How to Become a Faster Runner

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[Quick note from the Crab: So in case you didn't catch the byline, yes, we've got a special guest post from Cranky Fitness Alumna Merry Sunshine, aka "The Merry!" As you know, she has her own blog Sheesh, but she kindly offered to stop by during our last few Cranky weeks. (We may even try to coerce her into sending over one of her Famous Flow Charts if she gets a chance). This is a special bonus; we also have a new post by Jo today, right below, that will cure what ails ya.' Thanks Merry and Jo!]

I'm always a sucker for articles that promise to make me a faster runner.

Obligatory disclaimer
Before I go any further, I need to put in a disclaimer: if you're already a fast runner, read no further. You're not going to find any useful tips, and frankly you annoy me.

Why is everyone passing me?
I hate it when people run faster than I do. Of course, the problem with that is that Everyone On The Planet runs faster than I do. Yes, even you in the corner there. That's probably why I've always been fascinated by articles like Ten Easy Ways to Run Faster! Or, Improve Your 5k Time While Getting a Flat Stomach by Eating Acai Berries!*

The solution
At last, after endless hours surfing the Internet for quick tips ceaselessly researching this subject, I have finally found the answer on How To Become A Faster Runner.

It's easy. Here's all you have to do.

The people who're faster than you? Take 'em out.

Um, no.
Not what I had in mind, actually.
Take them out of the picture. Stop comparing yourself to them. Think of it as a kind of mental photoshopping.

The "Before" version:

The "After" version:
(After you've X'd out all those damn runners who had the temerity to be ahead of you.)

Voila! You are the fastest runner around! Congratulations!

See, words like 'faster' or 'slower' are relative. The only person you can really be sure of beating is you. Measure your own speeds and work on improving them.

Self-improvement: more effective than sabotage
Yes, I know applying superglue to the bottom of Nitmos' running shoes is more fun. But in the long run, you're the only runner you're always going to be competing with. So you're the one to beat.

The first step? I'm afraid that involves doing some actual running. Well, you knew this day would come eventually. This is the time. Go forth and run a mile, or some K, or however far you can run, and then enter how fast (or, um, slow) you ran into this site (on the Runner's World website). It will then calculate what a good training pace would be for an easy run, a sprint, a long run. Now you have some numbers to compete against.

For additional tips, check out these sites:
Good luck! And once you've broken the speed record for your race, please do come back and brag about it.

Unless you're running in the same race that I am, in which case please be advised that I have superglue. And know how to use it.

Do you have any helpful tips for becoming a faster, better, stronger person? Preferably ones that don't involve superglue.

My not-quite-heartfelt apologies to Vanilla, Nitmos, and Xenia for taking their images in vain. But it's their fault for being faster than I am.

*Yes, Crabby, I did throw those keywords in to attract people who are e'en now Googling for those subjects.

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