Thursday, September 1, 2011


I ran 5k tonight and managed a new personal best - a 7:56/mile pace. A year ago, I couldn't even imagine the idea of going faster than 8:00/mile over that distance.

I still can't conceive of 6:17 and will never even come close. But it's pretty fun getting faster over short distances (and pretty funny that I am getting interested in short distances while you guys are moving toward longer ones).

Are there any strategies you recommend for further picking up the pace?


  1. that's great joel. one thing you'll find if you start entering shorter distance races is that your race pace will probably be 30s to a whole minute faster than even your best training run. it's just the way it works in races.

    as you know from previous posts, you can mix in speed work and tempo runs to really pick up your pace. to be perfectly honest, i've taken those out of my regular routine as they hinder my enjoyment of running (you said in another comment we run for different reasons; i disagree, i think we run for similar reasons, but hope to get different things out of it).

    too, i think running races will increase your pace in general, as it'll teach you about pacing and how hard you can push yourself in shorter distances. races are just plain fun as well.

    i'm going to be racing a 5K on sunday. given the calf problems (and resulting injuries) i don't expect to do anything spectacular, but it'll be nice to pick up the pace for a short distance. the only running i'm planning on doing in september are 2 races, this one and another that both todd and i are running.

    i would think, however, with your pending mega-race on the horizon, you'd be more focused on stretching out the distance rather than speeding up the shorter runs...

  2. You would think so! But sometimes, on weekday evenings, one only has time for a short run...

  3. Short of speed-work or interval training, the only real recommendation I would have for increasing your speed is to just keep running short distances. Kind of like running longer distances gets easier the longer you do it, running shorter distances at faster speeds just gets better the more times you do it. I find that when I'm training for a 5K, I continually run a loop that's just a bit longer than the race (3.5-4 miles) and just keep working it. It helps that I become too familiar with the course because its familiarity means that I can map how i'm feeling and my pace to common marks.

    Another thing i've noticed is that running around my house with all of the hills is really good training for running in races, which normally feature flat courses. So there's that too.

    If you're ever interested in running 5K or 10Ks, there are a number of strategies I would recommend, but until then your best bet is just to do more of them and keep picking up the pace.