Runner’s World June 2004
By Jeff Galloway
Q & A
Q. What’s the best way to get faster if I’ve never done
A. The first step to getting faster is to teach your body what it
feels like to run faster. Here are three simple drills that prep
our body for speed. Each takes only three to six minutes. You can
do them on separate days, or combine them all in the same workout.
Start the drills after 10 minutes of easy running.
Light Touches. Shortening the amount of time your feet stay on the
ground allows you to run faster, Run for 10 steps, concentrating
on picking up each foot as soon as it hits the ground. Jog for a
minute, then try a set of 20 light steps, then 25, and finally 30.
Jog a minute between each set.
Turnover. A quicker stride turnover is important for faster running.
First, count every time your left (or right) foot hits the ground
while running for 30 seconds. Jog for a minute and repeat, trying
to increase the count by one. Repeat four or five times, trying
each time to add another step (or at least maintain an increases
Acceleration Gliders. Staying relaxed as you speed up helps you
run quicker with less effort. Try this four-part drill. Walk for
10 steps, jog for 10 steps, increase the a fast-but-smooth pace
for 10 more steps, then finally “glide” for 10 strides
by using the momentum form the faster portion to keep your speed
up as you slightly decrease your effort (the same way you can relax
a bit as you run downhill yet still maintain your speed with the
momentum of the decline). Jog for a minute, the repeat the whole
series four to six times. Eventually you can increase the glide
portion for up to 30 strides.
THE EXCUSE (AND HOW TO BEAT IT)
I’m not fit enough to run for any length of time.
You can double endurance by suing my run/walk method. Walk breaks
ease the fatigue that accumulates from continuos running, allowing
you to run father. You essentially push back your ow personal “wall”
each time you take a walk break.
For instance, if you can currently run only 1 mile at a 10-minute
pace, you could run 2 miles by using a two-to-one run/walk ratio
(run two minutes and walk one minute), which equates to 12-minute-per-mile
pace. As you build your endurance, you can gradually increase the
running portion of the ratio. For beginners building to five minutes
of running with one minute of walking is a great goal.
Quick Fix: OVERSTRIDING
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMMON RUNNING MISTAKES
When running with the proper stride length, your feet stay underneath
your body. But when you overstride, you extend your lower leg (below
the knee) out in front of your body. One sign of overstriding is
that your feet slap loudly as the hit the ground. Overstriding can
cause sore shins, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Most beginners overstride
at the beginning of a run (from too much energy), or at the end
(when you’re close to your goal). Try this drill during any
run to help shorten your stride. 1) For the first five minutes of
our run, reduce your stride to a shuffle by keeping your feet close
to the ground, almost dragging them along. 2) For the last five
minutes of your run, do the shuffle again. You can extend this to
the last 10 minutes of any run, especially if you’re tired.
(SAY WHAT?) RUNNING JARGON, TRANSLATED
junk miles Miles run at an easy pace, added to a training program
only to reach a certain weekly or monthly mileage total rather than
to achieve any specific training benefit. That said, not all easy
miles are junk miles, as they can aid recovery.
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