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im in the air force, so i have been running for 2 years. but since i got out of training its been pretty relaxed on the intensity of my runs. i want to get into pretty solid shape again..my goals are to be able to knock out 3 straight 7 minute miles..maybe more. what is a good way to get up to this, ive tried just running distances and i never really improve on the speed or anything. any help would be awesome, thanks.

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If your goal is to run seven minute miles, I can recomend a strait forward path. You wont need to run more than three days a week. (try to add cardio in beween.)

If you were in the air force you've most likly are use to hills and tough runs, so for strength and form practice find a nice size hill twice a week. (The one I use in New York is about half mile long.) Begin by doing this hill about eight times with an equal recovery. A hill with a nice downslop at the top is great of practicing a bit of speed.

On the third day, try doing about a mile and a half at your race pace followed by 4 x 1/2 mile and some quarters afterwards at slightly faster than race pace.

All this is a start of course and you'll adjust the amount of quarters or hill work you do as you get strong.

I know many ways exist to achieve your running goal, but the advantage of hills is that they give a runner key things to practice on all at once:

Strength
Form
and speed if you can take advantage of the downslope.

Anyhow, this is what has worked for me, and I'm just bact to running about six mounths. My 5 mile time last week was 35:15 and I was comfortable for most of it.

I hope this helps

Peace
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extremofile - This is great advice. I've been running for a while and I seem to keep improving my distance but never my speed per mile. I do interval work in the winter when I run on the treadmill and I felt that might help improve my speed. But now that I've been running outside I haven't concentrated on getting faster but have noticed my distance to increase. I also think that has to do with being outside and actually going somewhere while running and not just staying in place like on the treadmill. I'm going to try your suggestion and see how it works out. Thanks!
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