You have a race coming up, and have too little time to practise for it. Well, everyone strives to run faster. Although practising seems to be the quick and simple answer, there are many simple tips and tricks that can make you run faster without any extra training.
Firstly, you can easily get a better timing for your race just by doing proper warm ups before the race. When I say proper, I mean PROPER, not some half-hearted quads stretches. One thing to note is that if your race is in the morning, you are better off doing dynamic warm up stretches. It means your stretches should be done with movements, and not at a stationary position. This is because your body, which after lying on the bed for hours, is tense, and if you do static warm ups, it can do more than good to the muscle you are stretching. You can do dynamic stretches such as lunges, to really give your muscles a good stretch before your race.
Secondly, correct your running posture and technique. Try asking your friend to take a video of you running, and compare it with Olympic long distance runners, you will see a stark difference. Their body posture when running is optimal and will make use of it to push themselves faster. For example, most runners believe a larger stride will make you go faster, but funny enough, it is the opposite. In fact, larger strides can lead to overstriding, which can make you use more energy to run the same distance. I recommend going for short and light steps and land your feet directly below your body. Sports scientists also believe 180 steps (cadence) per minute is the optimum number of steps to make you have the best finish time.
Thirdly, you can get yourself a pacer. If you have a friend who is an experienced runner, ask that friend to run alongside you during the race. You can tell him the timing you are aiming for and he can help motivate you during the race. By making small goals throughout the run, like trying to catch up with him, you will most definitely achieve a better timing for the race.
Lastly, you have to know the route you are going to race in. You have to know every upslope, downslope, etc. This allows you to visualise yourself running that route, and you will be able to know when you should speed up, and when you are at the end of the race, so you can do your final sprint. For example, racers hate running up slopes. If you are good with running up slopes, here is where you are supposed to make full use of it and get ahead of the crowd. Knowing where to kick (final sprint) is of paramount importance as well. Some people may start seeing crowds cheering, and will start running faster than they initially wanted to. This can cost them the race. They may not have the energy left to run the final mile, causing the finish time to slump.
Running is a long term sport. You will probably not be able to do well with little training. However, with these 4 tips are that I have been telling people, you can run a faster race in moments’ notice. Remember, run hard, race easy.