Confused About How To Build Up Speed

I have been running for a year now but seem to have plateaued with my pace.  I am just a bit clueless on how to build it up.

I have read lots of different things about how to do this, Fartleks, interval training, pyramids etc but am confused by it all.  I have tried Fartleks but am never sure if I am running far enough when I ramp the speed up before I slow back down again.

I have built up my distance to HM distance and can do that in training at about 10 min/mile.  Have my first race coming up in May which is a 10K, never raced before, only done Parkruns.

I am 36, female and my 5k PB is 25:14 which I set back in November and haven't managed to improve on image

Did you guys teach yourself to build up the speed or did you get advice from trainers/running clubs?  I am wondering if I could do this myself if I just had the right plan.


  • Try doing some yassos. You can tell if youre getting fitter as you will be able to ramp up the repetitions and then the speed.

    Consistent training is the key.
  • Lots of things can help, but the one thing that helped me the most was to enter a race. The adrenline of this alone pushed my pace up. After the race you will have a race time which you can then use to set some training paces for your easy runs, tempo runs, and intervals using one of the running calculators such as McMillan. Before I raced, I was doing a lot of guessing.

    Maybe give your next parkrun a real go to assess your current 5k pace, use McMillan, and have a look through some sample 10k Training Plans to get an idea if the type of sessions to do.
  • I had a similar problem a few months ago and really struggled to go under a certain pace per mile (6:45)... For me personally I just really tried hard to slightly increase my speed in some of my training runs, as well as adding interval training. But be careful with speed work as it can increase the risk of injury greatly.
  • ILS.

    Go to your local parkrun and chat to people around your pace and see if any are member of running clubs.

    Getting faster is hard work and best done with reps / intervals / etc and that's best done in a club.

    Other thing is when you are at a club you can hook up with people who are slightly quicker than you, especially at races and use them as pacers.

  • Tempo runs do it for me.  Start with 3 miles once a week: 1 mile warm up; 3 miles at about 8:30 min/mile (based on 25min 5k); 1 mile cool down.  Re calibrate you pace every few weeks as your race times improve and also increase the distance gradually if you like.  You can use the parkrun for this if you prefer, but always warm up.

    Mcmillan is good for information on interval pacing etc.  I tend to keep all my session to 3 miles of speed with 1.5 mins rest intervals, but this is because that fits into a lunch hour rather than anything more scientific.

  • Thanks for all the advice.  I have been asking around with regard to clubs and have decided to give one a go and will be going to my first session on Thursday night.  Am a little nervous about it but also really looking forward to it.

    I know I will be a lot slower than most of the runners there but I think it's time for me to man up and just join a club.

    Let's hope it's ok image

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