Would you like to run faster?

Faster run times can lead to higher confidence and higher self-esteem. Having confidence before a race can lead to better performance.

When you’re training for a race, you’re usually running at the same pace and running for distance. By mixing up your training to run for speed, you’re breaking up the monotony of training.

You’re giving yourself a new goal to shoot for. Rather than aiming for just finishing, why not try to finish a race within a certain time?

If you’re training for your next 5K or marathon, keep reading for tips to improve your running time.

Set Your Running Goals

The starting line for running faster is setting your goals. You want to be sure that you follow the SMART goals outline to reach them. They are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based

Your goals will depend on a number of factors, such as how long you’ve been running, your current fitness levels, and what you want to achieve.

For example, let’s say that you’re a beginner and you’re running your third 5K. You’re in decent shape and you just want to improve your time from previous races.

Take a look at your times from those previous races and see what your average pace per mile was. Then, set a goal to shave time off of that per mile pace. A good range is to shave a few seconds off of your run time to start.

Remember, you can always continue to improve that time.

When you’re setting a goal, it’s tempting to reach for the stars, like run a marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. If that’s the case, then instead of having one goal, have one large goal (qualifying for Boston) and then have short-term goals underneath that.

You can set your qualifying race a year out, then plan benchmark races throughout the year to measure your progress. As you train for those races, you’re slowly building up your speed

By using this method, you’re setting yourself up for success and building up your confidence along the way.

Assess Your Starting Point

When you’re setting your goals, you need to assess where you are now. You can do so by taking a variety of self-assessment tests, like this one from the Mayo Clinic.

If you’re not comfortable taking the tests yourself, then you can work with a fitness coach or personal trainer to help you.

You’ll also want to track your current race time if you’re aiming to run faster during races.

Track Your Progress

It’s important to track your progress throughout training. You can take the self-assessment tests throughout your training.

You can then make adjustments to your training if need be.

5 Tips to Run Faster

Now that you have your goals set and know how to track your progress, it’s time to know how you can run faster.

1. Interval Training

You can shake up your training by adding interval training to your training regimen.

Interval training can help you build strength and improve your cardio, which can help you run faster.

Plus, there are a bunch of fitness apps you can play with to help you with your workouts.

Kettlebell training has been proven to improve cardiovascular health and overall endurance. The better your endurance, the easier it is to improve your pace.

2. Improve Your Flexibility

If you want to run faster, you need to be an efficient runner. The better you move, the better your form and more efficient you become. That will lead to a faster pace.

One way to do that is to stretch regularly or take yoga classes.

If you sit all day, your hips are tight, your calves are probably tight and your glutes are weak. That can throw your hips out of whack, causing them to rotate forward.

That can lead to lower back problems and knee issues, or cause injuries keeping you from running.

3. Head for the Hills

One way to run faster is to run up hills. Hill repeats are painful to do sometimes. They build mental strength to survive any challenge during a race.

They’ve also been proven to build leg power by using different types of muscle fibers in your legs.

4. Nutrition & Supplementation

To be an efficient runner, you need to be able to burn fuel.

You can improve your run time by making modifications to your diet and nutrition. If you lose weight, that’s less stress on your joints.

You’ll also want to be sure that you are hydrated not just during training, but during the entire day.

Many runners turn to supplements to eat well on a hectic schedule. Before you turn to supplements, you’ll want to know if there are any side effects.

That’s especially true if you’re currently taking medications. Some medications can affect your heart rate and your metabolism.

For example, the side effects of Narcan can impact your body and you may not know it.

Before you start your program, check with your doctor to make sure you’re clear to run.

5. Get Plenty of Rest

This may seem counterintuitive but getting the right amount of rest plays a vital role in performance.

Your body needs time to recover to rejuvenate, repair itself from the damage the muscles endure during training.

The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

Getting the right amount of sleep helps your mind stay focused and sharp, which leads to improved performance.

Lack of sleep can lead to moodiness and irritability, poor food choices, and injuries. There’s a correlation between the amount of sleep you get and injuries.

Not only do you need to sleep well, you need to take days off from training. There are many factors to know how many rest days you need, such as your age, training experience, and previous injuries.

If you’re just starting out, shoot for training 3 days a week. As you become more advanced, than you can bump up to 4 and then 5 days a week.

Run Faster in Your Next Race

Whether you’re a novice runner or a veteran with thousands of miles under your belt, you always want to improve your run times.

When you have a plan and stay committed to that plan, you can improve your speed and endurance.

That can result in more confidence, better performance, and ultimately, better race times.

If you’d like more health and fitness tips, check out this article on The 7 Rules for Health and Fitness.

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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation 2 - Florida Independent
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How NEOFECT Created a Smart Glove (Robotic Arm) That Uses Online Gaming for Rehabilitation

Wearable technology keeps evolving. And it is transforming the way we experience the world. Watches, eyeglasses, rings, bracelets and even smart home devices like the thermostat are changing how we consumer information, monitor our health and use home products. Smart technology has a significant role to play in how people will live in the future.

NEOFECT wants to change how to aid rehabilitation and the provision of clinicial real-time patient data. In an interview with  Scott Kim, Neofect’s co-founder and CEO of the US office, he spoke to us about how he started NEOFECT, the company’s success factors and challenges they have faced in their bid to change physical therapy using online gaming.

Brief summary about your startup

Established in 2010, NEOFECT is a mobile health startup with a vision to deliver an affordable and effective at-home system to aid neuro patients with central nervous system disorders such as a stroke.

Its first product, RAPAEL Smart Glove, combines a wearable device, virtual reality and gamification for rehab exercise, while its software analyzes the data from built-in sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level.

The device has been successfully employed by a number of major hospitals in South Korea since December of 2014, and approved for use in the US and Europe. NEOFECT has offices in S. Korea, San Francisco, and Poland.

Why and how it was started

The President of NEOFECT, Ho-Young Ban, experienced first-hand the difficulties faced by stroke patients and their families when his father and two uncles fell victims of stroke.

Although his uncles were fortunate to survive, they had to turn down the rehab therapy because of the costs involved. So, when his friend Young Choi came up with an idea of Rapael, Ban could not resist.

Soon after, their classmate from the University of Virginia’s Darden MBA program Scott Kim joined the team to launch the US operations.

Kim was born with spinal bifida and went through a surgery and a long rehabilitation process, so he immediately recognized the opportunity and became a co-founder and the CEO of the Neofect’s US office.

What has been the biggest success factors

Personal motivation of the founders combined with the latest, most advanced smart technologies have become the major engines behind the company’s success.

– Gamification, which motivates a patient throughout the rehab process. It helps to induce neuroplasticity for hand function of a patient with a brain damage.

Various rehab games are updated monthly and each game targets specific movements such as squeezing the orange for finger flexion/extension and pouring wine for forearm pronation/supination, for example.

– Artificial Intelligence: the software analyzes data from the glove’s sensors and provides training tasks based on the patient’s activity level. The algorithm is designed to enhance learning multiple functions by offering an optimal task at a proper level of difficulty.

– Wearable Device: RAPAEL Smart Glove is a wearable bio-feedback training gadget. Lightweight and designed to fit different hand sizes, it uses the Bluetooth technology to collect the patient’s data.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company?

The biggest challenge was the product’s concept itself. Many people believed that Rapael could be a threat to the therapists. Fortunately, after we launched the program in several hospitals, we’ve been able to prove that our device is designed with the doctors’ and patient’s needs in mind and helps them make the rehabilitation process more efficient.

Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?

This sounds like a cliché, but the right team is easily the answer to me. With the right people, you can make necessary adjustments based on new information to make sure there is a product-market fit.

My previous job was to lead a team to make mobile apps – without any exception, all great apps loved by users were made by great teams.

Final words for those chasing the startup dream

Never underestimate the importance of execution. Many people waste their time just to validate what they think or others think, or even just to finish the conceptualization.

However, you should “fail fast” in order concentrate your efforts on building a product which has a market demand, and of course, to save time and money as well.

Plus, you should fail while you are small rather than big, if you’re meant to face it. The earlier you do the reality check, the faster you can reach your goal, although it might cost you a couple of failures at the beginning.

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