5 Tips for Longer, Faster Runs

October 10, 2011 | Featured in the Holiday 2011 Issue

Must See National Guard Videos

I played sports throughout high school, but, like many athletes, I never saw the need to be a great runner. That all changed when I enlisted in the Army.

Throughout Army Basic Training, my drill sergeants pushed me to run further than I thought possible. Good running form quickly became necessary for survival, and I learned several important methods to improve my abilities.

Whether you’re training for track competitions or boot camp, use the five tips below to run further and faster than you ever have.

1. Look where you’re going. A common mistake many runners make when they’re tired is dropping their head to their chest. This puts unnecessary strain on the neck and causes runners to deviate from an efficient straight line. Concentrate on keeping your head and neck relaxed at all times, and maintain focus on the ground 20 feet in front of you.

 

2. Lean into it. Another common mistake runners make when covering long distances is leaning back. This creates a counterproductive pulling action in the hips. Make gravity work for you by leaning slightly forward while maintaining proper alignment with your head, shoulders and hips.

3. Strike in the center. Use your center of gravity to your advantage. Strike the ground with your foot directly under your hips. When you land, concentrate on hitting the ground with the middle of your foot to avoid injury and fatigue.

4. Run at a modified double-time cadence. To improve your running scores, you must achieve what trainers call a “modified double-time cadence,” which are shorter, faster strides. Most average runners reach approximately 70 to 80 strides per minute. Professional runners who maintain a modified double-time cadence reach as many as 100 strides per minute. Because short, quick strides are more efficient than long strides, quickening your cadence will result in less fatigue and faster times.

5. Maintain grace. Even when Olympic runners reach record-breaking speeds, they look like they’re barely working. Mimic their form by remaining relaxed and eliminating all unnecessary movements. If you usually furrow your brow, clench your fists and tighten your muscles during runs, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel when you concentrate on staying loose.

Use these tips to perfect your running form on the track, streets, beaches or trails. Email me for a free PDF of my latest running workout. HOOAH!

Interested in more workouts? Visit nationalguard.com/life/fitness for dozens of simple and effective workouts that require little or no equipment.

Photo:  militarytimes.com

Staff Sergeant Ken Weichert is a Master Fitness Trainer, six-time Soldier of the Year and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. In 1998, Weichert founded START Fitness, a group exercise and hiking company that leads both soldiers and civilians in military-style workouts.

Ken Weichert
- Staff Sergeant Ken Weichert is a Master Fitness Trainer, six-time Soldier of the Year and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. In 1998,...
Ken Weichert
- Staff Sergeant Ken Weichert is a Master Fitness Trainer, six-time Soldier of the Year and veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Desert Storm. In 1998,...
Must See
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 6,364,779
Brandon Jennings: Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 5,609,405
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 30,273,546

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,017,580
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,821
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,687
Load More
Workout Like a Solider

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,717
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,414
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,085
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,111

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Defending Home

Defending Home

How Robert McCune Is Hitting Harder Than Ever

How Robert McCune Is Hitting Harder Than Ever

Intensify Your Core Workout With These Three Tough Ab Exercises

Intensify Your Core Workout With These Three Tough Ab Exercises

2012 National Guard 7-on-7 Highlights

2012 National Guard 7-on-7 Highlights

Add Inches to Your Broad Jump With Three At-Home Exercises

Add Inches to Your Broad Jump With Three At-Home Exercises

Get a Quicker First Step With Explosive Speed Training

Get a Quicker First Step With Explosive Speed Training

5 Tips for Longer, Faster Runs

5 Tips for Longer, Faster Runs

School of Hard Knocks

School of Hard Knocks

Do More Push-Ups With Staff Sergeant Ken Weichert

Do More Push-Ups With Staff Sergeant Ken Weichert

Leading Longhorn

Leading Longhorn

How to Start Your Career While Serving Your Country

How to Start Your Career While Serving Your Country

Army Reserve vs. National Guard: Which Suits You Better?

Army Reserve vs. National Guard: Which Suits You Better?

No-Nonsense Push-Up Plan for Guaranteed Results

No-Nonsense Push-Up Plan for Guaranteed Results

Brandon Godsey: From the NFL to the National Guard

Brandon Godsey: From the NFL to the National Guard

Olympic Bobsledder Shauna Rohbock on Loyalty

Olympic Bobsledder Shauna Rohbock on Loyalty

The Unlikely Olympians of the U.S. Men's Bobsled Team

The Unlikely Olympians of the U.S. Men's Bobsled Team

Bellator Champ Ben Askren's Most Effective Stand-Up MMA Moves

Bellator Champ Ben Askren's Most Effective Stand-Up MMA Moves

YardBarker