How to Run Faster Over 40

How to Run Faster Over 40

doesn't really fit the purpose of this site.

However, since I do know something about this, and I've put it into practice with runners young and old, I thought I'd pass it on to you as my free favor to you for today.

It is really not hard to learn how to run faster, whatever your age.

Where'd I Learn These Things?

It's amazing who doesn't know these things.

You may know that Kenyans and Ethiopians are the best distance runners on the planet ... by far. Yet Peak Performance magazine reported on a study done testing the difference between world-class Kenyan runners and those that were a few steps slower—i.e., only as good as the rest of the world.

You know what the difference was?

The top runners did intervals for speed work. The 2nd class runners did tempo runs for speed work.

In international competition, the difference among some of the best runners in the world was a training method that could be changed tomorrow!

How bizarre is that? Why don't they know that?

So I figured if they don't know these tips on how to run faster, you might not, either.

There are 4 basic things you need to do ...


The advice on this page and its links is for those who are healthy and fit! Follow the warning advice on this page, and get a physical from a competent doctor before you begin an exercise program!

If you're out of shape, go to How to Start Jogging.

  1. Intervals
  2. Tempo runs
  3. Long runs
  4. Plyometrics

Each of these should be done once per week, and the other days should be easy.

My schedule, for example, in top shape in 2006, used to look like this:

  • Monday: off (after long run on Sunday)
  • Tuesday: Intervals – five 1/2-mile runs, under 8-minute per mile pace, faster with each interval, and 4-minute jog between
  • Wednesday: 3 miles easy
  • Thursday: 6 miles, play, vary speeds
  • Friday: 3 miles easy or off
  • Saturday: 1-mile warm-up; 2-mile tempo run at about 8:30 pace; 1-mile cool-down
  • Sunday: Between 9 and 15 miles, varying through month

Miscellaneous Other Items

This web site is not about my being a running coach, though I could be one. This web site is directed at out-of-shape, over-40 people who want to start a fitness program and know how to stick with it.

So there's some how to run faster tips that I can't cover here. I will mention them, but I want to emphasize ...

You can build great speed and endurance with just the four items mentioned above ...

  • Intervals
  • Tempo runs
  • Long, slow distance
  • Plyometrics

In fact, I knew a guy who ran a marathon (26.2 miles) in under 3 hours while training just three days a week, doing one interval training day, one tempo run, and one long run. That's under 7 minutes per mile for 26 miles on 3 days of training. This method works!!!

Every effective long-distance training program is roughly based on this method.

That said, I read once that many long distance runners like to do their tempo day on Saturday, then work out the soreness on their long day on Sunday.

I liked that, so I did it, but I made sure, then, that my hard day on Thursday was not a very hard day. I did what is known as fartlek, or speed play (fart - speed, lek - play). I made sure I didn't overdo it, but that it was only a medium day. Especially since I was over 40 at the time, I did not want to get injured by overtraining.

Proceeding from Here

If you have read this far, don't stop now. Make sure you read the pages on stretching, warming up, and avoiding injury.

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All fitness, exercise, or diet programs should be undertaken under the advice of a doctor. This site makes no claims to be providing medical or any other professional advice. See our legal notice.