How do I get faster

I ran my first race yesterday silverstone half marathon. I followed a training plan, was running 25-30 miles a week doing long runs of about 11.5 miles, never got to go longer, due to curcumstances . Still can only run at 11-12 min miles.

My time yesterday was 2.55. Really wanted to get under 2.30 struggled with the heat, and really really struggled the last few miles

I just want to know how I can get quicker, have another half booked for April in straford


  • Obviously you need to run over the distance so that you don't fade.
    If you only got to 11.5 miles then you'll have struggled with the last mile or so.

    Don't run your long runs at race pace. Slow it down.

    Do speed work though - run fast but for shorter distances, recover and go again. And again and again. Once you see an improvement - either add more speed or more reps or lengthen the distance you run. I find treadmills handy for that.

    Your mileages are decent enough for a half- you just need to train smarter I think.

    Oh and if heat gets to you - make sure you train with an extra layer or two on ? Where was it hot yesterday ? It was crappy by me !

  • I did Silverstone yesterday and it was pretty warm out. It certainly took me by surprise.

    First, congratulations, you finished even though it hurt. that deserves some praise. image

    Second, I agree with Cougie, you need to be regularly running over distance in order to build up the stamina. Keep these runs at a steady pace, slower than race pace, they should be long but you didn't ought to be hurting as much as you probably do today. Maybe cycle them 10, 12, 13, 14 repeat, varying the distance and having some harder and easier weeks.

    Third - in order to run faster, you have to run faster. That means doing some shorter distance speed work. Personally, that's the bit I can't do by myself, but I go to a club for that session each week. Something about being a group, peer pressure, being urged on, what ever it is, means I will push.

    I don't claim to know the specifics, but it has seemed to me that having found I can run faster over short distances, the speed over the long distances also creeps up. Maybe it's knowing you can push just that bit further and survice. But make sure you've got the mileage base to keep the stamina up.

    Just to show I know what you're going through, last year I ran my first half at Silverstone, in 2:37. This year I took 20 minutes off that and I'm sure it would have been 1 or 2 more in slightly cooler conditions.

    Good luck at Stratford. image 

  • Congratulations on your first half Abby! Did my first on Sunday too.

    I also run 11-12 minute miles in training, and my longest training run was 11.3 miles. I found on the day that running with a faster friend meant I pushed myself and managed to keep up more easily than I had thought I would. There's a lot to be said for doing speed work with other people, I can't tell my pace on my own and don't go fast enough.

    For these reasons, I'm going to join a club - why not have a look at your local one(s)?

    Don't be disheartened with your time - it was hot on Sunday when you weren't expecting it and it was your first HM, 2:55 isn't bad at all and you'll be able to better it next time.

  • Well done Abby.

    The fact your first race was a half deserves some credit. For me running is all about steady improvement over a period of time. You have a benchmark to aim at now and I am sure you will get quicker at your next half. Then you can challenge yourself to beat that. 

    There would be no fun if you ran your best half in your first race and could never get near that time again. 

    There is some great advice above regarding training also. 

    Well done and all the best at Stratford.image

  • I'm only a novice at this running lark but it seems to me that there are certain elements that should be in anyone's training

    Speed work - faster than the race you are training for - helps your style and teaches you how to physically run faster. (love these)

    Tempo work - at your lactate threshold - improves your ability to use oxygen (i think)(hate these)

    Long slow runs - builds base fitness and stamina (like these)

    Obviously diet and weight will have dramatic effects too.

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