How to improve my pace from 12min/miles

Hi all, back on here after a little break and have been running again for the last 8-10 weeks or so.

My "run-to-the-beat" training hasnt all been wasted and I've found I've got back up to speed quite quickly.

The main problem I've had over the last 8/9 months is that I've never really known how to pace myself.  I run at a pace which I feel comfortable at, so I'm not out of breath.  At various points through a run, I could be struggling after 500 yards, I could be stuggling after 2 miles or even 8.

Now, I'm looking for some advice really.

I can now comfortably run for around 85-90 minutes at 12min/mile pace (which is damn slow compared to some of you guys on here) without stopping once but what can I do to increase my speed.  If I just try to run faster, I end up crumpling in a heap after 2 miles at anything like 9-10min/mile pace but thats what I'd ideally like to get to eventually.

What can I do to build up to this pace?  At the moment, I'm running 6-7 miles around 4-5 times a week out of boredom and am keen to improve so I can enter some races without the fear of being last lol.  Ideally, I'd love to be able to run a 10k in less than an hour.

I must say, I've found my purchase of a forerunner 405 invaluable as I now know the pace I'm running at any point and I know I can comfortably run at 12min/mile pace without problems but would love to be able to get a little more out of my body.  If its helps, my heart rate when running is averaging out at 152bpm.

Any advice greatly appreciated.


  • Not rocket science really, but its generally about getting out of the comfort zones a bit more.

    Its the 9-10 minute mile sessions that you really don't like that are going to improve you as a runner. Best just to try more of them and try and stretch them a bit.

     It's a pain, but generally you only get out what you put short cuts unfortunately image..shame, eh?

  • I found the inclusion of tempo and speedwork session into my training increased my pace massively.

    I have a 405, and seeing my pace and related HR over time was a great motivational tool, although without knowing your true max HR (or at least roughly what it is) then HR is a useless reading.

    Drop at least one of your runs in favour of a tempo or speed session, be prepared for it to be tough, and hurt, because if you have been used to "cruising" then your body ain't gonna like running in the red, I can remember so speed sessions where I have been close to weeping on the final rep!!!

    2 miles at 9-10min mile pace is a good start, speed session are generally (for me) reps of 400 or 800 metres, with a 250metre slow intervals and 1 mile warm/cool (totalling about 5miles), the 400/800 metres is done at about 95-97% effort.

    A  general tempo session would be 5 miles, with 1mile warm / cool, and 3 miles at a fast pace, these sessions took my 5k PB from 34mins to 27mins in about 8 months!

     You've got to remember, that by doing long slow runs all the time, you'll become a long slow runner, you need to push it to get faster.

  • Thanks for the advice Simon/Danowat...

    I was hoping there was a secret formula but obviously not so I tried to push a little harder last night.

    When I timed my usual 6 miler the other day, I completed it in 1:10:49.

    Went out straight from work last night and attacked it positively, just trying to push that little harder.  I ran the first 2.5 miles too hard I think (10:38 and 11:19), so much so that I had to walk for 90 seconds as my legs were really feeling it but then pushed on again after that and felt much more comfortable around the 4-5 mile mark when according to my 405, I ran a mile in 09:58.

    Was chuffed to finish the run in 1:06:47, taking off 4mins and 2 secs from my previous.

    So I guess I've got the strength there, just need to learn how to push in the right places.  Just need to find another min per mile.

    If anyone is interested seeing the route I took, you'll find it at  Now for a novice, is that quite hilly or not?  Should I be looking to run a route which is relatively flat for 6 miles and then start to build up?


  • Personally, I would leave any hills in, they will only help you in the future, I have seen lots of people baulk at the start of a race because they aren't used to attacking hills.

    This is a link to one opf my speed sessions last year (for some reason my GC has stopped uploading since last year, and I haven't gotten round to fixing it!!!)

  • Well done mate...I would defo keep the hills in and look into doing some interval sessions, why not find a 1 mile route and do 3 x 1mile fast with a 5 minute walk /jog inbetween?

    See what best for you, hope the improvement continues.

  • Keep in hills, add in a shorter quicker run, and a bit of Fartlek (interval stuff) too.  That all helps, although I really need to practise what I preach a bit more!  Good luck

    P.s. It doesn't matter that you're slower than some people on here - most people are sat on their posteriors not doing anything!!!

  • To increase stamina, you might want to think about including one long slow run into your weekly schedule, eg an extra mile or two each week to build it up to around 12 miles or so. Do be careful though and listen to your body. The key is taking it easy and just getting used to (eventually) spending a couple of hours on your feet, even if you're walking for some of it.

    I've found that incorporating long distances has meant that I'm able to get through the speedwork/intervals when I'd normally want to give up and still have some left in the tank, so to speak.

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