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How to run faster

With Tamara Armoush, professional athlete

Break your personal best

How to run faster

Posted on Mon Nov 18, 2019

Tamara Armoush is an Olympic hopeful runner who finished the London Marathon 2019 in 2 hours, 56 minutes and 31 seconds, and is currently hoping to qualify for the Japan Olympic Games in 2020.

If you’re a professional athlete, you probably know how your body ticks, what to feed it and when, and how to make sure you recover from even the hardest training session.

But if you’re looking to smash your Parkrun PB, or even if you’re a complete beginner and the idea of you running a marathon in under 3 hours seems a little far-fetched, you can take some steps to improve your running game exponentially.

Before we get started, here are Tamara’s PBs, to show you just how quick she really is:

  • Half marathon – 75:01
  • 10km – 34:00
  • 5km – 16.25
  • 1500m – 4.18

Now that you’re suitably impressed, read on to see how she does it!

The mental aspect

As any sportsperson will tell you, making sure you are in a good mental state going into the activity is crucially important. Tamara’s advice is to ‘take ownership of the goal that you want to achieve. As soon as you have ownership over that you are more likely to succeed in doing it.’

However, Tamara also cautioned her fellow athletes not to get too hung up on PBs, saying, ‘sometimes your times will come when you least expect it so don’t get too frustrated and just enjoy the process… a happy athlete is a fast athlete!’

 

How to train

‘You need to make sure you train below race pace, above race pace and at race pace, so make sure you’re doing a variety of sessions that cover all bases,’ says Tamara. The idea is not to train at the same pace every time, so you shock your body and your muscles every session. If you train at a faster pace than you’d race at, run for less time. If you run slower than race pace, train for longer. And, obviously, if you train at race pace, try to get as close to your ideal time as you can, but without pushing yourself too hard!

Target races

Another thing to include in your training plan is target races; races that you know you can compete well in. This might be a track you’ve run before or are really familiar with, or you might know a competitor who has a similar PB to you, allowing you to push each other to break through the barrier. However, again Tamara is cautious of pinning all her hopes on specific races, remembering that PBs can be broken when you least expect it.

Avoiding injury

Making sure your body is as strong as possible is vital to avoid injuries, which can hamper your training and turn back the clock if sustained. Read Tamara’s tips on how to avoid injury, coming soon.

 

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