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How do I learn to run faster?

I’ve just joined a softball team, but run really slowly.

I’ve never played team sports before, and am a bit out of shape. I’ve never been able to run much in my life, because whenever I try, I get terrible, sharp, pains in my diaphragm. Why does this happen?

What can help me to run faster? Would jogging on a treadmill help?

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10 Responses to “How do I learn to run faster?”

  1. agius1520 said :

    practice makes perfect

  2. Steve said :

    Get a very big dog to chase you!

  3. Em said :

    You need to build up very slowly, the pain ‘stitch’ is very common. If you feel unwell though go to the doctor first. Treadmills are good because they are softer than the road and wont hurt your joints so much, plus its easy to extend your time and your speed as the machine tells you. if you have access to one try it, build up gradually, don’t overdo it in one day, drink plenty of water and if you’re unwell don’t run. Have fun!
    Link below talks about ‘stitch’

  4. Bee said :

    A treadmill is better than nothing, but ideally run outdoors. Since you are out of shape, make sure that you stretch appropriately ahead of time, and have running shoes (no cross trainers, or tennis shoes). If you can, go to a track so it’s easier for you to keep track of distance. Also, if you do encounter pains that cause you to stop, you will only be 100 yards or so from where you started. Work in intervals of jog / walk / jog (i.e. jog 200 yards, walk 200 yards) do this for a couple miles. Do this every other day. expect to feel some shin splints. In a couple weeks you will find yourself going the full couple of miles without having to walk. At that point, keep track of your 400 yard times. Once you have your endurance, start working on your speed by doing sprint intervals. sprint 100 yards, jog 200 yards. Keep track of your time. Another aspect of getting faster in softball is knowing how to run the bases quickly : cutting the proper corner, knowing where you can get to and not hesitating….As for your cramps, if you find that happening try inhaling deeply and holding your breath for a couple seconds. This will stretch out the cramp. Repeat it a couple times and you should find the pain disappearing. If not, slow down, stop if you must. If it continues, see a doctor….By the way, don’t skip the endurance exercise. It may sound like a wasted step but it will lead to better speed and health. Also, if you can’t or don’t want to do these exercises outdoors, you can do it on a treadmill but it’s less effective.

  5. Carley said :

    jogging on a treadmill wont increase your speed. the best way to do this is by interval training which is probably easiest to do on a track at your local athletics club

  6. nivagh said :

    The pain you are feeling is commonly called a “stitch”; it’s not serious, just uncomfortable. Can’t recommend a cure for this, but concentrate on your breathing and as your fitness improves they should be less of a problem.

    Jogging on a treadmill will improve your general (aerobic) fitness but probably won’t make you any faster, unless you are overweight, in which case you will find running easier if you lose some fat.
    A better way of becoming a faster runner is probably to do activity that mimics the exercise – softball will have you performing short, intense bursts of exercise. Go out for a jog but instead of running at the same pace all the time, throw in bursts of 15 seconds sprinting, say once every 90 seconds. As you get fitter, decrease the recovery time. If you haven’t got a watch you can look at or set to beep, count your paces – do maybe 30 double paces, or measure between lamp posts.

    For more formal coaching, try a local athletic club.
    Good luck!

  7. jimmyjim said :

    If you are out of shape I’d focus on jogging to get your endurance up.

    To increase speed for Softball would be plyometrics. Plyometrics focuses on explosive power. Some examples of plyometrics would be running stairs, squat jumps.

    Another way to create explosive speed is to do 8-10 50 yard sprints with approx 45-60 seconds rest in between. This helps build fast twitch muscle fibers.

  8. icurt said :

    Your pain could be a sign of not being hydrated. Are you drinking water through out your day?
    To learn to run fast I like to do what are called strides. Basically you can run on the grass at you home or the ball field. A stride will last about 10-15 seconds. To run a stride start running slowly and build up to your fast speed and hold it for a few seconds and coast back down to your walking speed. Rest for as long as you want and then repeat for as many times as feels right to you.
    Good Luck!

  9. Gary C said :

    Try warming up beforehand & stretching your legs you will be surpised how much this helps

  10. derekvb2 said :

    Run downhill to lengthen your stride. Try not to jog but sprint. Breathe harder. Running is all obliques. I am speed training too.


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