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Like all new runners I had to work on slowing down so I could run longer distances. Now however, I find that I have one speed, and one speed only. It's about 10:00/mile. I was thinking of going out and givin' er hell tonight and running really quickly, walking when I needed to, just my 5.5k route to prove to my body that we can speed up. What do you think? It would be like running intervals, except maybe to the point that I would need to walk a little.

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If you want to build speed Shannon you're definitely going to have to mix up your distances. I don't know how many miles a week you're currently doing but a good mix for me the past few years has been 3 mile runs on Mon/Wed/Fri and anywhere from 6 to 8 mile runs on Tues/Thurs. A long slow run could be thrown in over the weekend if you have the time. My fastest runs were generally on Wednesday for some reason. For me, my pace on my 3 mile days ranges from 6:15 to 6:45 a mile. I try to keep the two longer days around 6:50 to 7:15 a mile but that will fluctuate depending on how I feel.

For tonight I'd pick a shorter route and concentrate on running the miles maybe at a 9:50 pace. Not a pace that is going to kill you but definitely faster than your 10:00. If that goes well, on the next short run shoot for 9:40 or 9:45 per mile.

Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about either but that is what has worked consistently for me over the years.

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might want to think about throwing in some tempo runs into your weekly runs....on your normal running route after a normal warm up period, throw in some intervals of running at a pace that is just one or two levels higher than your normal training pace. You can run these higher level periods by a watch, say for 5 minutes, and/or run them between various landmarks on your route. You should not stop running at the end of the interval (if you have to, then you need to run it at not such a great speed), but continue at your normal running pace. You can start by throwing two or three into your route and over the weeks build it up to more.

I like to do an hour run with 10 minutes of warm up and warm down running, and a middle set of 40 minutes of 5 minutes on and 1 to 2 minute off(not really off just back down to a normal running pace).

These tempo runs will teach your body to run faster, increase your fitness level, and give you some speed work without hitting the track.
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I like Rob's suggestion. Altering your distance with faster/shorter days and longer/slower days is largely what I do too. You should designate what I call a "quality" day. On that day really give it a serious effort to push the pace. Either a fartlek run or a tempo like Happy2 mentions or a trail run where you won't be able to actually run faster, but the challenge of being off road makes it a harder run. Your daily pace doesn't need to get faster on every run, but pushing it once or twice a week will over the long haul bring that average pace down.
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You might also want to go to the track. Do a few fast 400's, 800's and 1200's.

Take slow jogging or even walking breaks between distances.

Track work did absolute wonders with my pace, so far I have taken about a minute off of my 'comfortable' pace and more than a minute off my race pace.
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.....hmm thinking I should get myself to the track :D
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