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Increasing Running Speed

jpapa96jpapa96 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
I completed C25K about 5 weeks ago (shuffling along at 4.5mph) and since that time have focused on increasing the duration of my runs while staying at the same speed. Does anyone know of a good program to increase speed? My goal is to run comfortably at 6.0 mph or better. Today I started to increase the speed slightly to 5.0mph and moved from 50 mins back to 30, but I'm wondering if there are any better approaches. I never thought I'd be asking this on week 5, but running/jogging/shuffling has been a great way to challenge myself and I'm hooked.

Replies

  • spraytanninghelensspraytanninghelens Posts: 75Member, Premium Member Posts: 75Member, Premium Member
    Well done on completing couch25k 🤗. I would suggest adding in some hills ( if you haven’t already) also try increasing your speed for say 1 minute then slow down for three and repeat. You e done great already and with time you will soon be running faster but in the meantime enjoy and congratulate yourself !
  • BrianSharpeBrianSharpe Posts: 8,732Member Member Posts: 8,732Member Member
    Congratulations on completing C25K and coming over to the dark side (getting the running bug). I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm but given that you're still new to running I'd suggest that your focus should still be on building your aerobic base and allowing yourself time to undergo the physiological adaptations that an injury feee running career demands.

    For now keep your runs at a conversational pace and gradually build up time/distances. That in itself will lead to increses in speed.

    As you progress you can start adding some speed work like fartleks, hills or stairs (if you work in an office tower even walking the stairs rather than taking the elevator helps) Don't forget cross training (strength, cycling, swimming etc) to help address muscular imbalances and improve injury resistance.

    We runners are frequently the victims of our own enthusiasm and end injuring ourselves by trying to do too much, too soon, too fast. Enjoy the journey.
  • spiriteagle99spiriteagle99 Posts: 2,329Member Member Posts: 2,329Member Member
    Are you running on the road or on the TM?

    As stated above, the best way to get faster is simply to go longer. Do most of your running at an easy conversational pace. You will become more efficient with practice, and your aerobic systems will develop with the slow easy miles. As a beginner, formal speedwork is risky, because your muscles and tendons are still adapting to the impact of running. However, you can do some speedplay - e.g. fartlek running - where you run faster for a short distance (i.e. to the next mailbox, telephone pole, or street corner) then slow down and jog easy until you catch your breath, then do it again. It makes running more fun and will teach your legs about faster turnover and help get your lungs used to working a bit harder, but is short enough it shouldn't do an harm to your muscles. When I run on the TM I'll do 1 minute faster bits, on the street I'll count 50 paces. Make sure you warm up first by doing a couple of easy miles before trying to go faster.
  • lporter229lporter229 Posts: 4,823Member Member Posts: 4,823Member Member
    Are you running on the road or on the TM?

    As stated above, the best way to get faster is simply to go longer. Do most of your running at an easy conversational pace. You will become more efficient with practice, and your aerobic systems will develop with the slow easy miles. As a beginner, formal speedwork is risky, because your muscles and tendons are still adapting to the impact of running. However, you can do some speedplay - e.g. fartlek running - where you run faster for a short distance (i.e. to the next mailbox, telephone pole, or street corner) then slow down and jog easy until you catch your breath, then do it again. It makes running more fun and will teach your legs about faster turnover and help get your lungs used to working a bit harder, but is short enough it shouldn't do an harm to your muscles. When I run on the TM I'll do 1 minute faster bits, on the street I'll count 50 paces. Make sure you warm up first by doing a couple of easy miles before trying to go faster.

    All of this -100%, with the bold part being the most important.
  • grimendalegrimendale Posts: 2,186Member Member Posts: 2,186Member Member
    As everyone has said, increasing your distance will work on your speed over shorter distances. If you're looking to get in some speed work as well, I'd recommend the Nike Run Club app. They have a good array of adaptive plans that are set based on your current pace/distance. They've got voice-guided intervals to make it easier to do some of the things suggested above. I've been using it to go from 10k to half marathon, and I've definitely seen an uptick in my 5k pace as a result.
  • dewd2dewd2 Posts: 2,144Member Member Posts: 2,144Member Member
    Agree 100% - Longer distances at a slower pace will make you faster. It may sound counter-intuitive but it really does work like that.

    I would suggest you start learning the lingo now so other runners can relate. Speed is measured as pace (6 MPH = 10 minute miles). Many better treadmills will show the pace as you increase the speed of the belt (but who wants to run on the dreadmill all the time? ;) ).

    Good luck.
  • lorrpblorrpb Posts: 10,541Member Member Posts: 10,541Member Member
    OP, finish C25k all 8 weeks first before worrying about speed. Then continue with bridge to 10k, because increasing distance ie to 10k will eventually help you increase your 5k speed.
  • Commander_KeenCommander_Keen Posts: 1,203Member Member Posts: 1,203Member Member
    To increase your speed is simple.
    Come up with your own plan and increase the speed by x for 10 seconds
    The next session, same speed for 20 seconds.
  • SwiftMarieSwiftMarie Posts: 2Member Member Posts: 2Member Member
    I like to set a distance goal and try to get there as quickly as possible. Try putting on fast pace music and running to that. See what happens!
  • emmamcgarityemmamcgarity Posts: 1,164Member Member Posts: 1,164Member Member
    I started c25k in February and finished in 9 weeks. I have continued to run since then adding no more than 10% per week in mileage. Just by running more often and adding longer runs I am getting fractionally faster. But I am not focusing on speedwork until I reach a full year as a runner. I don’t want to injure myself. So I maintain a conversational pace and just keep running.

    Note: I apparently run faster when it starts raining during a run.
  • jpapa96jpapa96 Posts: 9Member Member Posts: 9Member Member
    Thanks to everyone for the input. I come from a long history of klutzes and am currently in Afghanistan, where outdoor runs involve too many hazards. Unfortunately I'm stuck on the treadmill until I leave in October. I'm usually limited to no more than an hour at a time, so am trying to get the most out of my workout. I finished c25k in April, and have steadily increased running time to the point where I can run at a very slow speed for 50 minutes, and will start incorporating incline and sprint intervals. Thanks again!
  • filovirus76filovirus76 Posts: 155Member Member Posts: 155Member Member
    Most running apps have training programs to increase distance and speed safely. Mapmyrun, Runtastic, etc. I would suggest starting with one of those apps. It may ask at what speed you want to run. Just select a 5k plan with a time of 30 minutes. It will adjust speeds from there.

    If you want to come up with your own plan, here is what I suggest on a 5 runs a week plan:
    Day 1: Distance. Use time. I don't know your fitness level, but it shouldn't be shorter than 45 minutes or longer than an 1 hour. Easy pace. This means whatever pace you can maintain for the entirety of the distance.
    Day 2: Recovery. 30 minutes easy pace.
    Day 3: Intervals. Warm up 10 minutes doing an easy pace. Then 4 intervals 2 minutes fast pace (not a sprint), 3 minutes easy pace. Cool down 10 minutes easy pace.
    Day 4: Recovery. 30 minutes easy pace.
    Day 5: Tempo. 10 minutes warm up easy pace. 10 minutes moderate pace. 10 minute cool down easy pace.

    You can substitute cross training for any of your recovery days, as long as the activity is not too intensive.

    Each week, pick two of the days to increase in either duration, an additional interval, a couple minutes longer at tempo pace, etc. As a beginner runner, recovery runs should probably not be longer than 45 minutes.

    As you get more accustomed to running, you can change out a tempo run or interval run to a hill workout, HIIT (ie. sprints: warm up. sprint 30 seconds, recover 90 seconds 8 times. cool down). Distance run should be the one your rarely take out unless a race day is a week or two away.
  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 1,872Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,872Member, Premium Member
    Building endurance is the first job, and it sounds like you've done that. But, I didn't get any faster until I started doing intervals. They don't have to be hard, just high/low (walk, if necessary) speed intervals starting at 1 minute to start. Warm up for at least a full mile first. I thought it was going to be horrible, but I've ended up liking my interval day. You get to feel what it's like to run much faster than your usual pace. For one minute, you're a running machine!
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