How to increase speed/mileage when it comes to running?

I've been running a steady 2 miles at 4.5-5.0 mph on the treadmill at 2% incline for about 2 years now. I recently just did a hilly 5k and I was so worn out by the 2nd mile. My mile time is around 12 minutes, and I would like to run it faster gradually. And run 3 miles instead of 2. I just don't know how to practice running a longer distance at a faster pace. Any ideas? How should I gradually increase distance as well as speed, so I can comfortable run 3 miles, and faster than 12 min per mile?


  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    Run more. Build your distance and the speed will follow.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    I've only every worried about distance and endurance and form.

    In other words, what janejellyroll said.
  • magpie0829
    magpie0829 Posts: 23 Member
    You need to start mixing up your running workouts. Running at the same speed at the same incline for the same distance isn't going to get you anywhere. Start mixing in tempo runs, speed workouts and hills into your running routine. As for increasing your distance, do so gradually. For example, if you typically run 20 miles a week, try and up the total mileage to 23 (so add in another 3 mile run to your weekly workout). Stick with this amount until you are comfortable with that mileage (a few weeks) then up it again by changing your 3 mile run to a 3.5 or 4 mile run. If you aren't sure how to incorporate these workouts or how to increase your mileage looking up a training plan can be helpful. I like Hal Higdon's plans because you can pick the running level you are comfortable with or up your level to really challenge yourself.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,257 Member
    Try some form of progressive training program like Couch to 5k.

    Wind sprints and interval training help tremendously as well, but you have to move cautiously and not overdo it. Your body needs to adjust to the new demand - building the capillary beds, increasing lung capacity, etc.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Intervals to increase the anaerobic system performance on hills, keep increasing base speed for aerobic system performance on flats.

    You can also interval up from slow jog to faster jog, and may find form improvement merely from that change - though it'll still be a difficult jump probably.

    Hence the reason you do intervals for the faster.

    So start out 1 min next goal pace (like 10 min mile), 4 min current pace. That's 20%.
    Then 2 and 3 min each. That's 40%
    Then 3 and 2 - 60%.
    Then 4 and 1 - 80%.
    Then - you got it, all faster pace.

    During this time, you slowly increase the distance, especially during first 2 parts.
    Each part takes 2-4 weeks, whatever it takes to feel like normal hard breathing for the entire faster interval.
  • DebLaBounty
    DebLaBounty Posts: 1,172 Member
    I think you'll have to run outside if you aim to do another 5K. You'll build up strength, speed and endurance on the ground instead of the cushioned belt of a treadmill.
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member

    First suggestion is to get outside more often. The Treadmill puts many runners at a disadvantage as the belt drives the speed and its usually a constant. When you run outdoors, you're suddenly in charge of managing your pace and you also have to slightly change your running (engaging the hips and toeing off more) The treadmill is great for some things, but not all things. Personally, the only time I run on a treadmill is during inclement weather.

    Running is largely about adaptation and adaptation is a process. When I coach novice runners, I usually suggest that they work on building distance first as it allows the body to adapt to the rigors of running, build some strength and some injury resistance. Speed comes later (and often as a consequence of running further). Jumping straight into speed work often leads to injuries (the Terrible too's (too far, too fast, too hard)).

    Consider the process as though you were building a house... you want to build a solid foundation before you slap up the walls (Strength) and the roof (speed) goes on last. If you don't have a solid foundation? Well... you know. Your base mileage is that foundation.

    Feel free to add me if you have questions. I have several years of coaching experience in Learn to Run, 5k, 10K and Half Marathon programs.

    All of this...the reason I stopped running on the treadmill was that I found that I enjoyed change ups in pace over the course of a run. It makes it more fun and allows you to control the tone of the workout.

    Speed will come but you have to build to it gradually. For example, first focus on being able to run 3 miles nonstop at a steady pace. It's OK if you have to run/walk the distance at first but gradually reduce the amount of walking 'breaks' you allow yourself to take over time.

    Once you get comfortable running that full distance, you'll find that the speed will naturally follow provided that you run with a focus to try and do it a little faster each time.

    Targeting to improve your time makes workouts a lot more interesting too. It forces you to run in a mindful manner and provides a lot of motivation to get your miles in.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
    Agree- if you want to compete in outdoor runs, train outdoors. I use Map My Run and do the same distance (3.1) three times a week. I have it set to tell me my pace every quarter mile, so I try a do even a second or two better on each run. My goal is a 27 minute 5k in September and I just broke 30 mins. So lots of work to do. No matter what, have fun!
  • SingRunTing
    SingRunTing Posts: 2,605 Member
    Build up your endurance first by running more distance, outside of possible. Speed will follow.

    I recommend either C25K or a Hal Higdon program.

    I wouldn't worry to much about adding special running workouts like sprints or paced runs until you've built up your distance more.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,514 Member
    5ks don't seem that long, but they do take endurance or you find yourself slowing down at the end, and you build that ability by running more miles. If you are used to running 2 miles on each of your runs, start by adding 5 minutes to one of your runs during the week. The next week, add another 5 minutes, either to the first run or to another. The next week, add another 5 minutes. Get to the point where your runs are at different distances, say 2, 3, 4, and 5 miles.

    When you are comfortable running more, on one of your runs, do a mile easy warm up, then run faster for a minute or two, then slow down again, then run faster again, then slow it down, etc. Teach your legs that they can run different paces. Or run progressive, so you start slower than your current pace, and gradually increase the pace by .1 every 1/2 mile.

    Same with the elevation. In the real world, you are rarely, if ever, going to be running a consistent slope. Generally you go up and down and up and down. You use different muscles for the uphill, the flat and the downhill. You need to train those muscles, both by running outside when you can, and by varying the incline on your TM. Try to replicate the real world - i.e. 1/2 mile flat, 1/4 mile at 2%, 1/4 mile at 1%, then back to flat (or downhill if your TM does that) then 1/4 mile at 3%, followed by 1/2 mile at 1 %.