Breaking a personal best is up there with one of the best feelings in the world– not to mention an awesome endorphin rush. If you’re trying to improve your 5km time or perhaps you just want to be able to keep a faster pace for longer on a weekend jog, it’s time to get serious. As they say, if you want to do achieve something you never have, you have to do things you’ve never done.

  1. Do Interval Training

Run at 90% of your max speed for 45 seconds rest for 30 seconds and repeat six to eight times. Then rest for two minutes and repeat for two more cycles. These short, intense intervals are great for 5K and 10K races. For longer race intervals, try 10x400m drills at just about your 5k pace; then rest and repeat.

  1. Train with specificity

If you plan on running a race, find out what time of day it’s going to be and get your body used to training at the same time. The same goes for foods; find the perfect pre-run mealtime and food choice for you and have the exact same meal before training and your actual race. This will allow you to better predict how your body will feel come race day, allowing you to focus mentally on pushing harder and hitting that faster time.

  1. Triangulate your training

Rather than just focusing on the physical aspect of running, it’s important to remember that nutrition, recovery and mental stamina also play an important role. So, as well as working on your fitness, this means spending time meal planning and ensuring you get adequate sleep and recovery. An injury before race day can be avoided by taking care of yourself, say hello to the foam roller!

  1. Get to the gym

Strength training sessions are key to really getting your body to perform. Incorporate reverse lunges to improve strength in your thigh and bottom muscles. Swiss ball hip extensions are also great for increasing your hip stability, meaning it’ll be easier to maintain your posture, which will help keep more energy for boosting speed. A good runner also needs a very strong core– maintaining good posture though out the race will naturally allow your body to run faster, so try to incorporate plenty of planks and stability ball jackknifes into your strength sessions.