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What kind of speed work do you do and how effective have you found it to be in lowering your race times?

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I'm just starting to do speed work again. It's a necessity for me to lower my 5k times. I'll take one day of the week, usually Friday and I've been doing a mixed bag. This past friday I warmed up, ran a 6:02 mile, walked some and then did (4) 1/4 mile sprints with walking/jogging a little over an 1/8 of a mile between them. Hopefully I'll build on that to at least (6) 1/4's and keep slowly knocking the times down.
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Are you following a certain routine outlined in a book, or is this just a routine that works for you? I'm going to have to start speedwork to lower my 5K and even to work on my longer run times. I found one particular plan in Runner's World I think I might try.
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This is just something that seems to work for me, not based on any books or plans.
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Well let's hear about it Shelee :D
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I don't race often enough to confirm whether my race times are going down, but my avg. pace is getting faster.

During Dec. and Nov. I was doing 1/2 mile repeats and the times were dropping pretty much every week. I'm currently taking a few months off from the pounding of intervals.

My speed work now is usually a tempo run on the treadmill at the Y. I've got better control over the pace that way and I can really crank it up and not have to worry about changing pace when I hit a hill.

That being said, I still do some tempo runs outside on hilly courses to simulate race conditions.

Usually just one speed day a week, but this week I did two in a row. The 2nd day was actually faster than the first.
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On Tuesdays I alternate a tempo run and 800 repeats.
On Thursdays I do hill repeats. Makes me use my arms.
My average pace has been steadily decreasing over the past year.
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Twice a week I do intervals on the treadmill. I usually warmup for 1/2 mile and do anywhere from 4-5 miles of 2-3 minute pickups with 30-60 seconds rest. I do my intervals so they gradually build in speed and rest decreases as I move up. Usually 2-3 at a set pace then I bump it up and decrease the rest from 60 to 30 then bump again. It gets real intense by the end. Treadmill is nice because you cannot naturally slow down, the treadmill is unforgiving in its consistency in pace.
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