I can normally do a 10 kilometer in one hour, but when I try hard, I can do it in 50 minutes.

Can exercises like swimming, push-ups and other body weight exercises, doing exercise with an ab roller, doing ball Jackknife, and Ball Ab Rollout, help me in improving my running speed or increasing distance?

I tried to increase my running distance to more than 10k and here's what happened.

I was thinking of increasing my speed as well as distance of run (normally it is 10 km) so after a break of two weeks (I had some work so i had to take break from running) I ran for about 14 kilometers and it caused pain in my left knee. I went to a physiotherapist, he gave me some kind of ultrasonic massage, and now I am fine.

  • 1
    Well, I'm no runner so I'll leave the answer to the question to those. I'm pretty sure you shouldn't go from 10k to 14k immediately, though. Most running plans I've seen raise distance by 10% per week (still, I'm no runner, so take this with a grain of salt).
    – user8119
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:57
  • This q/a can give you additional information. Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 10:49
  • 10K to 14K should actually not be a problem - but provided you are well safe in running the 10K. Given the mild injury you sustained it is likely that one of (a) 10K is actually a bit of a "stretch" for you and thus 14K is a significant stress or (b) something was "different" about the particular 14K itself or your physical condition on that day. Commented Apr 27, 2014 at 3:09

4 Answers 4


Yeah you should rarely, if ever, plan on adding more than 10% in either distance or speed per week as a general rule.

More to the point of your question is whether you want to increase aerobic speed (how fast can you run 10k) or burst speed (how fast can you run < 1k).

If the latter, then yes, bodyweight exercises like squats, one-legged squats, box jumps, dead lifts (maybe with slightly more than body weight), etc can definitely help. Running stairs, hills, and/or intervals will also help here.

If you want to increase aerobic speed then those same exercises can help, but not nearly as much as building your aerobic base. There are lots of theories on base building, but the basis of most of them is a lot of steady mileage below your anaerobic threshold. A good way of determining this is your max heart rate (usually 180-200) minus your age. This keeps you much more in fat-burning mode than sugar/glycogen burning mode.

If you train at this level, you will eventually (60 days? 90 days?) notice that you can run for the same amount of time and a faster pace at the same heart rate. This is because you will have increased your ability to convert fat to fuel. This will increase your 10k speed, as well as increase the distance you can run at the same pace.

Note: If you train at a given heart rate for a given duration, it will mostly likely result in having to slow down, sometimes significantly, for a while as most of us run with a higher than mostly aerobic heart rate. But over time, your long-distance speed will increase.

  • very nice answer
    – munish
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 21:59
  • Running up hills and running with some resistance (a sandbag on the floor that is attached to your waist) will help you increase not only speed, but your acceleration as well. And if you ever find your legs starting to "hurt" and give up but your breathing is still good, it'll help you train your legs to last that long.
    – MB41
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 14:05

Exercises that require increased cardiovascular activity should all help improve stamina, and exercises that require explosive muscle movements should all help improve power, acceleration and speed. For instance, swimming is a great total-body exercise that can improve both. It's worthwhile to note, however, that other exercises probably can't help you improve things that might be specific to running, such as your stride, posture, breathing rhythms, etc.

A type of training I recommend you look into is High-Intensity Interval Training. Studies have shown it to have numerous benefits. For instance, if you go for long, slower jogs of great distance, you will improve endurance but not speed. Strangely, the opposite is not true: if you do a series of fast bursts of sprinting to exhaustion, then resting, then sprinting again, etc., you will improve both speed AND endurance, and in much shorter workouts than long runs.



If you are looking for ways to increase your speed at a given distance, I would suggest running over distance. We raced 5k, so we ran anywhere from 1.5x to 4x that distance. If that is a problem for you (because of injuries or whatnot), look into other forms of cardio that are lower impact. Cycling, swimming, rowing come to mind. Keep in mind the injury that you incurred on your longer run might not necessarily have been due to the extra distance. It could be anything from bad shoes to over training, to bad running form.


Try "POSE method of runnig". This is a technique improvement(gooogle the exact phrase) . After trying it i must say that this did to my running speed a mirracle.

Not that i am a good runner anyway.

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