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How to get faster (Read 358 times)


running > all else

    I'm a pretty efficient runner, I'd say... I've been a runner for over a decade. That said, I've been hovering in the 9:30-9:50 mm mile zone for a few years. If I work on speed work, really make it a focus, I can get it down to just under a 9mm...this happened for a brief time last year. BRIEF.

     

    But, then, I fall back into not focusing on it, nor practicing it. My question is this...how often does one need to input speed work into their weekly run schedule? I'd really like a plan of how to 'attack' this issue, because with training for a 1/2 mary, I'd like to be a bit faster than what I'm currently running, on average. You can see my log to get an idea of my general pace.

     

    Thanks for the help!

      How much are you running? How many days per week and how consistent are you over long stretches of time?

      "Don't feel like running today...suck it up and run ...you're an athlete." (John Stanton, founder & owner of The Running Room)

       

      "The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."

        I'm a pretty efficient runner, I'd say... I've been a runner for over a decade. That said, I've been hovering in the 9:30-9:50 mm mile zone for a few years. If I work on speed work, really make it a focus, I can get it down to just under a 9mm...this happened for a brief time last year. BRIEF.

         

        But, then, I fall back into not focusing on it, nor practicing it. My question is this...how often does one need to input speed work into their weekly run schedule? I'd really like a plan of how to 'attack' this issue, because with training for a 1/2 mary, I'd like to be a bit faster than what I'm currently running, on average. You can see my log to get an idea of my general pace.

         

        Thanks for the help!

         

        I looked at your training log and I don't see very much there.  To be serious about a half marathon you need miles, lots and lots of miles, and then run a few more.  At your current pace, speed drills will do absolutely nothing to improve your half marathon times, so throw those out the window.

         

        As a suggestion, work your way up to 6 miles at least four days per week, and once you get there, add a mile per run until you're up to 10 miles per run.  Once you're comfortably able to log 40 miles per week, bump your weekend runs (or whichever day in any given week you have the most time) up into the 12-15 mile range.  This type of a workout plan WILL improve your per mile time, even if you're only racing 5Ks, and will pay huge dividends if you're running half marathons.

        snapa55


           

          I looked at your training log and I don't see very much there.  To be serious about a half marathon you need miles, lots and lots of miles, and then run a few more.  At your current pace, speed drills will do absolutely nothing to improve your half marathon times, so throw those out the window.

           

          As a suggestion, work your way up to 6 miles at least four days per week, and once you get there, add a mile per run until you're up to 10 miles per run.  Once you're comfortably able to log 40 miles per week, bump your weekend runs (or whichever day in any given week you have the most time) up into the 12-15 mile range.  This type of a workout plan WILL improve your per mile time, even if you're only racing 5Ks, and will pay huge dividends if you're running half marathons.

           

          I second this.

          5K: 18:43 (12/13) 10K: 42:50 (12/12) HM: 1:30:10 (3/14) M: 3:34:46 (5/14)


          running > all else

             

            I looked at your training log and I don't see very much there.  To be serious about a half marathon you need miles, lots and lots of miles, and then run a few more.  At your current pace, speed drills will do absolutely nothing to improve your half marathon times, so throw those out the window.

             

            As a suggestion, work your way up to 6 miles at least four days per week, and once you get there, add a mile per run until you're up to 10 miles per run.  Once you're comfortably able to log 40 miles per week, bump your weekend runs (or whichever day in any given week you have the most time) up into the 12-15 mile range.  This type of a workout plan WILL improve your per mile time, even if you're only racing 5Ks, and will pay huge dividends if you're running half marathons.

             

            Okay, this is great--thank you! Exactly why I asked. To add, my running wasn't always so ...um sparse. lol I used to run roughly 35 to 40 miles weekly, just as a routine. I started weight lifting for the past few years...and I've also been into cycling for a few years...so running, has been sometimes on the front burner, sometimes not. Now that I've signed up for a 1/2 marathon...I realize interest in other sports need to be on the backburner.

             

            I think it's interesting that my pace will improve as I increase mileage. I think the reason I haven't seen it improve, even when I was running 35 - 40 miles...is I wasn't consistent with my mileage. Looking back at say the past 3 years of running, it's been a few months of consistency...then, two months of lower mileage...back up to a few months of consistent increase in mileage, then back to a few months lower mileage. Like anything, it is persistency that will help me turn this corner. No shortcuts, in other words. Thx again for your help!

             

            [edited to add more info]


            running > all else

               

              I second this.

               

              I just took a quick look at your training log, and your pace is nowhere near a 9mm...some weeks under an 8mm. (that's awesome!) I don't really think I'll ever get there, but for my own curiousity...have you always been a runner? And how long did it take you to run a sub 8 mm?

                 

                I just took a quick look at your training log, and your pace is nowhere near a 9mm...some weeks under an 8mm. (that's awesome!) I don't really think I'll ever get there, but for my own curiousity...have you always been a runner? And how long did it take you to run a sub 8 mm?

                 

                I know you directed the above questions to snapa55, but given that my training is rather relevant to your questions, I'll respond as well.

                 

                Answering your questions (I hope) and presenting my case for long slow training makes for fast racing:

                • I've been a runner off and on (more off than on) for over 40 years.
                • This time around I've been running for about 5 years, once again, more off than on.  In the spring of 2009 I managed to shake off the latent issues (primarily range of motion and strength) brought on by a badly broken leg and partially torn off foot from back in 2003.  The first month, April, I managed to run 8 miles (not 8 miles at a crack, e-i-g-h-t miles total for the whole month), in May I managed 18 very slow miles, and by September I'd managed to cross over the 100 mile in one month threshold for the first time since 1979.  In 2010 a massive and understaffed project landed in my lap and for the next three years, my running was a catch as catch can kind of thing, I think I ran about 600 miles for those years combined.
                • So really, "this time around", I've been running since April of 2013 when I changed jobs.  The fat old (5' 8" 250+ pound, 56 year old) man in the mirror every morning told me to get my butt back out there, and I did.  Building upon my success from 2009, I concentrated on nothing but LSD (Long Slow Distance), and by July I'd managed, barely, to run my first 200+ mile month of my life.  I don't record my training pace any longer (when I did I used to be too competitive with myself and would end up getting hurt), however, a pretty good guess would be in the 11:00-12:00 range.
                • In early August I ran only the second 5K of my life (the first was in 1979 when I ran a 16:20 on a super humid and warm Atlanta morning), needless to say, I had no idea what to expect, I mean, given how slow my training had been, I didn't even know if I could break 30:00.  I started slow, got my wheels into a nice rhythm, and held on for the final mile; I ended up with a 25:20 which equates to an 8:10 pace.  Needless to say I was thrilled.
                • Also in August, I took a shot at running at least 8 miles per day (which I ran at about a 10:00-11:00 average pace) and I almost succeeded, the only day I missed was 30-August, the day before I ran the first 10-miler of my life.  Speaking of the 10-miler, it was on an oppressively warm sticky morning and the race had nearly a thousand feet of elevation gain and loss; not a great recipe for a fast time.  My most aggressive goal was to run the 10 miles in 1:30:00 for a 9:00 minute pace; I was stunned when I came across the line in 1:25:06 for an average pace of 8:31.
                • Since August I've bumped my typical daily workout to 10+ miles, and on the rare day when I'm running on the roads (as opposed to the snow covered snowmobile trail I usually run on), I run at about a 9:00 pace; never faster.
                • Even still, my two most recent races have shown a marked improvement in per mile pace.  The first was a Thanksgiving day 10K Turkey Trot on a very cold and snowy day on a very slippery course, and I managed a 48:24 for an average pace of 7:48 (the times most folks who've run that particular race before show about a minute and a half to two minute penalty due to the conditions).  The second race was my first timed mile since high school in 1975; also run on a very cold day, but fortunately with a dry course.  Given my performance in the 10K, I was pretty sure I could break 7:00, but I was overjoyed when I came across the line in 5:50 flat!

                Long story short, to get fast for endurance running, you have to run slow.  That said, for folks knocking on the back door of the elite runners of their respective age groups, some speed work can make the difference between finishing "up there" and a top-3 spot.


                Feeling the growl again

                  You seem concerned on a day-to-day basis what your pace is.  I don't know if this is the case, but I bring it up as a classic mistake is to race every workout, worried about the pace.  This is actually counter-productive.  It will also hinder your ability to add miles and more runs per week.  Most of your runs need to be at a comfortable pace where you could hold a conversation with a running partner.  If you want to do one tempo run per week where you push it comfortably fast for 20 minutes, or feel good on a particular run and accelerate over the last couple miles, go for it.  But each run should not be a time trial to see what your average pace is.

                   

                  Typically when I run outside, I don't even check my pace until I enter it in my log.  It just doesn't matter.  It is the volume of the miles, not the speed of them, that will make you faster over time.  After you make some progress there you can more seriously consider a real faster workout schedule.

                  "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                   

                  pedaling fool


                    Everyone needs a good base before they work on speed; this means a lot of easy long run with no real concern about pace. This is what Mark Allen says anyway....  http://www.markallenonline.com/maoArticles.aspx?AID=4

                     

                     

                    Excerpt:

                     

                    "You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower, or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

                    There are many factors that will influence your racing. Nutrition, tapering, speed work, rest, and mindset are some of them. But the biggest physical factor is the base you build in the beginning of the season. A good base period when you develop your body¹s ability to burn stored fat for fuel is what determines the size of the internal engine that the other things have to work with.

                    A well-designed base period enables you to take good nutrition, speed work, rest, and positive thoughts and transform them into your best race possible. The choice is yours. You can either try to race with an engine the size of a lawnmower or you can build your engine up with a good base so that you are racing with a huge-turbo charged jet engine.

                     

                    The catch is that most people do not have the patience to build a base correctly. The reason is that for the first 12 weeks or so of your season, you will have to strap on a heart rate monitor and put your ego aside. What the heart rate monitor will signal to you is when you are working out at heart rates that are aerobic (fat burning)."


                    Feeling the growl again

                       

                       

                      The catch is that most people do not have the patience to build a base correctly. The reason is that for the first 12 weeks or so of your season, you will have to strap on a heart rate monitor and put your ego aside. What the heart rate monitor will signal to you is when you are working out at heart rates that are aerobic (fat burning)."

                       

                      Except that it IS possible to run easy without a heart rate monitor, and the "aerobic fat burning zone" mantra is urban legend.

                      "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                       


                      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                        ...

                         

                        The catch is that most people do not have the patience to build a base correctly. The reason is that for the first 12 weeks or so of your season, you will have to strap on a heart rate monitor and put your ego aside. What the heart rate monitor will signal to you is when you are working out at heart rates that are aerobic (fat burning)."

                         

                        This statement that "you have to strap on a heart monitor" is probably hyperbole; a lot of people do fine without a heart rate monitor.

                         

                         

                        MTA: Oops, spaniel beat me to it Smile

                        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                          Meh, couldn't be bothered by a heart rate monitor, or taking my pulse, or monitoring my breathing, or counting my steps; I just run.  Smile


                          running > all else

                            This has been most helpful, thank you. Smile I'm not sure why I've gotten caught up in always timing myself. I do this with cycling, as well. It could be because most of my running friends, are what I'd consider elite. They run a few marathons annually, they are there to compete. It's not that I don't have that in me, to compete...but, I think from running with them off and on over the years, and one of them I ride with on occasion...they all have created this need to time myself. Which isn't a bad thing to train with people faster, better than you...etc. But, I'm just explaining where my mindset has been with pacing myself. I will love nothing more than to pick some routes where I know the mileage now, and just RUN. lol I haven't done that much -- so it will be a treat, to an extent. Your advice and story here has been great for me to read, and I appreciate you taking the time to share it all. Interesting to read that you had some ups and downs with running, I guess when I see people who are seasoned runners ...I assume they never have any pitfalls. lol Yeah, right? Life is filled with pitfalls, so it's in learning to work around them that makes the difference. For me, I enjoy a variety of sports...I have taken to weight lifting over the years...and the past year especially, my running has lagged in mileage and speed. I even injured myself a few times, lifting heavy, and running...trying to balance the two. It just doesn't work. I do think the two sports can complement one another, but not lifting heavy frequently AND trying to increase mileage. I learned that the hard way.

                             

                            I intend to take the focus now...to what you all suggest...and just run, increasing my mileage...and see where I am end of February. and so on. Thanks much for the help!

                             

                             

                            I know you directed the above questions to snapa55, but given that my training is rather relevant to your questions, I'll respond as well.

                             

                            Answering your questions (I hope) and presenting my case for long slow training makes for fast racing:

                            • I've been a runner off and on (more off than on) for over 40 years.
                            • This time around I've been running for about 5 years, once again, more off than on.  In the spring of 2009 I managed to shake off the latent issues (primarily range of motion and strength) brought on by a badly broken leg and partially torn off foot from back in 2003.  The first month, April, I managed to run 8 miles (not 8 miles at a crack, e-i-g-h-t miles total for the whole month), in May I managed 18 very slow miles, and by September I'd managed to cross over the 100 mile in one month threshold for the first time since 1979.  In 2010 a massive and understaffed project landed in my lap and for the next three years, my running was a catch as catch can kind of thing, I think I ran about 600 miles for those years combined.
                            • So really, "this time around", I've been running since April of 2013 when I changed jobs.  The fat old (5' 8" 250+ pound, 56 year old) man in the mirror every morning told me to get my butt back out there, and I did.  Building upon my success from 2009, I concentrated on nothing but LSD (Long Slow Distance), and by July I'd managed, barely, to run my first 200+ mile month of my life.  I don't record my training pace any longer (when I did I used to be too competitive with myself and would end up getting hurt), however, a pretty good guess would be in the 11:00-12:00 range.
                            • In early August I ran only the second 5K of my life (the first was in 1979 when I ran a 16:20 on a super humid and warm Atlanta morning), needless to say, I had no idea what to expect, I mean, given how slow my training had been, I didn't even know if I could break 30:00.  I started slow, got my wheels into a nice rhythm, and held on for the final mile; I ended up with a 25:20 which equates to an 8:10 pace.  Needless to say I was thrilled.
                            • Also in August, I took a shot at running at least 8 miles per day (which I ran at about a 10:00-11:00 average pace) and I almost succeeded, the only day I missed was 30-August, the day before I ran the first 10-miler of my life.  Speaking of the 10-miler, it was on an oppressively warm sticky morning and the race had nearly a thousand feet of elevation gain and loss; not a great recipe for a fast time.  My most aggressive goal was to run the 10 miles in 1:30:00 for a 9:00 minute pace; I was stunned when I came across the line in 1:25:06 for an average pace of 8:31.
                            • Since August I've bumped my typical daily workout to 10+ miles, and on the rare day when I'm running on the roads (as opposed to the snow covered snowmobile trail I usually run on), I run at about a 9:00 pace; never faster.
                            • Even still, my two most recent races have shown a marked improvement in per mile pace.  The first was a Thanksgiving day 10K Turkey Trot on a very cold and snowy day on a very slippery course, and I managed a 48:24 for an average pace of 7:48 (the times most folks who've run that particular race before show about a minute and a half to two minute penalty due to the conditions).  The second race was my first timed mile since high school in 1975; also run on a very cold day, but fortunately with a dry course.  Given my performance in the 10K, I was pretty sure I could break 7:00, but I was overjoyed when I came across the line in 5:50 flat!

                            Long story short, to get fast for endurance running, you have to run slow.  That said, for folks knocking on the back door of the elite runners of their respective age groups, some speed work can make the difference between finishing "up there" and a top-3 spot.


                            running > all else

                              I'm SO glad you posted this! lol Smile (lol at 'urban legend')

                               

                               

                              Except that it IS possible to run easy without a heart rate monitor, and the "aerobic fat burning zone" mantra is urban legend.


                              I've got a fever...

                                You seem concerned on a day-to-day basis what your pace is.  I don't know if this is the case, but I bring it up as a classic mistake is to race every workout, worried about the pace.  This is actually counter-productive.  It will also hinder your ability to add miles and more runs per week.  Most of your runs need to be at a comfortable pace where you could hold a conversation with a running partner.  If you want to do one tempo run per week where you push it comfortably fast for 20 minutes, or feel good on a particular run and accelerate over the last couple miles, go for it.  But each run should not be a time trial to see what your average pace is.

                                +10000     Fantastic advice.  Sums up what every runner needs to know about typical training pace and how to not obsess over it.

                                On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

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