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I changed my training recently and I'm starting to have second thoughts about it. Originally, I was doing the following:
M: 3 mi
W: 4 mi
F: 3 mi
Nothing spectacular, just running and pushing myself throughout the run. Most days I'd try to sprint for 10-15 seconds for each of the last 5 minutes of the run. I was seeing a steady increase in performance. My log book testifies to this.

So, I start reading about different training ideas and I decide to give them a try. In addition, I decide to increase my daily milage just a hair. Now I'm doing:
M: 4 mi - steady push
W: 5 mi - slow "easy" run (1 min/mile slower than usual)
F: 6 x 800m intervals

Guess what? I'm getting slower. :( I know a lot of folks talk about having an easy training day to aid in recovery and avoid burn-out. But frankly, I'm starting to wonder if this is hurting me more than it's helping. After all, I'm only running three days a week; perhaps I don't really need a "recovery" day. Also, although I'm enjoying the intervals, I'm wondering if I should scrap them and get in more milage (like another 4 mile day.) I'm also considering picking up a fourth day of running (maybe 6 miles on Saturday or Sunday.)

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Grunt

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I'd say definitely pick up that fourth day of training. You shouldn't pay too much attention to your speed during your recovery runs (what I mean is, don't tie yourself to a particular pace/mile)--go by feel, and relax during these runs. Hold back in the beginning, and if you feel like picking it up a little towards the middle, then go ahead & pick it up. I think the key to recovery runs is to make it enjoyable.
:D
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Grunt, I would recommend increasing your mileage before doing any kind of speedwork. That alone will make you faster. Like Pbello, I too would recomend adding a 4th day. If you want to throw in a little speedwork I would do fartleks, they are fun and very flexible.

A good free site for running theory is Mcmillan running.

Good luck!

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I definitely agree with RB. You may be starting speed work to quickly. It's an entirely different type of stress you're placing on your legs. Many don't recommend speed work until after you've built a decent mileage base and have been running for awhile. (6 months or so) Add the extra day, increase your miles slowly, and you will get faster.
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Much what everyone has already said, I'd simply revert back to your original schedule and add an extra day, grunt.

Good luck and keep us posted!

joel
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Good advice here.

If you want to increase pace, add mileage...

Adding a 4th day is a good option, or adding a mile onto your current workouts would be good.

You don't really need to be doing speedwork at this point, from the sounds of it.
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'm up for adding a 4th day. My concern, however, is that just adding miles won't effectively address the issue of pace. I was at a plateau for quite sometime until a friend suggested that I add those end-of-run sprints to my workout. Only after that did my times start to drop. An article I found on fartleks also suggests that miles alone may not be enough. So, should I be doing something in addition to adding miles? Should I run "hard" on all four days? Should I include those end-of-run sprints like I was doing? Should I add a day (or more) of fartleks as suggested by Running Brewer? Again, my goal is to improve my pace. Thanks for the details!

Grunt
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I agree with everyone else. Adding miles will improve your pace. If you run a 6 miler at a slower pace than your usual 4 miler, it is still conditioning you. After doing several longer runs (or just running more days) you will be better conditioned. Then your 4 mile times will drop considerably. I personally don't see much point in doing a specific speedwork day if you're running less than like 20 mpw. Other than increasing mileage, I'd recommend trying different workouts and see what works best for you. If you get good results with sprinting at the end, go with it. Fartleks and tempo runs are good options. I like to pick one day out of the week when I really push it. I do my full run at race pace or as close to it as I can go. With doing this you can see results week to week(if your hard run is always the same distance). Just my :twocents:
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Grunt,

Your pace will come down with just adding miles. currently you are 11-15mpw. I would think you need to get up to 25-30mpw before starting anykind of speed work.

Also what kind of distance do you want to concentrate on? 5k's, 10k's?
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For the moment anything in the 5K to 10K range is my interest. Sometime next year I'd like to start working on some longer stuff (10mi, half marathon.)
Again, thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I'm going to put in about 20mpw and see how that goes.
Grunt
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