How Can I Increase My Step Rate And Run Faster?

To increase your cadence and speed, you should start by taking shorter steps (which won’t, in itself, help you cover the distance faster, but bear with me!). As you get used to the higher cadence you’re doing, your step length will naturally return to how it was before, and your speed will increase. Firstly, practise some drills where you reduce your step length and use ‘baby steps’ so that your neuromuscular system gets used to the higher cadence.

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On grass, a running track or sprung gym floor, once you’ve warmed up, practise skipping along (without a rope) for 30 seconds, keeping your feet on the ground for as little time as possible. Rest for a moment, then repeat. Next, try doing eight, 100m sprints, resting for 20 to 30 seconds between each sprint. Then try jogging on the spot, getting faster and faster with your feet until you can’t go any faster. Lean forwards slightly from the ankles and keep your feet close to the ground. Do three sets of 20 seconds of these. Now your feet are moving faster, you’ll need to produce the same amount of propulsive force to push you off the ground in a shorter period of time.

To help boost your power, try explosive exercises, such as double-legged jumps. Position eight low cones or other objects (no more than 60cm tall) in a line one metre apart on the grass or a forgiving surface and, starting from one end, jump over each cone, taking off and landing on two legs with only one jump between each one. Jog back to the start and repeat three more times. You could also try doing a one-legged squat on your right leg (your left leg should be bent behind you), bending your right leg until it creates a 90º angle at the knee, then hop sideways to the left. Hop back to the centre, then out to the right and back. Stand tall. That’s one rep. Do 2 x 12 sets on each leg, with a one-minute break between sets. These moves will help improve your leg stability, too. Soon you’ll be stronger and able to produce more propulsive force in a shorter time, so you should see your speed increase.

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