After you've been running for a little while and improved your endurance, you may want to focus on a new goal -- running faster. Here are some simple things you can do to start running faster and improve your race times:
Be Prepared for a Little Discomfort
More: When Should I Run Through Pain?
Work on Your Turnover
If you can increase your stride turnover, you'll run faster. Start by running at about your 5K pace for 30 seconds and counting every time your right foot hits the ground. Then jog for a minute to recover and run for 30 seconds again, this time trying to increase the count. Focus on taking quick, light, short steps -- as if you're stepping on hot coals.
Try Interval Workouts
Interval workouts are a fun way to work on your speed. You can do track workouts, such as 400m (one lap around the track) repeats. After a 5- to 10-minute warm-up, alternate between running one 400m at your 5K pace and jogging one slow, easy recovery lap. Start with two or three 400m repeats (with a recovery lap in between each), and try to work your way up to five or six. Or, if you're running on the road, you can use lamp posts or telephone poles to mark intervals. After warming-up, try sprinting for two lamp posts, then recover for two, and keep repeating the pattern until you've covered a mile.
More: Fartlek Interval Workout
Pyramid Interval Workout
How to Do Yasso 800s
Treadmill Interval Workout
Do a Tempo Run Once a Week
Try Some Hill Training
Hill repeats are an efficient way to build running strength. Find a fairly steep hill that's about 100 meters long. Run hard to the top of the hill, and slowly jog back down. Start with 3 to 4 repeats once a week, and gradually work your way up to 6 to 7 repeats.
More: Benefits of Hill Running
Tips for Hill Running
Don't Forget About Rest Days
Be a Smart Racer
Also see: 4 Ways to Get Faster
How Beginners Can Run a Faster 5K
How Experienced Runners Can Run a Faster 5K