The Secret of a Better Workout
Take longer strides. It's a body-friendly way to increase speed. Many runners try to go faster by taking more steps more quickly, but this is tougher on both the knees and the lower back. "Find the stride length that enables you to be lightest on your feet and moves you fastest," says Jay Blahnik, a fitness consultant for Nike who also trains elite-level runners and speed walkers in Laguna Beach, California. "Test out several strides. Once you find the one that makes you feel like you're gliding rather than pounding, that's your ideal length."
Also remember to...Increase the incline. When running on a treadmill, set it at a 1 percent gradient. Running on a treadmill is much easier than running outdoors on real terrain, even when it's fairly level, Blahnik says. A 1 percent incline mimics outdoor conditions. Over time, increasing the incline (or the number or height of hills when running outdoors) will make you work harder and may improve your speed once you go back to flat ground.