How to Run Faster and Longer (12 Tips)

Whether you are a professional or amateur runner, you always try to find the best ways to run faster and longer. This is why I’m going to share important exercises and tips on how to run faster for longer distances.

Your every day’s goal is to beat the previous time that you took. It’s not that easy because it takes a great amount of stamina to set the new record and break the previous one.

The right technique, consistent practice, healthy eating, proper rest, etc are the important things that can help you set the new record.

Your running speed and the distance you cover depends on several things such as your age, weight, height, and gender. But the tips I’m going to share will help everyone, whether you’re male or female, beginner or intermediate.

So if you want to run fast and long, keep reading it till the end.

12 Tips From The Experts On How To Run Faster and Longer

1. Strength Training

Strength Training for Running Faster and Longer
Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Strength training or weight strength training is crucial for strengthening and developing the muscles and joints. It may help prevents injuries by stimulating muscles and connective tissues such as the tendon and ligament. It also develops muscle coordination, improves your endurance, accelerates running efficiency, and boosts metabolism.

Usain Bolt, The fastest man in history who has the world record of 100 meters in a mere 9.58-second; used to do strength training.

“I do strength training such as bench press, squats, and deadlift. I’m not really that good at lifting weights. “A lot of people can bench-press 250kg, But I do probably with 140kg. I try to go heavy enough to develop my muscles.” In an interview, he said.

Here’s what you need to train to run faster and for longer distance.

Strength training increases running efficiency, duration of running, and maximal sprint speed in middle and long-distance runners, according to a study published by the National Institute of Health.

Lower Body

For running faster and longer, one needs to especially focus on the lower body muscles such as hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, heels, and glutes. Because these muscles are highly activated and engaged while you run.

The best exercises to train your lower body parts are deadlifts, squats, lunges, calf raises, glutes bridges, hip thrust, etc.


Other than lower body muscles, the core is also an important part to train for runners. The core is the midsection of the body that includes muscles like the rectus abdominish, and obliques.

Usain Bolt, One of the greatest sprinters of all time, used to train his core three times a week. “I strictly work on my abs and back for one hour. three times a week.” He said in an interview when he was asked how he managed to run faster.

Upper Body

Upper body muscles such as the back, chest, arms are also important to strengthen. A recent finding also suggests that the coordination of upper body parts such as the head, forearm, shoulders, and traps is important in running long distances at a moderate to fast pace.

Example of Strength Exercises

The combination of the right exercises and proper execution will help you improve running speed in the long run.

Here are some examples of weighted workouts you can do to improve your strength, flexibility, and mobility that will help you run faster for long-distance.

ExerciseSetsReps/setMuscle Worked
Bench Press312-16Chest
Barbell Squat420-30Quad
Barbell RDL3 6-10Hamstring
DB Hamstring Curl310-12Hamstring
Barbell Lunges310-12Lower Body
Glute Bridge310-12Glutes, lower back
Calf Raises315-20Calves
Nordic Hamstring Curl315-20Hamstring
Forearm Plank230 seconds
to 2-min hold
Side Plank230 seconds
each side
Leg Raises2AMRAPCore
Russian Twist2AMRAPCore
Mountain Climbing2AMRAPCore
These are only examples, there are plenty of exercises you can do to increase your overall strength

If you’re new to strength training, then bodyweight exercises will be the right way to start training. When you have generated strength in your muscles, then you can mix some more varieties such as dumbbells and resistance bands in your strength training.

How much strength training should I do?

Doing strength training 2–3 times per week positively affects performance. Performing the different forms of strength training such as heavy resistance training, explosive resistance training, and plyometric training is highly recommended.

2. Long Distance Running

tips on how to run faster for longer distances.
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels

Long-distance running has many benefits. For example, it boosts your metabolism; improves heart health; helps you burn fat as fuel; strengthening leg muscles and joints, and most importantly it makes you super faster.

For instance, former New York marathon champion Grete Waitz used to run daily sessions of continuous 50-60 minutes at a relatively high intensity; and weekly sessions of approximately 120-130 kilometers at moderate to fast pace. She developed this endurability through consistent and long-run training.

Another example, Mohammad Farah, A British Olympian and two times Olympic Gold medalist in both 5k and 10k runs in 2012 & 2015; used to run every day on an average of 17 to 18 km at a speed of 4 to 5 mph. On Sunday, he runs 22-27 miles at a speed of 5:40 minutes per mile.

Do you know how he managed to run that long? It is only because they run as long as they can, they were consistent, focused, and know what they need to do.

So the moral is, you have to run longer and longer to increase your speed. I can understand it’s a bit difficult to run that long. But who says you have to run like Mo Farah or Grete Waitz? You only need to compete with yourself; and you know what is your aim, prepare accordingly.

Tips for long run distance training

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Wear a comfortable pair of shoes
  • Prepare a plan so you know when to run fast and when to slow.
  • Warm-up before running
  • Don’t run too soon after having a meal
  • Use a tracker so you can track your overall performance.
  • Increase your speed, gradually
  • Slow down once you get tired
  • Take proper sleep and rest before you start long run distance training
  • Use earphones, listen to music and enjoy running.

3. Special Core training

core training that help you run fast and long
Doing Planks
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The core training is important if your plan is to improve speed and run long distance. Your core is the middle portion of your body; it is important to train because it stabilizes every part of your body. says Mike Durner 8 years National Team Coach for U.S. Paralympic Cycling. If your core is weak, everything else in your body will fatigue more promptly.

He further added; “Core doesn’t mean only abs it means everything from your shoulders to your hips. only strong abs won’t help you much if others portion of the core isn’t strong enough.

Usain Bolt also says he works a lot on the core because it’s vitally important for running prospective. He used to train his core and back thrice a week for almost an hour. Bolt used to perform a variety of lots of exercises because he also wanted to reveal his six-pack abs.

That indicates how important to strengthen the core being an athlete. If you want the same and serious about your aim; I have a list of some core exercises below that you can even do at home.

  • Planks
  • Russian twist
  • Glutes Bridges
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Side planks
  • The Palloff Press etc.
  • Avoid using many crunches and sit-ups as they can degrade your performance.

Don’t have much time but still, you wanna strong abs and core check out this blog: 10 minutes workout for abs and stronger core

4. HIIT For Faster and Longer Run

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an important form of training that increases stamina, strength, and power.

HIIT means doing the workout in two intervals; in the first interval, you need to do a high-intensity workout for a fixed amount of time like 30 or 60 seconds; while in the second interval, you can take a rest or do the least intense workout for a fixed amount of time like 30 seconds.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) designed to work on your entire body. It is very effective for weight loss, muscle gain, body balance improvement, cardiovascular health improvement, and metabolism-boosting. High intensity in your training is very needed to boost performance and stamina. HIIT sessions, once or twice a week can help you run faster and longer.

For example, Grete Waitz, nine times New York marathon winner, used to run daily sessions of 50-60 minutes at a relatively high intensity, and this helped her win 48 out of 50 competitions (ranging from 800m to marathon) in the season 1978-1979.

There are plenty of exercises that come under HIIT training, but all of them won’t help you. The selection of the right exercises for HIIT can help you improve running efficiancy.

How to do HIIT to improve running pace and distance?

HIIT requires you to perform exercises at 80 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Here is an example of a 30-min HIIT workout session that can help you run faster for longer distances.

  1. Jumping jacks
    • As many reps as possible (AMRAP) in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  2. Mountain Climbing
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  3. Jump squats
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, and 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  4. High Knees
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  5. Squat Thrusts
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  6. Burpee
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  7. Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  8. Calf Raises
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  9. Plank
    • Forearm plank- 60 seconds,
    • Side plank- 30 seconds each side, then 60 seconds rest.
  10. Pushup
    • AMRAP in 30 seconds, then 30 seconds rest.
    • 2 sets
  11. Sprints
    • 15 seconds and then 105 seconds rest
    • 30 seconds sprint, 4 minutes rest
    • 30 seconds sprints, 2-min rest

Related: A full-body HIIT workout plan without equipment that you can perform even at home

5. Run sprints

Sprints are very much crucial for developing and improving running speed. Many professional runners take a sprint at a very pace speed to increase their performance on the ground.

Sprints increase the efficiency of 3 things that help you run faster; those are metabolic, mechanical and neural. Metabolic means increase energy; mechanical means developing muscles and joint strength; and neural means increasing muscle fibers that are important to maintain the pace.

Mo Farah used to sprint 100 meters of 3-4 round after every long session. If you’re trying to improve your running speed; then you definitely need to add in your training program; if you’re already doing it then you need to add more sprints intervals.

In a study published by Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2018; 16 runners both male and female participated in six Sessions of Sprint Interval Training (SIT) for the period of over two weeks. At the end of that training sessions, the programmers found that the sprints generated a significant improvement in both endurance and energy performance.

If you’re a beginner so after 45 minutes of the moderate run; you can start sprint interval training of 30 seconds of 4 intervals with 60 seconds jog between each interval. You have to plan your sprint sessions according to your aim and if you not sure how to do it, you can check this article.

6. Improve breathing level

Your breathing level also plays a crucial role in improving running performance. There is an important connection between running and breathing. The proper way of breathing helps you to train more accurately that will improve your running efficiency.

Many experienced runners improve their breathing levels to increase their efficiency and pace. The most common pattern followed by experienced runners is a 2-2 pattern; means breathing in for two steps and out for two steps.

A well-known coach Jack Daniels suggest 2-2 pattern because he believes that it maximizes the intake of oxygen and breathing efficiency. There are different breathing patterns you can choose such as 3-2 pattern (inhale after 3 steps and exhale after 2 steps). This will be good when running easy and a 2-1 pattern when running faster.

Breathing not only helps runners; it also helps many athletes and gym-goers. Improper breathing patterns can cause muscle soreness or injuries.

7. Eat well

A healthy diet is essential for an athlete for increasing energy, both for training and everyday activities, as well as improving recovery from exercises.

You need to eat those foods which contain nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health, speed recovery, protect you from disease, provide more consistent energy, and result in prolonged periods of better health.

You should try to avoid high cholesterol food like cheeses and red meat; food that contains a higher amount go sugar and junkie foods. Eat healthy and low cholesterol food at every 2 or 3 hours of interval.

Examples of low cholesterol foods are oats, beans, fatty fish, chicken, nuts, apple, citrus fruits etc. It would be better for you to check on the nutrition forum for more details.

8. Consistency is the Key for Longer and Faster Run

Consistency is the key to success. No one succeded and no one will be succes=dd without consistency. Consistent practice in a proper way will differently help you achieve your aspired result.

There is consistency behind every successful person. All champion runners trained for a shorter time even on rest day; just because to be consistent.

For example, She used to run 120-130 kilometers in one week at normal to high intensity and 170-180 km at low-intensity speed.

How to become a consistent runner?

  • Make a weekly plan and stick to it.
  • Motivate and challenge yourself every day
  • Complete your daily goal
  • Mediate and imagine yourself running every day, executing your plans properly, and completing your every day’s goal.

9. Massaged

Massage would help you to improve your flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. Regular massage has a lot of benefits, from improving blood circulation; reduces muscle soreness and fatigue; increases range of motion to improving healing power.

Massages frequency depend on your training schedule and your aim. A regular massages schedule could be once a week, once a month, or every two months. Estimate your goals and your budget when deciding how often to get a massage.

10. Imagination and positivism

Imagination is the most powerful tool that you can use to change your running efficiency. It is a scientifically very important thing when you start training. Many studies proved if you imagine that you can before starting the work; will surely help you to get better and faster result.

When you create a picture in your imagination before proceeding something; your subconscious mind helps you finalize that picture which you have created. On the other hand, if you think negative then your result will also be negative and you feel tired early than expected time.

11. Yoga Exercises that Helps Run faster and Longer

How to run faster: 10 Tips to improve running speed

Yoga is an ancient time exercise and crucial for both physical and mental health development. Many experts believed that; yoga exercises increased flexibility in the joints and improved body balance. It may not directly assist you in improving your running speed; but yoga may help you mentally by improving mood, and reducing stress; so that you can focus more on training.

By doing yoga twice or thrice a week can help you 5k and 10k long in other ways. Here we take a look at some forms of yoga for stretching:

  • Extended Side Angle Pose  (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
  • Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)
  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
  • Tree Pose (Vriksasana)
  • Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)
  • Reclining Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana) etc.

12. Recovery & Sleeping

Sleeping is necessary because you trained a lot and you’re muscles sore, pain that need rest. Sleeping is like medicine for every athlete and it is one of the parts of the training.

During the training, your muscles break, and that needs to be recover. So get some quality sleep if you want to increase your performance.

Several studies indicate that sleep plays a major role in the performance and recovery of athletes, according to an article originally published by the South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education, and Recreation.

So understanding the effects of quality sleep positively impact your performance.

The Takeaway

Assess your fitness before starting training for a specific goal, plan on how to initiate training to get the aspired result faster. Make yourself clear about how much training you require according to your goal; commit that comes may what, I’ll complete my training sessions.

Follow the above tips on how to run faster for long distances and don’t be hasty about the result because good things take time to cultivate. Keep yourself hydrated during sessions to protect yourself from cramps and injuries. BE FOCUSED, PERSISTENCE AND SELF MOTIVATED and get what you want.

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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