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What's the best way to work on speed? Is it to run a shorter distance all at a faster pace? Run part of some longer runs faster? What's the general consensus? I've been slowing down a bit lately as I've tried to add some mileage, but I'm feeling like I'm letting myself get too comfy at being slower and would really like to get a little faster, at least for the shorter runs.

Thanks!

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Many choices.

Strides
Fartleks
Track workouts
tempo runs
Rest!

If you are slowing down, make sure it is not overtraining. You can still be overtrained with reduced milage if the rest of your life is wearing you down.
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Tribob left off more mileage. It's not always the popular option, but it works.
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best way to run faster is to run faster

tempos, track, treadmill

Treadmill is a great option because it does not slow down for you.

Try some time intervals where you run for say 2 minutes at a quick pace then recover at a slower pace for like 1 minute

try a few of them and see how you feel.
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After a lengthy layoff, I really think you need to hit it on two fronts. First, with consistent running of at least 4 if not 5 or 6 days a week. 4 days a week is good for maintenance, but if you're looking to ramp up performance, it'll take another day or two each week. And secondly, I'd agree with Hayes. You've mentioned in another post about averaging about 3 miles per run, 4x a week. Getting your mileage up over 20 is really where improvement is going to come quickest. And if you'd like to point toward a halfM down the road, getting yourself well into the 20s and cracking 30 is going to be your best bet. Doing those 2 things, more runs and more miles, is the tried and true to getting faster. And once you have a solid base underneath, then I'd recommend the tempos, intervals and such for sharpening the pace when it comes time for race preparation.
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Big solid agreement here. Lay the foundation first, then start building the house.
You gotta have the foundation before anything else.
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Molly, I wholeheartetly agree with jrjo. Consistancy is your first goal, with a GRADUAL progression in volume.
The thing is you cannot work on your speed unless you have layed down a good base of km/miles.
I have always tried to explain it like a house of cards.
A big, lower bottom tier = easy base kms/miles.
Second tier, some reduction in kms/miles run with gradual intensity.
Third tier, further reduction in kms/miles. faster sharper work, with lead up races.
Top tier = Your GOAL RACE. This COLLAPSES the house of cards, Back to base building.
Now this is pretty general information but I think you get what I'm on about. loosely it is how I structure my training for our summer/track and winter/XC road seasons.
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I agree with the rest..Build a strong solid base (long and slow easy miles) first then add the higher intensity and speed later on. It will also be essential to work on the endurance as well (long runs) during the base building period. Also follow the pattern of alternating hard days with easy days if you want to reduce your chances of getting injured. For example if you do a tough interval workout on one day, do an easier, slower run on the next day for recovery. Good luck in your training!
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Thanks for the great input. I think I need to get over worrying about speed a lot right now and just work on my consistency and my base.
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