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Building running speed is important for enhancing athletic performance in various sports. Improving speed requires a combination of strength, power, agility, and endurance. Here are some strategies to help you build running speed for better athletic performance:

  1. Interval training: Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workout routine. This involves alternating between short bursts of high-intensity running and recovery periods of slower jogging or walking. HIIT can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, running economy, and overall speed.

  2. Speed drills: Perform specific speed drills to enhance your running mechanics, stride frequency, and stride length. Some common speed drills include A-skips, B-skips, high knees, and butt kicks.

  3. Plyometric exercises: Plyometrics can help improve your explosive power, which is essential for increasing speed. Incorporate exercises like box jumps, squat jumps, and single-leg hops into your training routine.

  4. Strength training: Stronger muscles can generate more force, which translates into faster running speeds. Focus on developing lower body strength through exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts, as well as core strength for stability and balance.

  5. Hill sprints: Running uphill helps build strength, power, and speed. Incorporate hill sprints into your training routine to challenge your muscles and improve your overall running speed.

  6. Agility training: Enhance your ability to change direction quickly and efficiently by incorporating agility drills into your workouts. Ladder drills, cone drills, and shuttle runs can help improve your agility and contribute to faster running speeds.

  7. Flexibility and mobility: Maintain good flexibility and mobility in your muscles and joints to ensure an efficient running stride and reduce the risk of injury. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine, focusing on the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and hip flexors.

  8. Proper running form: Efficient running form can help you conserve energy and maintain higher speeds. Focus on maintaining a tall posture, swinging your arms forward and backward (not side-to-side), and landing on the midfoot or forefoot (rather than the heel).

  9. Gradual progression: Increase your speed and training intensity gradually to avoid injury and overtraining. Make sure to give your body enough time to recover and adapt to the increased workload.

  10. Rest and recovery: Adequate rest is crucial for allowing your muscles to recover and adapt to the increased training demands. Ensure you have enough rest days and follow a well-balanced training program that incorporates a mix of speed, endurance, and recovery workouts.

By incorporating these strategies into your training routine, you can effectively build running speed and enhance your overall athletic performance.


  • Barnes, K. R., & Kilding, A. E. (2015). Running economy: measurement, norms, and determining factors. Sports Medicine - Open, 1(1), 8.

  • Laursen, P. B., & Jenkins, D. G. (2002). The scientific basis for high-intensity interval training: optimising training programmes and maximising performance in highly trained endurance athletes. Sports Medicine, 32(1), 53-73.

Please note that these sources may not be the most recent, and it is recommended to search for more up-to-date literature when researching the topic of building running speed into athletic performance.


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