Get Faster

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When I first started to run, I actually had no idea what was a “fast” time for a 5K or a 10K or even a marathon.  I just ran to have fun, do something productive and positive, and to get outdoors.


I began to run seriously and then progressed to running my first race – a 10K (6.2 miles) – in about three months.  During my training runs, I averaged about 10:30 a mile, so I decided to gun for a 10:00/pace and clocked in around 1:01.


I wanted to get faster (naturally) and go longer distances, but I wasn’t sure how to technically do so.  So… I just kept running the way I had been running, which was 5 days a week at a comfortable pace the entire time.


A year and a half later, I ran the Founder’s Day 10K and shaved 8 minutes off my PR!  Here’s what I wrote in the recap: “My official time was 52 minutes, 58 seconds!  What an amazing feeling! Plus, Meghann smoked her goal time, too ("under an hour") and came in a mere one minute after me! I truly cannot believe I paced 8:30-minute miles for 6.2 miles.  I always thought I’d be a 10-minute mile runner.”


(Side note:  It’s amusing to me that Meghann used to be slower than me since she can now run a marathon half an hour faster than my personal best.)


More recently, I shaved 22 minutes off my marathon time (first marathon to second marathon).  So – it’s clear you can increase your speed over time.  But how?


Here are my “get fast or have fun trying” tips**:


  • Redefine “Fast”:  We all start off at different points.  What is considered fast for you might naturally be slow for another, and what is slow for you might be fast for someone else.  Additionally, we all are genetically predisposed to max out at a certain point.  It’s really all relative.  Look – most of us aren’t ever going to win a huge race.  The whole point of running is to beat our personal bests, have fun, and to make ourselves proud.  So, the first step is to stop comparing yourself to someone else and look at your training history instead.


  • Strive for Speed or Distance, But Not Both:  Combining speedwork + a new distance is a great recipe for an awesome injury.  Trust me – I’ve been there.  So decide whether you want to go longer or faster, but not both at the same time.  If you’re going from 5K to Marathon, just focus on finishing the 26.2 miles with a smile on your face – not any set time goals.


  • But… Go a Little Farther Than Race Distance for Your Long Run:  Personally, I find that I’m speedy overall if I train a little bit over race distance.  For example, if I was gunning for a new 5K time, my one long run of the week would probably be a moderately paced 5 miler.  If I was trying for a new Half Marathon time, I would max out at 14 or 15 miles.  (This doesn’t apply to Marathons, of course. Your long run should probably max out at 20 – 22.) For me, running farther builds endurance, both physically and mentally.


  • Do Speedwork:  There are many ways to do speedwork; here’s a good summary article.  I don’t get very scientific about my speedwork and just throw in 0.20-mile or so bursts during my shorter runs.   I repeat the sprints about 4 to 6 times. I try to do this once a week.

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  • Run One Negative Split a Week:  In addition to doing a long run and some speedwork, I also try to run a negative split run each week.  A negative split is when the last half of your run is faster than the first half overall.  So you might run Mile 1: 10:00, Mile 2: 10:05, Mile 3: 9:45, Mile 4: 9:35.  Again, I’m not super scientific about this, but it definitely helps speed up your runs overall and increases endurance.


  • Cross train:   When I first started running, I was perfectly content to run 5 days a week of just junk miles.  Injuries began and I was forced to turn to cross training, like biking, swimming, and yoga.  In the end, it was a blessing in disguise because it made me a faster runner and less likely to suffer injury.


  • Run with a Faster Friend:  I love to run with friends, and my pace certainly suffers because of it (that’s OK though!).  If you’re truly serious about wanting to get faster, eliminate distractions for your speedwork or negative splits.   Or – run with a fast friend who will push you a bit.


  • Eye Up Other Factors:  There are many reasons you might not be speeding up as quickly as you like – the biggest culprits?  Sleep, recovery, hydration, and quality calorie intake.  If you’re serious about running faster, you have to treat your body like a finely tuned machine.  Fuel it properly and give it the rest it needs!  Check out the Cures for Sluggish Runs post for more deets.


  • Give it Time: This is the biggest thing – you will naturally get faster over time, even if you just run junk miles.  You won’t reach your speed peak and it won’t happen quickly, but you will naturally speed up as you become fitter.  I have also noticed that sometimes I turn “speed corners” quickly and without reason.  After weeks of speedwork, all the sudden my average pace will drop 15 seconds without rhyme or reason.   Two months is relatively new to running, so runners like Sarah should remember to be patient!


Some other fun running-related posts:



Have you gotten faster over time?  Share your statistics!  What time goals are you gunning for – are you striving to reach a PR you set a few years ago, come back after baby/injury/life changes, or just reach an entirely brand new goal?



  • Freya December 17, 2010, 3:42 pm

    I’ve found that being too fit for the distance I want to be fast for makes a BIG difference. For example, during my marathon, I was 10min/mile pace. But after it, when i did 4 or 5milers, I was on an 8.10 min/mile pace, cos it felt so easy. So if you’re fitter than you ‘need’ to be, then you’ll find it easier to go faster 🙂

    • Freya December 17, 2010, 3:43 pm

      Oh! And yeah, I got faster over time, til I trained for a marathon and slowed down!! My half marathons have gone – in order of appearance! – 1hr43, 1hr50, 1hr58!! I’m picking my pace back up now though 🙂

  • Heidi - apples under my bed December 17, 2010, 3:43 pm

    hmm I don’t time my runs, but I have worked up to cover more distance in the 30mins I run for. For me it just took time, around 6-12 months. Initially I ran 3km in 30 mins (with walking breaks), now it has nearly doubled! I do 5.7ishkm in 30 mins. I try to push myself but I didn’t do any real techniques to improve my time 🙂
    Heidi xo

  • Chrissy (The New Me) December 17, 2010, 3:43 pm

    I ran my first 5K 2.5 years ago, in 34 minutes even. Earlier this month, I set a new PR – 25:08! My first half marathon was 2:09, and less than six months later I set a new PR for that, too – 1:58!

    My tricks for getting faster are short sprints (also known as fartleks, which is the best word ever). I love to sprint up hills – the end is in sight and the workout is intense! Also, hills make any flat section seem 100 times easier. 🙂

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:04 pm

      fartlets is the best word ever.

      • Ashley December 17, 2010, 6:31 pm

        Isn’t it fartleks or am I wrong?

        • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:34 pm

          both words are cool 😉

  • Sarah December 17, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I will echo Caitlin’s thoughts on calorie intakes. Your body needs fuel! I also find that when I’m diligent about stretching every single night, even on nights when I haven’t run, my legs feel less heavy (and move easier and faster!) when I take off on a run and I settle into a faster pace.

    I would also recommend using the Operation Beautiful method of inspiration. Remind yourself that a 35 minute 5K is awesome. There are plenty of people out there that wouldn’t be able to finish a 5K, let along finish one in 35 minutes. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else – just remember that you are a fabulous runner.

    • Anon December 17, 2010, 4:07 pm

      You’re right. I cannot jog 2 minutes before of physical issues. Bless your body and be proud of what you can do.

      I cannot even imagine and it absolutely amazes me. You are all amazing. Truly. Just to be able to walk. I wish I could do more. But appreciating what I do have (a simple stroll) is the best way to feel at ease.

      • Anon December 17, 2010, 4:07 pm

        oops – “before” is supposed to mean “because”.

  • Amalfi Girl (EatRunHaveFun.blogspot) December 17, 2010, 3:48 pm

    I love this post! It is so timely for me (as a runner starting out).

  • Anna December 17, 2010, 3:50 pm

    The “relative” part is SO important. A friend recently ran his first half in 1:30 (after saying his goal was ~2:00… uh, yea) and there is just no point in comparing my 2:10 time to his. I mean, he’s just an entirely different build, not to mention a 120 lb man.

    • Diana (Mymarblerye) December 18, 2010, 7:37 am

      men are naturally faster. Hence their BQ times are less than women’s.

  • Kelly December 17, 2010, 3:54 pm

    My first race was a 10 miler back in 2009 and I ran it in 1:47, an average 10:45 pace. I ran my first half marathon in November in 2:05 for an average 9:30 pace! I even averaged sub 9 minute miles for a 7 mile training run!

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 17, 2010, 3:55 pm

    I love your comments about redefining fast. It’s so true that it’s quite relative. We’re best to compare our times with where we’ve come from and not where someone else already is.

    • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday December 17, 2010, 3:57 pm

      That’s so true. My times have gone down so much recently since I’ve stopped really training. Now that I’m back into running again seriously I can’t expect that my speed is the same as it was one year ago.

  • Kerri December 17, 2010, 3:56 pm

    It really is all relative. A 35 minute 5K would be a dream for me, actually. My fastest one so far has been 37:00. I’m also a heavier runner and my two priorities are endurance and weight loss, rather than speed. I really like all of these tips though and as I get more in shape, I am going to incorporate them into my routine.

  • Michelle December 17, 2010, 4:02 pm

    This is a fantastic post! Right now I’m training for a half so honestly i’m just looking to finish in under the time limit set. But once this training is over, i’m looking to speed up my shorter distances! 🙂

  • Anna December 17, 2010, 4:07 pm

    E, from made a great post today on starting to run! So much Internet running love today! So much inspiration. I’m going to head out for a short, QUICK run now! Thanks!

    (Ps Here’s her link:

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:05 pm

      thanks for sharing this!

  • Morgan @ Becoming Rooks December 17, 2010, 4:10 pm

    I love the first bullet – speed really is relative. At my first 5k I finished in 40 minutes. A year later I finished a 5k in 33 minutes and change. My speed increased from adding miles and generally improving my fitness/stamina. Speed will come when you are new to running, just keep doing it!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal December 17, 2010, 4:21 pm

    I LOVE speedwork. In fact, I loved it a little too much. I think doing speedwork too often was a big part in my hip flexor injury 🙁
    But I love the point on speed being relative – it so is!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston December 17, 2010, 4:24 pm

    I definitely recommend running with a faster friend.. or maybe a quick husband! I ran a 2 mile race in 16:48 and SHOCKED myself! I’m more of a 930-1030/min pace runner depending on the day.. so this 2 miler time just shocked me!

    I’ve also run with other friends that are quicker and it’s just amazing!

  • Aimee December 17, 2010, 4:31 pm

    This is a really helpful post. Thanks so much.

  • Jason@Cant-Coach-Desire December 17, 2010, 4:35 pm

    Speed is definitely, relative to where you are at a point in time. Be proud of being healthy and of how hard you can push yourself within you comfort zone.
    My 10k & Half-mary PRs are 38:27 & 1:27:44.
    I was training for my first Full-mary when I partially tore a tendon which then in-turn inflamed my achilles 3 weeks before my marathon so I didn’t make it to the starting line(4 20+ milers & 3 18 milers so I was set to taper). Hard pill to swallow.
    Now, just happy to be back to 85% healthy running and not worried about any stats.
    I just want to say make sure no one gets lost in stats and just enjoy running and the stats will come.

  • Jennifer December 17, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I think that biggest thing for many newer runners that are at a speed wall is the fear of pain. The fast running WILL hurt and you need to push through it. NOT injury hurt, but ‘pain is weakness leaving the body hurt’. No matter what speed you start at, fast running hurts, especially during a race.

    That’s one of the reasons that I can’t listen to music while running. During the short fast runs I do, I spend most of my run pushing myself to maintain the speed I am aiming for.

    But I am pretty intense about my running…I think a lot of people prefer their exercise to be pleasant, but that won’t get you to speed if that is what you want.

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:08 pm

      That is true – it is suppose to be a little uncomfortable!

  • Stacey December 17, 2010, 4:39 pm

    This is a great post. I try not to focus too much on time and go for distance instead because that is what really interests and motivates me to get out there. I really have little interest in speed beyond not being too slow!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) December 17, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I love this post! I think it is great to share these types of things so people can learn from your experience! Thanks for sharing this Caitlin!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 17, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Great post Caitlin! I am certainly a lot faster now than I was i high school. I believe it is because A) I actually like to run verses hating it in high school and B) I push myself a lot more. I try to have at least 2 runs a week where I am at a faster speed- not necessarily race speed, but close.

    I have a 10k tomorrow and I am hoping to PR. My last 10k (and my first), was pretty slow but my IT bands were really acting up. I’ve been easing back into my training (half- marathon coming up- my first!), but my speed has gotten a little faster since I’ve had to cross train a lot more!

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:09 pm

      Good luck on your 10K!

  • Meg December 17, 2010, 4:59 pm

    i think it’s tough because everyone’s body is different, and we aren’t all going to be able to achieve the same pace. my bmi is on the higher side of normal, and i know i’ll never run a half marathon in 1:40. but i can try to get faster!

    treadmill speedwork is the best. using that i was able to go from running 6 miles at a 9 minute mile page to 12 miles at a 9 minute mile pace. it helps with your speed over distance even if you just do speedwork in short pieces!

  • Jill E. December 17, 2010, 5:06 pm

    this has been my biggest struggle. i am just like sarah but even slower, not the point, and i have been building up my distance and i really like being able to run far but sometimes i look at my time and i am like really are you sure that is running? i continuously have to remind myself that i am not running competitively but for personal satisfaction and fitness and the act is what is important the time will come with time! thanks so much for such great advice and encouragement!

  • Jordy December 17, 2010, 5:08 pm

    For the sole year I’ve brought running into my life, I have gradually found my “perfect” pace – around 8 minutes per mile. I usually start out slower, like 8:30, and gain speed as I go. I ran my first half-marathon this past Sunday in 1:45:46, an 8:04 pace. I feel comfortable at this speed. It would be awesome to strive for a super-speedy 5K sometime…like try to finish in 21 minutes maybe! Some day, perhaps. 🙂

  • Aby December 17, 2010, 5:14 pm

    I would say that a runner who has only been running two months does not need to worry about doing speedwork yet. The focus should be on establishing a strong mileage base. When you are comfortably doing a consistent amount of miles per week over a period of a few months or more, then add in more formal speedwork. Fartleks are a good way to start speedwork as they are unstructured and rely on you listening to your body. Just pick a point in the distance (a house, a stop sign) and run hard and fast until you get to it, then back off to an easy pace/jog. Run easy until you want/feel ready to go again.
    When you are ready to up it from there, add in a tempo run, then maybe structured intervals.
    I got faster naturally the more I increased my mileage. When all you can do is run 3 miles at a steady pace, it’s near impossible to be able to run that distance faster without building on your miles. (If you could run it faster, you’d be able to run further at a slower pace.) Increase 1 or 2 of your runs per week and those shorter runs will feel easier and you’ll have enough gas in the tank to run them faster than before.

  • nicole December 17, 2010, 5:19 pm

    I did a 5k summer series and my first ran the first one in 24:33 and my fastest only four weeks later at 23:01. Knocking 1:32 off a 5k in a matter of four weeks was a huge improvement, but I think I mostly attribute it to getting used to running the distance in the heat and without a watch (no watches allowed! I thought it was bizarre).
    I definitely could use some speed work, but you’re absolutely right when you say you get faster over time no matter what.

  • Emmanuelle December 17, 2010, 5:20 pm

    I agree with Caitlin that everyone’s different and we all come from different backgrounds. I started running in August this year, and I’m running my first 5k on Sunday. I think I must be around 33- 35 minutes now.
    To some that may sound slow, but to me being able to run for this amount of time is a huge discovery and I am proud of it, because before August I couldn’t run for 1 minute without wanting to curse the whole world, panting like crazy.

    I also agree that running for longer than the race you’re training for is great, I schedule my “long runs” in the weekends for 45 minutes. No idea about the distance, but I know it’s more than 5k. Which is great 😀

    My only goal for this first race is to finish it, and have fun! Afterwards, we’ll see where this whole running thing will take me 🙂

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:10 pm

      Good luck on your 5k! You will do great.

  • Alicia at Poise in Parma December 17, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I really appreciate this post. As a new runner, my goal for my first half (the Walt Disney World half on 1/8/11) is to finish it. I’ve already signed up for my second in May 2011 (the half of the Cleveland Marathon), and I hope to focus on increasing my speed over the next six months. I’ve starred this in my Google Reader and I’m sure I’ll be looking back on it in upcoming months. Thanks!

  • Shari December 17, 2010, 5:36 pm

    Any advice for running negative splits if you done have a garmin etc. to keep track of your pace?

    • sarah December 17, 2010, 5:42 pm

      you can do an out-and-back run and take note of the time to get out and aim to run faster on the way back. Even if you don’t have a regular watch you can use a cell phone or a number of songs that pass on an Ipod.

      • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:11 pm

        Yes, it you pre-measure mileage markers with a watch, you can use a stop watch or cell to track your time! Or do it on a track.

  • sarah December 17, 2010, 5:41 pm

    I think you have to add in some speed work and it doesn’t have to be super intense at first. You can just run faster and harder for a telephone pole distance. I try to add hills or increase my speed for 1/4 mile to not only improve my running, but to make it more exciting. I like to challenge myself. I’ve run races with great PRs and it is hard to not get caught up in “beat your PR” mode. I’ve been thinking that I might run one road race a month as a New Years Goal in order to get myself over my fear of not beating PRs. Does anyone else fear races because they are scared they won’t PR? I always seem to beat my pace and time with each race I’ve done.

  • Mindy Knows December 17, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Great advice, Caitlin. I also recommend hill work or upping the incline if you’re on a treadmill. Also, weight lifting which will increase lung capacity and strength to pump your arms and legs faster. After running for 6 years straight in middle and high school I developed an overuse injury and stopped running altogether. Slowly, after a year off, I started running again but for fun. Over this past Thanksgiving I competed in my first competitive run in 8+ years. It was a 10K road race. My goal was to finish in under 50 minutes and I completed it in 44 minutes. Completely shocked myself and finished something like 24th out of 2000+ women and 118th out of 4000+ men AND women. My next race goal? Just PR. 🙂

  • Amanda December 17, 2010, 6:09 pm

    Ummm I’d sell my left arm to run a 5K in 35 minutes. I’m short, have ITBS and asthma. Perspective people….

    • Caitlin December 17, 2010, 6:11 pm

      Yes, keeping it relative is the first bullet point.

      • D December 17, 2010, 8:06 pm


    • sarah December 18, 2010, 8:45 am

      Not to be belligerent, but I think it is equally insensitive to espouse the opinion that they should “be happy” with their times because they are faster than you, and you would be thrilled with that time. Everyone has their own goals. I would kill to run a 17-minute 5K, but for my friend that is incredibly slow. I wouldn’t think of telling my friend to “have perspective” after a race she found disappointing.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 17, 2010, 6:48 pm

    Awesome post! I’ve been running for about 2 years and although I’ve improved my 5K time, I’m still nowhere near as fast as I’d like to be. I blame it on having short legs. 😛

  • KVH December 17, 2010, 6:49 pm

    The first time I noticed myself actually dropping my mile times was after I started taking + teaching spinning classes. I built the muscles up on my legs and it definitely made an impact on my speed. Since then, I have focused on building leg strength with squats, lunges, and plyos. I believe strength training makes a huge impact on speed, whether or not you are speed training.

  • Emilie December 17, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Developing speed and stamina are my primary goals right now (even though I haven’t run since my marathon almost a month ago!) When it comes to building speed, it’s super important to run at different paces during your training. The Macmillan running calculator can really help you determine what sort of paces you might want to aim for during different training runs. Hill repeats are also great for developing speed because they work your muscles and your aerobic capacity.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 17, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Thank you for this post! I love adding speedwork to my routine, as I feel this helps a lot (just doing so once or twice a week.)

    But I could still use help on boosting the speed, so this is very helpful. 😀

  • Amanda December 17, 2010, 7:46 pm

    Great post! Love the links to other posts, too. Very helpful!

  • Sarah December 17, 2010, 8:29 pm

    I am the one who wrote that email and thanks everyone for some great advice! I have lots of new stuff to bring to my running plate over the next few weeks.

  • jo December 17, 2010, 8:37 pm

    What are “junk miles”?

    • Caitlin December 18, 2010, 9:54 am

      I think of junk miles as mileage that doesn’t necessary help you reach your goal and only serve to increase odds of injury. Think of junk mileage day as maybe the 6th day in a week you run, when you ideally should do yoga or cross train (or rest). Basically, you’ve stopped getting benefits from running and junk miles aren’t doing anything good for you.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In December 18, 2010, 12:53 am

    Great post!! I started running about a year ago and my goal was a half marathon. I just ran at a comfortable pace – around 8:30-9 minute miles, and was satisfied at that. For my second half marathon last November, I definitely wanted to PR but didn’t push myself too much. I just incorporated speed work one day a week and ended up running almost 10 minutes faster!

    For me the speed comes naturally with running more, but definitely depends on weather, freshness, etc.

    Right now I’m training for my first full marathon, so speed is not an issue at all!

  • Christine December 18, 2010, 1:20 am

    Great post- I’ve been feeling this plateau lately and bought “Run Less, Run Faster,” which encourages 3 days of running (each a different type of run, including speed work) and 2 days of cross training. While I’m not following it exactly, I can already see improvement. It’s been a battle, though, for sure- it’s hard to break past the “hey, at least I’m getting exercise” mentality to “faster, faster!”

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 18, 2010, 2:04 am

    Great post! I have found that you can definitely get faster just by running consistently – especially just starting out. I went from a ~31 min 5K time to ~27 mins with that alone. I also went from wanting to stop for the last 2 miles of a 3 mile run to running 7 and wishing I had time for more!

    Cross training and sprints are key for getting the rest of the way. Weights are good too – strong legs = speed and endurance.

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 18, 2010, 6:40 am

    Love the advice! I have found that cross-training REALLY helps with speed, and doing fartleks too!
    I’m currently training to get my speed much faster, as I have a trial coming up in March, in which I have to run 3 miles at at around a 7.30 min/mile speed, which for me, is very fast! (I’m currently more of an 8.10-8.20 min/mile girl atm!) But the speedwork has really helped so far, as I used to be a 9 min/mile person, so I’m gonna keep at it! 😀

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) December 18, 2010, 7:39 am

    i’ve been looking around for tips on speed. Great post and just in time!! I find myself getting faster by this: if you have the energy…go faster! if you don’t…slow down till you can go faster again. Listen to your body.

  • Kristy December 18, 2010, 8:55 am

    I’m going to try incorporating a negative split run – thanks for the tip. I have yet to do that throughout my trainings. I’m about to pick up a new training schedule in preparation for the Providence, RI Marathon in May! I am aiming to PR. Cross Training and yoga will definitely be incorporated. I agree with you and have trained both ways in the past – just running and with CT and you can tell a world of difference as a runner.

  • Lee December 18, 2010, 9:09 am

    I really struggle with getting faster. I ran my first half-marathon five years ago and until this fall, it was my PR which was totally frustrating. To beat it, which I did by like 3 minutes, I did a lot of tempo runs. I get into the habit of running at a comfortable speed (for me, it’s like 10:20) and I have to tell myself, “in order to get faster, you need to run faster.” I did this once a week.

  • Gracie (complicated day) December 18, 2010, 11:14 am

    I ran a 4:08 marathon last year and in about 7 months I knocked over half an hour off that time to come in at 3:36:11 -qualifying for Boston and shocking my own pants off. The difference? Someone told me I could do it. I used to regard races as endurance events, viewing them as something to “finish” and conserving pace and energy. An experienced runner looked at my normal training pace and told me to shoot for under 8:30’s in my next marathon and that in his experience I was fully capable of that pace. With his advice, I realigned my goal and knocked out 8:15’s – and it felt as natural to me as running 9:30’s had!

  • Amber K December 18, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Those are some great tips! I never run for time. I have no idea how fast I can run a mile. I usually “jog” so it’s probably 10-12 minutes a mile. But I have never tried to be “speedy.” I’m usually just impressed if I can keep running! lol

  • kelly December 18, 2010, 3:21 pm

    I just want to run and enjoy doing it, and make it a routine because it always makes me feel better. I jog on the treadmill for now at around 5mph, sometimes a little more but I’d rather get my fitness up and body stronger than trying to increase my speed and injure myself, which means being able to run less often.

  • Shannon @ Philadelphia Phitness Pharmacy December 19, 2010, 3:23 am

    Great post! I’m a relatively new runner struggling with the same thing! Loved your tips!

  • LauraJayne December 20, 2010, 1:13 pm

    Right now I’m just focusing on distance! I know that I want to finish my first marathon (so I’ll have to do it in a certain amount of time), but I am focusing on getting my distance where I need it to be! Maybe after my first marathon I will start to focus on time!

  • Molly Borchers December 4, 2011, 4:40 pm

    Sorry I’m just now joining the comment thread, but I can totally relate. I started running in 2006 after years of hard partying and chain smoking (thanks, college). My first race was a 5K and I ran it in a painful 39 minutes. Within a year, I was clocking 29 minute 5Ks and running 60 minute 10Ks regularly. In 2009, I finished my first half marathon.

    I took some time off (ahem…slid back into bad habits) but just started running again 6 weeks ago. When I started, I was averaging 11:30 per mile (for 3 mile runs). Now, just 6 weeks later, my pace is a comfortable 9:30 per mile (for 3 mile runs).

    I use the same tactics Caitlin has outlined in this post and hope to shave 25 minutes off of my half marathon time in 2012.


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