What Exercise Makes You Run Faster?

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Hey, have you ever wondered what exercise can make you run faster? Well, look no further! In this article, we’ll explore the secret to boosting your running speed and enhancing your overall performance. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting on your fitness journey, this information will help you achieve your speed goals and take your running abilities to the next level. So, get ready to lace up your sneakers and discover the exercise that will have you sprinting towards success in no time!

What Exercise Makes You Run Faster?

Strength Training Exercises

When it comes to improving your running speed, incorporating strength training exercises into your workout routine can make a significant difference. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are three key exercises that can help build strength in your lower body.


Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. By performing squats regularly, you can develop stronger leg muscles, which can lead to increased power and speed during running. To perform a squat, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself down as if you were sitting back into a chair, keeping your chest up and maintaining a neutral spine. Push through your heels to return to a standing position. Start with bodyweight squats and gradually progress to using weights for added resistance.


Lunges are another excellent exercise for improving running speed as they target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes while also engaging the core for stability. To perform a lunge, start by stepping forward with one foot and lowering your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. You can perform lunges with just your body weight or add dumbbells for more resistance. It’s essential to maintain proper form throughout the exercise and avoid letting your knee go past your toes.


Deadlifts primarily target the muscles of the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. By incorporating deadlifts into your strength training routine, you can increase your power and speed during running. To perform a deadlift, start with a barbell on the ground in front of you. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the hips and knees to grip the barbell. Keep your back straight and lift the bar by extending your hips and knees. Lower the bar back down to the ground with control. If you’re new to deadlifts, it’s recommended to seek guidance from a fitness professional to ensure proper form and prevent injury.

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric exercises are dynamic movements that involve explosive power and quick muscle contractions. These exercises are beneficial for developing speed, agility, and power in running.

Box Jumps

Box jumps are an effective plyometric exercise that can help improve your running speed by increasing your explosive power and leg strength. To perform a box jump, start by standing in front of a sturdy box or platform. Bend your knees and swing your arms back. Explosively jump onto the box, landing softly with both feet. Step or jump back down and repeat. It’s essential to start with a box height that is comfortable for you and gradually increase the height as you become more proficient.


Burpees are a full-body exercise that combines strength training and cardio. They target multiple muscle groups and can help improve your running speed by increasing your cardiovascular endurance and overall fitness level. To perform a burpee, start in a standing position. Drop down into a squat position and place your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position and perform a push-up. Jump your feet back towards your hands and explosively jump up into the air, reaching your arms overhead. Land softly and repeat the movement. Burpees can be modified to suit your fitness level by eliminating the push-up or jump.


Bounding is a plyometric exercise that involves exaggerated running strides to develop power and stride length. It targets the hip extensors, quadriceps, and calf muscles. To perform bounding, start by taking long strides while exaggerating the push-off with each step. Drive your knee and foot forward, propelling yourself into the next stride. Maintain an upright posture and engage your core throughout. Bounding can be done on flat ground or on an uphill slope to add an extra challenge and intensity.

Interval Training

Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. This type of training is highly effective for improving speed, endurance, and overall cardiovascular fitness.

Sprint Intervals

Sprint intervals are a common form of interval training that can help increase your running speed. To perform sprint intervals, find a flat stretch of ground or use a treadmill. Begin with a warm-up jog for a few minutes, then sprint at maximum effort for a predetermined distance or time (e.g., 100 meters or 30 seconds). Recover by jogging or walking for a set period (e.g., 1 minute) before repeating the sprint. Gradually increase the number of sprints and decrease the rest periods as your fitness level improves.

Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are an excellent form of interval training that specifically targets leg strength and hill running performance. Find a hill with a moderate incline and start by warming up with a slow jog. Sprint up the hill at a high intensity, maintaining good form and pumping your arms. Once you reach the top, recover by walking or jogging back down the hill. Repeat for a predetermined number of repetitions. Hill repeats are a challenging workout that can significantly improve your leg strength and overall running speed.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek training, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a form of interval training that involves alternating periods of hard effort with periods of easy running. Fartlek training is a great way to make running more enjoyable while improving your speed and endurance. During a fartlek run, you can vary your pace and intensity based on how you feel, such as sprinting between lampposts or running at a faster pace for a certain duration. This form of training is highly adaptable and allows for flexibility in your workout.

Hill Training

Hill training is an essential component of any training program aimed at improving running speed and strength. Incorporating uphill sprints, downhill running, and stair climbing into your routine can have significant benefits for your overall performance.

Uphill Sprints

Uphill sprints are an excellent way to develop leg strength and power, which are crucial for improving running speed. Find a steep hill or incline and start by warming up with a slow jog or dynamic stretches. Sprint up the hill as fast as you can, focusing on maintaining good form and pumping your arms. Once you reach the top, recover by walking or jogging back down. Repeat for a predetermined number of repetitions. Uphill sprints can be challenging but are highly effective for building strength and speed.

Downhill Running

Downhill running is often overlooked in training programs, but it plays a vital role in improving running speed and efficiency. Running downhill requires proper form, as it can put additional stress on your legs. Lean slightly forward and engage your core to control your descent. Take shorter strides and land lightly on your feet. Downhill running can help improve your leg turnover and increase your overall speed. Gradually increase the distance and intensity of your downhill runs to avoid excessive impact on your joints.

Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is an excellent exercise for developing lower body strength, power, and endurance. It targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. To incorporate stair climbing into your training routine, find a flight of stairs or use a stair climber machine at the gym. Start by walking up the stairs at a moderate pace, then progress to jogging or running up. You can vary the intensity by taking two steps at a time or skipping steps. Stair climbing is a highly effective exercise for building leg strength and can contribute to improved running speed and endurance.

What Exercise Makes You Run Faster?

Sprint Training

Sprint training is a specific type of training that focuses on developing explosive speed and power over short distances. By incorporating acceleration drills, stride lengthening exercises, and turnarounds into your training routine, you can significantly improve your sprinting ability.

Acceleration Drills

Acceleration drills help improve your ability to quickly accelerate and reach maximum speed. They often involve short bursts of high-intensity running combined with proper sprinting technique. One commonly used acceleration drill is the standing start. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and explode into a sprint, pumping your arms and driving your knees high. Repeat for a predetermined distance or time. Other acceleration drills include explosive starts from a push-up or three-point stance position.

Stride Lengthening Exercises

Stride lengthening exercises are essential for improving your running speed and efficiency. By increasing your stride length, you can cover more ground with each step, resulting in faster overall speed. One effective exercise for lengthening your stride is the high knee drill. Stand in place and rapidly bring your knees up towards your chest, alternating legs. Maintain an upright posture and engage your core. Another exercise is the butt kick drill, where you jog in place and try to touch your heels to your glutes with each stride.


Turnarounds are a specific type of sprint training that helps improve your ability to change direction quickly and efficiently. They mimic the movements required in sports that involve frequent changes in direction, such as soccer or basketball. To perform turnarounds, mark two points a short distance apart, such as cones or markers. Start by sprinting to the first point, then quickly change direction and sprint back to the starting point. Repeat for a predetermined number of repetitions, focusing on maintaining proper form and speed throughout.

Speed Workouts

Speed workouts are designed to improve your overall speed and running economy. By incorporating tempo runs, track repeats, and kettlebell swings into your training routine, you can enhance your running performance.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs, also known as threshold runs, are performed at a comfortably hard pace that is maintainable for an extended period. The goal of a tempo run is to improve your lactate threshold, which is the point at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in your muscles. Start with a warm-up jog, then maintain a challenging but sustainable pace for a predetermined distance or time. A tempo run should feel moderately difficult, allowing you to maintain a conversation but with enough effort to feel challenged.

Track Repeats

Track repeats are a staple in speed training for runners. Find a local running track or measure out a distance of approximately 400 meters. Start with a warm-up jog, then run at a fast pace for the predetermined distance. Recover by jogging or walking for a set period before repeating. The number of repeats and the recovery period can vary depending on your fitness level and training goals. Track repeats train your body to run faster for longer distances and help improve your speed endurance.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are a full-body exercise that can help improve your running speed by developing strength and power in your hips, glutes, and core. To perform a kettlebell swing, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Bend at the hips and knees, maintaining a flat back and neutral spine. Explosively stand up and swing the kettlebell up to chest level by thrusting your hips forward. Control the swing on the way down and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Kettlebell swings can be a great addition to your speed workouts, helping to improve your running economy and overall power.

Core Exercises

Building a strong core is essential for maintaining proper running form and maximizing your running speed. Incorporating core exercises like planks, Russian twists, and superman holds into your routine can help improve your stability, balance, and efficiency.


Planks are one of the most effective exercises for targeting your core muscles, including your abs, obliques, and lower back. To perform a plank, start by lying face down on the ground. Place your forearms on the ground, with your elbows directly under your shoulders. Lift your body off the ground, resting on your forearms and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core and glutes to maintain stability. Hold the position for a set time, gradually increasing the duration as your core strength improves.

Russian Twists

Russian twists are a dynamic core exercise that targets the obliques, or side abdominal muscles, as well as the lower back and hip flexors. To perform Russian twists, start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly while maintaining an upright torso. Hold a medicine ball or weight with both hands in front of your chest. Twist your torso to one side, touching the weight to the ground. Return to the center and twist to the other side. Continue alternating sides for a set number of repetitions. Russian twists can be modified by lifting your feet off the ground for an additional challenge.

Superman Holds

Superman holds are a great exercise for targeting the muscles of your lower back and glutes, which play a crucial role in maintaining a stable and efficient running form. To perform a superman hold, lie flat on your stomach with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight. Engage your core and lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground. Hold this position for a set time, focusing on maintaining a straight line from head to toe. Lower your body back down and repeat. Superman holds can be a challenging exercise but are highly effective for strengthening your lower back and improving your overall running stability.

Agility Drills

Agility drills are designed to improve your quickness, coordination, and ability to change direction efficiently. By incorporating ladder drills, cone drills, and dot drills into your training routine, you can enhance your agility and overall running performance.

Ladder Drills

Ladder drills are a popular form of agility training that involve performing various footwork patterns using a ladder or taped lines on the ground. Ladder drills can help improve your coordination, foot speed, and quickness. Some common ladder drills include the quick feet drill, in which you rapidly step in and out of the ladder squares, the side shuffle drill, where you move laterally through the ladder, and the high knees drill, where you lift your knees high while stepping through each square.

Cone Drills

Cone drills are another effective way to improve your agility and quickness. Set up a series of cones or markers in different formations, such as a zigzag pattern or a T shape. Start at one end and navigate through the cones as quickly as possible, focusing on maintaining good form and sharp turns. Cone drills can be customized to your fitness level and training goals, allowing you to vary the distance between cones or increase the speed and intensity.

Dot Drills

Dot drills involve hopping or jumping between a series of dots or markers arranged in different patterns. They help improve your agility, coordination, and quickness. Dot drills can be done using marked dots on the ground, agility ladder dots, or even virtual dots displayed on a screen. Some common dot drill exercises include single leg bounds, lateral hops, and plyometric jump patterns. Dot drills provide a fun and challenging way to improve your agility and reaction time, benefiting your overall running performance.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility training is essential for injury prevention, improved range of motion, and overall athletic performance. By incorporating dynamic stretching, static stretching, and foam rolling into your routine, you can increase your flexibility and enhance your running speed.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body through a full range of motion in a controlled and deliberate manner. It helps increase your body temperature, blood flow, and flexibility before physical activity. Dynamic stretching exercises for runners may include leg swings, walking lunges with a twist, high knee skips, and walking toe touches. Perform dynamic stretches before your runs to warm up your muscles and prepare them for the demands of running.

Static Stretching

Static stretching involves holding a stretch for an extended period, typically 20 to 30 seconds. It helps improve flexibility, relax muscles, and reduce muscle soreness. Key static stretches for runners may include standing quad stretches, standing hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and hip flexor stretches. Perform static stretches after your runs or as a separate stretching session to improve your overall flexibility and prevent muscle imbalances.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, involves using a foam roller to apply pressure to specific muscle groups to release tension and reduce muscle tightness. Foam rolling can help improve your flexibility, increase blood flow to muscles, and alleviate muscle soreness. Focus on rolling the major muscle groups used in running, such as the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Spend 1-2 minutes on each muscle group, applying moderate pressure. Foam rolling can be done before or after running or as a recovery tool on rest days.

Endurance Training

Endurance training forms the foundation of any running program, helping you build the stamina and cardiovascular fitness necessary for faster and longer runs. By incorporating long runs, cycling, and swimming into your training routine, you can enhance your endurance and overall running performance.

Long Runs

Long runs are an essential component of endurance training for runners. They help build cardiovascular fitness, improve endurance, and prepare your body for longer distances. Start with a comfortable distance based on your current fitness level and gradually increase the duration or mileage each week. Long runs should be performed at a slower pace than your regular runs, allowing you to maintain a conversational pace and avoid excessive fatigue. Long runs also provide an opportunity to practice fueling strategies and develop mental resilience.


Cycling is a low-impact cross-training activity that can complement your running routine and enhance your endurance. Cycling helps strengthen your leg muscles, improve cardiovascular fitness, and give your joints a break from the repetitive impact of running. Incorporate cycling in your training routine by going for bike rides on days when you’re not running or using a stationary bike at the gym for interval workouts. Cycling can help build your endurance and aerobic capacity, ultimately improving your running speed and performance.


Swimming is another excellent cross-training activity for endurance training. It provides a full-body workout, improves cardiovascular fitness, and is gentle on the joints. Swimming helps strengthen your upper body, core, and leg muscles while providing a cardiovascular challenge. Incorporate swimming into your training routine by swimming laps at your local pool or incorporating aqua jogging, which involves running in place in the water. Swimming can help improve your overall endurance, lung capacity, and muscular strength, benefiting your running performance.

In conclusion, improving your running speed requires a comprehensive training approach that includes various exercises and workouts targeting strength, power, agility, endurance, and flexibility. By incorporating specific exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts for strength training, box jumps, burpees, and bounding for plyometric training, sprint intervals, hill repeats, and fartlek training for interval training, uphill sprints, downhill running, and stair climbing for hill training, acceleration drills, stride lengthening exercises, and turnarounds for sprint training, tempo runs, track repeats, and kettlebell swings for speed workouts, planks, Russian twists, and superman holds for core exercises, ladder drills, cone drills, and dot drills for agility drills, dynamic stretching, static stretching, and foam rolling for flexibility training, and long runs, cycling, and swimming for endurance training, you can improve your running speed and overall performance. Remember to gradually progress the intensity and duration of your workouts, listen to your body, and consult with a fitness professional if needed. Happy running!