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Advice for improving 2 mile run time


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Right now my mile run time is about 7:53.

My most recent 2 mile was 18:14, so a 9:07 mile.

I'm pretty much fine with my mile run time, but I'd really like to take some time off the 2 miles.  I've been told wind sprints are the best thing to do to improve times for this sort of distance....what do ya'll think?

fyi - I don't generally run much farther than 3 miles at once, and I've never determined my pace for anything other than 1 or 2 miles...and I really have no desire right now to work on more distance running.

16 Replies (last)

Well, here's my thoughts... Your 1 mile and 2 mile spread shows that you fade quite a bit in the second mile.  So what you need (IMHO) is more endurance, as well as working on speed.  I'll let others comment on the speed part, but I'd try to get all your runs up over 3 miles, with some going over 4 (once per week).

Just throwing that out there.

Clint

Thanks Clint!

I had to stop running for a few weeks late last summer to deal with shin splints, so I've been reluctant until lately to increase mileage.  I do agree that I really should work on my endurance though.

Do you have any suggestions for what kind of pace I should aim for in my 3-4 mile runs, or just to run at a pace I'm comfortable with?

I would say slower than you think. :) 

Try this link.  The Runner's World website has a lot of information on it, including training for different length races, although most will be longer than 2 miles.  But even if you adapted a 5k training program (3 miles), you should still see significant improvements.

Clint

Original Post by maxx86:

I'm pretty much fine with my mile run time, but I'd really like to take some time off the 2 miles.  I've been told wind sprints are the best thing to do to improve times for this sort of distance....what do ya'll think?

fyi - I really have no desire right now to work on more distance running.

Bad news.  You need to work on distance running to improve your distance time.  Sprint training without endurance training will do very little to improve your distance time.  Slow, long runs build endurance.

 

Original Post by cpa_pfs:

Original Post by maxx86:

fyi - I really have no desire right now to work on more distance running.

Bad news.  You need to work on distance running to improve your distance time.  Sprint training without endurance training will do very little to improve your distance time.  Slow, long runs build endurance.

 

What I meant was that I don't want to focus on building up endurance for longer distances, but I understand now that is how I can improve my shorter distances, so I'm willing to do that :)  Thanks for your help!

Clint - thanks for the link.  That site looks like it will be real helpful :)

Here (after the divider) is the input a relative expert (compared to me) gave in another forum regarding improving a 2.5 km time trial...  Thread is located here.  Overall, one V02max session, one threshold session, and then easy running the rest.

=====================================

For VO2max intervals: I can't really judge your speed from the information you've given, but pick a distance (800m to 1200m probably) you can run in 3-5 minutes and do proper Intervals. An example would be 4 x 1000m: warm up then run 1000m in (for example) 4 minutes 15 seconds, then recover for 4 minutes and go again. The final interval, go as fast as you can. The ideal would be all the Intervals being the same pace: if you can't achieve the same pace on the last one then your pace is too fast, if you can go much faster then your first ones are not fast enough. 

For threshold running, you want to warm up then run at a pace that is "comfortably hard", steadily for 10-20 minutes. At the proper pace you should be able to speak, but not in complete sentences: just 3-4 words between breaths. 

Clint

In total agreement with cpa_pfs regarding building distance to build speed.

We usually tell local newbie runners in our club not to even bother with a great deal or intervals or pace work until they can run comfortably for at least 3 miles.

Speed work without endurance will get you nowhere.

Original Post by backinthenines:

In total agreement with cpa_pfs regarding building distance to build speed.

We usually tell local newbie runners in our club not to even bother with a great deal or intervals or pace work until they can run comfortably for at least 3 miles.

Speed work without endurance will get you nowhere.

Hey, I said that first! :)


Clint

Original Post by pbear999:

Original Post by backinthenines:

In total agreement with cpa_pfs regarding building distance to build speed.

We usually tell local newbie runners in our club not to even bother with a great deal or intervals or pace work until they can run comfortably for at least 3 miles.

Speed work without endurance will get you nowhere.

Hey, I said that first! :)


Clint

Teh wisebear :-)  On shorter races, you can trade endurance for speed, if you have the endurance in the bank, but for optimal short course, you need to be doing intervals and tempo runs.  Plug your 2 mile time into a VDOT calculator and see at what paces you should be training at to improve.

Thanks everyone!  I'm so glad I asked instead of just doing the speed work I was told to do.  I am definately a newbie runner as I have never trained to run, more used running as a break from other training, so I was pretty clueless - but not anymore!!

Original Post by pbear999:

I would say slower than you think. :) 

Try this link.  The Runner's World website has a lot of information on it, including training for different length races, although most will be longer than 2 miles. 

Love, love, love that link! thanks!

I agree what others have said so far...adding a mile or two and running slower.  it may sound weird to run slower to run faster, but it really makes all of the difference in the world.  It is much better to end strong than to start strong and crawl to the finish.  When you start off, you feel like you can go really fast, but because you aren't warmed up yet, you will pitter off.  Try keeping a controlled, steady, pace (where you could hold a simple conversation but cannot keep breath enough to continuously talk).  The last mile try to go a bit faster, and once you can see the finish line put in your all.  You will feel a lot better and more accomplished finishing strong.

I understand your worries about shin splints.  I had them last year and started feeling pain again after the snow melted and I was able to put in more miles.  Make sure that you add cross training (bike, swimming, elliptical, weights, or walking) at least once a week.  This will help keep you injury free.

Good luck and have fun!!

 

www.minegoes2-11.blogspot.com

It kind of depends what your goals are.  If you want to be a 1500m track runner we'd give you different advice than if you say you want to be an endurance runner.

I would maintain that if you're very new to running you probably haven't even yet developed the muscular-skelletal strength to sustain proper pace work, so I'd still keep it gentle, run 3 or 4 days a week whereby you build one run to develop into an LSR (long slow run) which you extend by 10% max a week in distance.  Once you've run for a good 4-6 months you can start the more advanced stuff like fartlek and hill reps etc.

Original Post by backinthenines:

I would maintain that if you're very new to running you probably haven't even yet developed the muscular-skelletal strength to sustain proper pace work...

A good solid base is not to be underestimated...

The other side of the coin is that it is equally important to do "pace" work at your current ability.  I wouldn't go out and do 20% of my workouts at interval pace.  Nor would I go out and do 5% of my workouts at an interval pace that isn't right for me.

By training smart, at your current abilities, anybody can do pace work and build from there....

I agree with pbear that there is too much of a difference between your one mile and two mile paces. If you use Galloways predictions via:

http://jeffgalloway.com/resources/gallracepre dict.html

You should be able to run a 5 K race at around 8:30 min/mile if you can do a single mile in 7:53. 

To me that means that you just need more endurance, not any more leg speed.

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