How To Improve Your Running Time

By Dan Browne | June 12, 2018, 12 a.m. (ET)

When someone asks me how they can improve their two mile time my general advice remains fairly straight-forward.  Three general training principles guide this effort.  In this article I will detail out how these principles should guide you as you progress in your training. 

The first principle in your program is to train consistently.  It takes time to improve in running and there are no short-cuts.  Develop a mentality that you will adhere to a training program and see it through.  Obviously, you need to be aware of over-training symptoms and acute injuries which can cause you to lose time.  Having a disciplined approach and being consistent in your training is critical to achieving your goals.  I recommend keeping a running journal to help you identify patterns in your training.  This will help you and your coach decipher which training cycles worked best and which ones didn’t get you where you wanted to be.  As you look back over years of training logs you’ll see the progression in your training and interval times and you’ll be amazed. 

The next principle is to understand that you need to bring a tremendous amount of focus and motivation to your hard weekly efforts.  These key workouts that your coach identifies for you to accomplish are absolutely critical to helping you improve rapidly.  I call them “dollar days” because you make the most money in your fitness “bank” when you accomplish the goals for the workout.  Running workouts are designed to be difficult in order to cause your body to adapt and become more fit.  The phrase… “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you” is very appropriate in this situation. 

The final principle is to find a group or an individual training partner that will keep you motivated and also challenge you in your training progression.  There’s only so much you can do by yourself.  Having a good training partner will help keep you motivated as you get faster.  I don’t necessarily believe you need a big group to train with.  In fact, I would advise you that one great training partner can be the best strategy in the long run.  There are many benefits of training with people that push you to be better.

The principles I’ve outlined in this article are meant as a general guide of how to really get the most out of your running program. 

See you down the road,  

Coach Dan