Obviously if you want to improve your running speed you should practice firstly by running, varying your speed between sessions and regularly attempting to push your top speed. You can practice at set points or use what I call 'incidental training', which is when you turn an ordinary task into a training opportunity for example by running to the shop or to work. Personally I run practically everywhere. Like a mentalist.
If you want to push the boundaries further and use some more unconventional methods to improve your 100 metres the following strategies will serve you well.
Upper Body Strength
The power created by swinging your arms is very important to your overall running speed. When I was younger I wanted to be Sonic the Hedgehog (actually I thought I was Sonic the Hedgehog) so I used to run with my arms flailing around behind me which significantly decreased my running speed. From this I learned two important points: do not run with your arms behind you,
The most important muscles to train are your deltoids, closely followed by your biceps and triceps. A good way to train the latter two is with 'dumbbell runners' which involve holding two mid-to-light dumbbells and making a slow-motion running motion. They're much like bilateral hammer curls mixed with kickbacks and they're brilliant. Shrugs meanwhile are a great way to train the shoulders.
Also important is your core strength, which can be trained with press-ups, sit ups and pull ups.
Training your legs is important for running but it's also paramount that they don't become too bulky which can be detrimental to your speed. Your muscles will be developed to an extent from the running itself, particularly by running up hill.
To get an extra edge though use leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises. Running utilises fast twitch muscle fibres which you need to train by practicing the movements explosively with 'bursts' of strength to lift the weight.
Overspeed training is the incredibly cool name for a training method used by sprinters and football players to increase running speed. Basically it involves finding a way to run up to 10% faster than usual, by getting towed, or by running downhill, or with wind behind you. The idea is that by doing this, you are 'teaching' your body and your brain the movement necesary to create that kind of speed and that hopefully they'll eventually be able to repdoduce it on their own. In theory this technique could be used for several other endeavours. For example there are machines that take your arm through the perfect golf swing. Having your friend help you with a heavy weight might even have a similar effect. Still you should do overspeed training just because it's called overspeed training! It would be even cooler if it was called hyperspeed training... (I've got to invent that).
Running against resistance
This is like it sounds - basically the opposite of overspeed training (underspeed training?). Some things that can provide resistance are shallow water, sand (think Rocky 3) and ankle and wrist weights. You could also run while towing something ala Rocky. Quicksand would probably be awesome but it's hard to come by.
Ooh! This is now called hyperspeed training!
It should go without saying that you need to increase your stamina in order to maintain a good speed. Any CV training will achieve this but obviously running and jogging are the most well-suited. Use a treadmill if you're in the gym and alternate between 10 minute jogs and 2 minute sprints for the best results.
'Speedsoles' are squidgey insoles that you place in your shoes to give yourself a bit of extra bounce. They can supposedly increase running speed and jumping height by around 10%
While you shouldn t expect flubber I have found that they do at least give you a bit of a spring in your step and have the added bonus of combating shin splints and other running-related pains.
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