For the majority of people, it can take around 15 minutes to complete a full mile.
That is probably a lot of time spent running around the block to burn some calories. Even so, don’t let that stop you from being able to run a faster mile.
Running a mile is a great way to stay fit and improve cardiovascular health. The average person runs about 4 miles per hour (mph), but you can increase your speed by working on your stride length.
Running a mile in less than 6 minutes is possible, but it requires proper form and technique. Here’s how to run a faster mile by improving your stride length.
Start With a Good Warm-Up
Warm up before any exercise session to avoid injury. A 5-minute jog or brisk walk will help loosen up muscles and joints.
Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing deeply while running helps oxygenate blood throughout the body. This improves endurance and stamina.
Use Your Arms for Propulsion
Your arms should be slightly bent when they are swinging back and forth during each step. Your upper arm should move forward as if it were part of a pendulum.
Keep Your Feet Under Control
Keep your footfalls light and controlled. You may find yourself stepping down harder or lighter depending on the surface you’re running on.
Don’t Over Stride
Over striding is when your foot hits the ground after your leg has left the ground. It’s not necessary to land on your toes, but make sure your heel touches first.
Relax Your Shoulders
Relaxing your shoulders allows them to fall naturally into position. Keeping your shoulders tight restricts movement and increases tension.
Breathe Through Your Nose
When inhaling, focus on filling your lungs completely. When exhaling, concentrate on emptying your lungs completely.
Maintain a Steady Pace
If you’re trying to run a fast mile, try to maintain a consistent pace.
Pace refers to the number of steps taken per minute. For example, if you run a mile at 3:30 mph, then you would have approximately 1,000 steps per minute.
Sprinting is when you quickly accelerate to full speed. Sprinting can cause injuries such as muscle pulls and stress fractures.
Listen to Music
Music can motivate you to keep going even when you feel tired. Try listening to upbeat songs that encourage you to dance.
Increase Your Distance Gradually
You may notice that you can run farther distances after several weeks of training. By increasing your mileage slowly, you’ll prevent injuries.
Strengthen Your Core
Strengthening your core muscles will allow you to better stabilize your lower body. Core exercises include abdominal crunches, planks, and push ups.
Stretching reduces stiffness and prevents soreness. Stretching also improves flexibility and range of motion.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinks like Gatorade and Powerade contain electrolytes which help replace fluids lost during physical activity.
Drinking enough water keeps you hydrated so you don’t get dehydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and dizziness.
Eating at least half an hour before exercising will increase energy levels and improve performance. Include protein-rich foods like chicken breast, eggs, salmon, tuna, cottage cheese, and milk.
Warm Up Properly
Before starting your workout, stretch out all major joints and muscles. Perform dynamic stretches to warm up your muscles and prepare them for exercise.
Cool Down Properly
After completing your workout, cool down by walking or stretching. If you’re doing cardio workouts, slow down to a jog/walk.
Get Adequate Sleep
Adequate rest helps your body recover from strenuous activities. Sleep deprivation makes you more susceptible to injury and illness.
Be Patient with Yourself
Don’t compare your progress to others. Instead, focus on how far you’ve come since the last time you ran.
Keep track of your goals. Write them down in a journal or use an app to monitor your progress.
Don’t Overdo It
Exercise too much and you risk injuring yourself. Exercise moderately and consistently, and you’ll see results faster than if you were to do nothing.
Remember to Breathe
Breathing correctly is essential to good health. Focus on breathing deeply through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. This allows oxygen into your bloodstream.
Take Care of Your Feet
Toes are made of bone and cartilage. They provide support for your entire foot. When they become injured, they can lead to pain and swelling.
It’s important to treat any blisters or calluses on your feet.
Overexertion occurs when you exert yourself beyond what your body is capable of handling. For example, running at full speed for long periods of time without stopping.
Listen to Your Body
If you feel tired or fatigued, take a break. Your body needs rest just as much as your mind does.
What Are the Benefits of Running?
Running is one of the most popular forms of aerobic exercise. It burns calories and strengthens your heart and lungs.
Running builds endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. You can run longer distances and cover greater distances per mile.
Running relieves stress and boosts self esteem. It gives you something to look forward to each day.
Running has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. It may even help prevent certain types of cancer.
There are many ways to stay fit and healthy. Running is just one way that works well for many people.
Running is a really fun activity too. Over time, you can work your way up to running longer and faster just by doing a few simple steps.
These could be from how you breathe during a run and the warm-up, to the position of your arms and how you use your feet.
No doubt that over time you will be able to run faster within a short space of time.