>Running 101>How to increase my time
Sorry sleepykitty, I must disagree.
Judging by the amount you're running Kizzy, and being a new runner, I think you'll find the biggest gains by simply steadily increasing your miles week by week. Since you only seem to be running one or two times a week, I would strongly advise against any kind of interval training.
At this point for you, it's a matter of building an aerobic base by slowly increasing the number of times you run per week and then the distance of your runs. That is how you get into shape and how your training times come down eventually. Just do it steadily, find space to run a few more times per week, and you'll slowly get whipped into shape and your times will come down. Same answer to your question about your legs- you generally shouldn't be feeling it the next day unless you made an especially hard or long effort, which should be done sparingly.
In a nutshell, run more and be patient. Best of luck.
Needs more cowbell!
Based on my personal experience, i think sleepykitty is right. During xc i didn't get anywhere with long and slow, your body will be trained only then to do that: long and slow. I found that 800 repeats at a slightly faster pace than what i was used to slowly upped my fitness, and i was able to do them faster and faster. Also, running faster and shorter distances builds fast-twitch muscle fibers, which I have read is very beneficial to build a speed base in distance running, especially if you are running middle of the road races like 6ks and less
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I used to run sprints 100m and 200m for an athletic club - but in my teens (forty now), so i know i have the ability to sprint finish (if i save enuf energy) but i do seem to just plod it out, no matter wot my mileage, 2, 3 4 or 6 miles all seem to come out at 10min
I think speedwork can be dangerous to a person who doesn't have a fairly long history of running, though. I personally didn't start doing much with speedwork or hills until I had been running consistently for a solid year. I've gotten faster by simply running more miles and avoided any serious injury (when I started my average mile pace was ~13 minutes and 16 months later I'm ~10). Actually, my recent spate of injuries happened almost as soon as I started adding speedwork, which I don't think is purely coincidental. And I definitely wouldn't do speedwork on less than 20 consistent miles/week.