Getting Faster and Faster

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, then you’ve likely noticed over the past couple of weeks that my short distance running pace has slowly been getting faster and faster.  Two weeks ago, I ran my first 5k on the treadmill at a 10:00 min/mile pace.  When I started running last March, I only dreamed of the day of running a 5k that fast, and it has me wondering, how long will it take for me to get my 5k pace down to a 9:30 pace, or even a 9:00 pace?

My current 5k PR pace: 10:00 min/mile!

My current 5k PR pace: 10:00 min/mile!

With the arrival of summer heat and humidity, as well as being in the early weeks of my half marathon training for Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach, I’m doubtful that I’ll reach new milestone paces anytime soon.  Regardless, my recent training PRs, as well as my race PR at the Jaguar 5k two and a half weeks ago has me thinking about what have I been doing that has allowed me to increase my speed?

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At this time a year ago, weight training wasn’t a priority.  But I’ve noticed that as I’ve made it more and more of a priority that my speed has also slowly been increasing.

Eating clean and limiting the processed food that I eat has allowed me to focus on nourishing my body with nutrient rich foods.  I’ve also been trying to limit my salt intake as much as possible, and after a long workout make sure that I replace my lost electrolytes by drinking Powerade.

I’m also trying to make sleep a higher priority.  While life has been super crazy lately (we are house hunting, the end of the school year rush has begun, we’ve been out of town the last two weekends, the list goes on), I’ve been doing my best to ensure that I’m getting enough sleep each night.  While this has meant that certain things, including keeping up with my blog reading, have been pushed aside, its helped ensure that I’m giving my body the rest that it needs.

Although I’ve made quite a bit of progress, I know that there’s still more work for me to do.  I can’t wait to see what my short distance running pace is at another year from now!

QOTD: What do you do in order to help increase your running speed?

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29 Responses to Getting Faster and Faster

  1. Pam says:

    Ahh that is a big question. Speedwork and tempo runs helped me tremendously with my speed. You may want to read the book, “Run Less, Run Faster”. It has great tips on how to increase speed and do cross training to help become a faster runner. This book helped both Christine and me increase our paces as we continue the quest for PR’s!

  2. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Weight lifting or at least legs (ie squats, lunges, core work) definitely helps. But the key for me is speedwork on the track or treadmill and hills! I followed the Run Less Run Faster plan for my goal half marathon this spring and shaved 12 minutes off my PR. I went from a 2:02 half to a 1:50 half. The key is quality runs, not just fluff miles. I definitely recommend the book. They also have a free app if you don’t want to buy the book. It has the same stuff, just not all of the theory behind the plan. Good luck! You can do it!

  3. Put better foods and nutrients in my body and utilize apps that help keep me motivated to go out and run and try my best each time

  4. Maybe you are already doing this, but I have found that when I started doing run/walk intervals that my time actually got faster. I shaved 11 minutes of my 10K time in just a few months. How’s the house hunting going?

  5. Chaitali says:

    I keep hearing abotu “Run Less, Run Faster.” I think I’m going to have to give it a try. Thank you for sharing what’s worked for you! I’m concentrating on endurance right now instead of speed but I’m sure this will come in handy. The nutrition and sleep tips I’m sure are good for everyone 🙂

    • Since I have Virginia Beach over Labor Day weekend my big focus for the summer will definitely be on endurance, especially with the lovely DC heat and humidity. Don’t you love the preview we’ve gotten of it this week? 😉

  6. You’re doing great and definitely getting faster! I also know that speed work helps tremendously with getting faster. Good luck girl!

  7. Katrina Elle says:

    I just did a webinar on increasing speed through volume increases with training mileage per week – that’s what I have a rough time with because I have no time lol. You’re doing awesome girlie!

  8. irenejean says:

    How exciting to be PRing! I ran my fastest race times last year, and I think weight training combined with speedwork were key. I got lazy with weight training over the Winter and definitely am slower this Spring. Hoping to turn that around during Spring and Summer!

  9. Larissa says:

    Congrats on the PRs! I’m always happy about a 10:00 pace, too. I’ve really been enjoying short runs where I push the speed, and then spend a good amount of time with weights. I’ll get back to longer runs at some point, but right now I’m sticking with what I’m motivated to do. If all those quick runs and weighted squats, lunges and dead lifts also help me get faster, awesome!

  10. runsaltrun says:

    You are doing so great! Congrats on your PRs! 🙂
    For me I saw the biggest jump in my times when I started incorporating speed training. I have a speed day once a week (on a treadmill…I wish I had access to a track), where I warm up for a mile, do intervals for a few miles and then a cool down. It has definitely made a difference!

  11. LeanGreenGabi says:

    You’re definitely on the right track. Fueling the body right, strengthening and flexibility training and rest and recovery are all things I’ve done too. Some other things I’ve started doing is targeted workouts. I do zone 2 (heart rate) training for long runs (it feels slow, but you actually speed up over time while your heart rate stays in zone 2) and then my shorter runs vary between tempo runs, hill repeats and interval/fartlek (speed work). The speed work in particular has been super helpful. I ran my first half marathon in 2:40, my last one was in 2:24 and most recently I did 13 miles in 2:19. My goal is to get to a 2hr half!

  12. kristenk says:

    Congrats on speeding up! I know exactly how you feel – when I first started running I could never imagine running a sub-30 5k, and when I finally ran my first (and only) one it was the best feeling ever! I need to cut some stuff out of my diet and work on speed training so I get faster like you 🙂

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  14. I too noticed that strength training helped increase my running speed. I’m working on trying to speed up my pace, particularly for half marathons, and I loved this post AND the suggestions in the comments 🙂 Looks like I need to get the book “Run Less Run Faster”

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  16. Ariana says:

    To echo what everyone else here has said – speed work! I also highly recommend trying Skratch Labs instead of Gatorade. It contains all the carbs, calories, sodium, and electrolytes you need, but has less sugar and contains no artificial flavors, colors, or sweetener – much better for you. It’s flavored using real fruit and it’s delicious! You just mix a scoop into some water.

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