Tips for Slow Runners to Get Faster

In the spirit of the Boston Marathon…

Any good tips for slow runners who are otherwise in good health and shape who want to get SIGNIFICANTLY faster? Basically, is there any hope for someone who’s more tortoise than hare (me, age 26, runner for 5 years, last marathon finish time in ’12 was 6:11:00) to ever have a prayer of BQ-ing? (recent half PR: 2:20:28)… feel free to say NO WAY!

Doing sprint workouts on the treadmill this winter has helped. My fastest on the treadmmill is a 7 minute mile, but now outside I can sustain 8:20, which is a lot faster than my previous 10 minute mile

I’ve been there…join a running group, try running with slightly faster runners, get a “coach”/mentor, speed/strength/core work…all these things have helped me! Oh…and never give up, it can get discouraging…but celebrate each small step in the right direction!

What has helped me is I just keep pushing myself everyday when I run. I don’t hold anything back anymore I just go out and run as hard as I can.

I hired a coach (only $25/month) and have cut significant time off my marathon time. Shooting for a Boston qualifying time this coming sunday. Speed work and increase of total weekly mileage. If I can do it at 46 you certainly can!

Hill repeats, sprints, cross training

That’s not bad for a half . You can get faster! Proper diet, fuel strategy , different training workouts , correct form, cross training etc!

Having a positive attitude will get you far. My goal is to BQ by the time I am 40/41. Which is like in five minutes. Get great support and go for it!

The book Hanson Marathon Plan is really good. They took 2nd tear college middle distance runners and turned them into international marathon runners. Their book covers the physiological benefits of each type of run. That is what I used for my marathon training and I ran 3:40:07. Took 45 minutes off of my half marathon time

Speed work once a week and hills once a week at least. Work on correcting any issues with your form, and do some strength training. You’ll be amazed at how much faster you can get.

I am in your boat but a little older. I’ve been running a year, and have the dream of Boston. Nothing is too far out of reach, I plan on starting my training from scratch this summer, focusing more on my hr than my time and see where that gets me.

A good mix of training, and especially weight training to build muscle. Clean eating will help too.

Speed work, tempo runs, hill work! Doing all these (even on the treadmill) WILL make you faster. I trained hard all winter on the treadmill thanks to our awful MI winter and was able to shave 9 mins off my half time! Now I’m trying to shave another 5 off before my June half.

The overall key to being faster is a good endurance base and you can develop your long distance speed by improving your long intervals. You will get a stronger runner doing hills, a faster runner doing speedwork, but to be fast over long distance you need to develop your long intervals. Its relatively easier to runfast than run long intervals.

try following a good half/full marathon training program – don’t cut corners – I use the Hal Higdon ‘intermediate’ program it has distance runs, short runs, speed-work and cross-training. It got me a BQ for my first full!

Speed interval training and hills will help your time. I would also recommend some strength training if you aren’t already doing some. Exercises that strengthen your core/ legs helps a lot. These have all made big difference for me..I was a 10:20 when started seriously running in late November and am now @ between an 8:48 & 9:20 pace.

I found HIIT workouts and focused running work have helped me. I used to just run because I love it. Now I do a tempo run Tuesday, speed work Thursday and a long run on Saturday. It has helped me. I went from a 11-11:30 pace to a 10:30 on long runs and 9:45 on shorter runs. That said-I know realistically I will never qualify for Boston and I am fine with it:)

1)Coaching, speed work, pain, suffering, and dedication.
2)Anything is possible if one is willing to pour their heart into it.
3)Sacrifice and dedication.

At 26 you most likely have time. If you are at a good weight, healthy diet, and do speed work and hills as well as long runs and shorter runs and don’t get injured you may be able to do it. You never know until you try and even if you never make it, you’ll be fitter and healthier

Leave a Reply