How to Run 5 Miles Faster

Incorporate sprint training into your workouts to increase overall speed.

Incorporate sprint training into your workouts to increase overall speed.

Running five miles is no easy feat, and training to run in an 8K race can be satisfying. Running five miles is a challenging distance for a new runner and can still remain challenging for those with experience. Running it constantly at the same speed, though, can be frustrating. It is possible to get faster with consistent work and a variety of training methods.

Warm up before every workout. Walk or jog slowly for 10 or 15 minutes. Warming up helps your body get ready for more intense exercise and can help you avoid injury.

Train with weights or resistance bands two or three times a week. Perform exercises that work your quads and your hamstrings. Strong hamstrings, in particular, can help you keep your knees stronger. Core training -- where you flex, extend and rotate your trunk and hips, according to Runner's World -- can give you a more powerful stride and finish-line kick.

Implement sprints into your work out on a regular basis. Instead of running your same mileage each day, take one day a week to run a shorter distance as fast as you can. Choose a distance you are comfortable with, such as 400-meter track runs, and then repeat them five to 10 times with a break between.

Run moderately, at a pace where you can talk but don't feel comfortable doing it, at least three times a week. These runs should be shorter, around two or three miles, and then increase the mileage over several weeks.

Ride a bike or swim laps in a pool once or twice a week. One of these workouts can be in place of a normal running workout. Cross-training in other disciplines can increase your stamina and give your running muscles a rest, while working out new muscles.

Rest one day each week. Even if you are determined to keep at it, you should give yourself one day each week where you don't run or workout. This gives your body a chance to recover and keeps you fresh.

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About the Author

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.

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