You've run your first marathon, or 5K, or even the 1600 meters (mile). You like this running stuff. After a couple of races, your times get faster, but then you level off, become stagnant, or, God-forbid, your times get slower.
If you want to get faster, you need to train faster.
Grinding out long runs are a necessity for a marathon, but they are not an absolute necessity if you're concentrating strictly on 5K events. And once you've gotten that first marathon in the books,speed is essential if you want your time to come down.
Last summer, I was contacted by the father of a young man who runs on a local high school track team. The boy was a sophomore with terrific desire and a great deal of running potential. His coach seemed insistent on steering him toward the 3200 meters (2 miles), but he appeared to me to be ideally suited to the 1600 meter race. In addition, the coach seemed to stress slow runs of 5 to 7 miles, with few speed workouts.His best time for the 1600 meters was 4:54. Beginning last summer, I placed him on a steady diet of a weekly speed workout. Distances ranged from 200 meters to 1600 meters, with plenty of repeats. He was diligent and dedicated. Two weeks ago, he completed his junior season at the district track meet by turning in a time of 4:33 for the 1600 meters, a personal best, and some 20 seconds faster than a year ago.
On the other end of the running spectrum, good friend and one of the featured runners in the chapter entitled, 'Extraordinary,' in my latest book, Personal Best, Father Chris Zelonis, began his marathon career by running a 3:36 in September 2013. Together, we designed a program that would bring his time down. It featured a weekly long run at a faster pace as well as a weekly speed workout. He followed the plan religiously. (sorry) In November, he brought his marathon time down to 3:08, qualifying him for the 2016 Boston Marathon Two weeks ago, despite tropical conditions at the Pocono Run for the Red Marathon in Pennsylvania, he lowered his personal best further, crossing the finish line in 3:03:12
In order to run faster races, you have to train faster. It's just that simple. If you need help with a training program, I can write one for you. (I've written hundreds of them) Go to my website: www.muldowneyrunning.com and check out the personal training option. Or, you can check out my gigs on Fiverr, www.fiverr.com, Look for me under, 'Runnin Shorts.'
Train faster, cut down on 'junk miles,' do your speed workouts, and your times will plummet..