Updated: May 6
To get faster one must train faster. Why is there so much hate for doing speed work for some runners. Running long runs all the time is not going to get you faster. It will allow your to run longer and will develop your aerobic base no doubt. But to get over to the sub whatever timezones that you have been stuck at for every, you are going to have to take your training to the next level with at least two days of speed work a week. Is it going to hurt? Yes! Are you going to have a hard time catching your breath and breathing? Yes! Are you going to see improvements in your conditioning and races? Yes!
So don’t worry about how you start off. Start off with a benchmark base run to see where your are. Then you build upon that. Don‘t base it on anyone else’s because everyones‘ conditioning and base are different. Compare you against you. Now to help you improve, run intervals/speed work in a group or with another person. It‘s always good to have someone push and/or pull your through it all.