Don’t let labored breathing or muscle burn hold you back any longer.


We all want to know how to run faster. Everyone envisions a PR, whether that’s faster times on the track or crushing your next marathon. In our minds, we see ourselves channeling our inner Shalane Flanagan down the home stretch of a race, picking up speed as we blow past our competition, crossing the line in first place. But running faster is easier said than done.

The reality is: There are times when—whether it be in the first or the final mile—our breath becomes labored, our lungs burn, and our legs just can’t seem to turn over any quicker. So just what is the secret for how to run faster?

In the past, we believed our lead muscles were caused by a buildup of lactic acid, but more recent science has found that these sensations each correspond to a different mini-crisis in your body, and they combine to determine whether you can hold your pace.

In 2015, scientists from around the world gathered in San Diego for a special conference to share the latest results in their search for the ultimate limits of endurance. They discussed the many factors affecting your run, from metabolites and mental fatigue to heat and hydration.

Their findings help explain five common running roadblocks. Here, we outline each issue they looked at and break down how to run faster.

“I can’t catch my breath!”

Cause: Oxygen deficit
Occurrence: Shortly after starting to run
Antidote: A “priming” warmup, including a sustained burst of intense running

I Can't Catch My Breath! image

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