t cool down as quickly, let our muscles work further – and thus train fast running.
We can consciously integrate the driving game as a separate unit in our training plan. Often, however, we tend to set a new tempo stimulus towards the end of a classic running session. If we want to achieve exactly that, we can make a driving game out of the last kilometers of our run. And it works like this:
If we run different distances and at different times of the day during the week, we can better control our personal tempo training via time intervals. For example, we may run several 30-second intervals fast, breaking them up with a one- to two-minute trot each time. If we have been training our speed for a long time, we can extend the 30-second tempo intervals to one minute.
Correct running technique and strength training are important for fast running
In order to be able to run fast, the right running technique is crucial in addition to tempo training: the running ABC. Among other things, this is what we should pay attention to when running: