I know that this isn't the best place to ask, but...

…what the hell. Asking this is like going to a sorority house and asking about the inner workings of a rocket, but it never hurts to ask.

Does anyone have methods that actually work for improving a run time? My method of running to build up my stamina doesn’t really seemt o be working. I’m able to complete a run without a problem, but usually not much faster than I had when I was hurting on the run. It seems like I’ve leveled off and I need to get more time off of my run, so what methods do you guys have that actually work?

Push into that hurt zone.

Yeah, usually when you continually go into the ‘hurt zone’ as luke called it, it starts getting you used to it. Just keep doing that a lot, it worked for me when I was doing the mile for gym. It dropped my time from 9 somethin to 7 somethin (eventually)

Do you run in the open air or on a treadmill? If you free run, try running on a treadmill once or twice a week. If you normally run 8 minute miles, set the treadmill to 7:30. It’s a good way to force yourself to go a little bit faster.

How do you normally run? At a steady pace? Start slower and build up? If you haven’t done so already, do sprint sessions. If you do a 30 minute run, this would mean sprinting fast every 3 minutes or so for like 30 seconds to a minute. You can start with 30 second sprints and increase the length of them over time. Then in between sprints, run at a normal or slightly slower than normal pace. Do this maybe once or twice a week as well, and you will build stamina quickly.

I’ve used a combination of these above strategies to prep myself for the half marathon, and they seem to work pretty well.

I mostly run around my neighborhood at a steady pace, the most that’ll happen is that I’ll sprinit at the end (maybe the last 1000yds or so). I’ll speed up at times, but rarely. Also, since I usually run around my neighborhood, I’ve got to stop (I’ll still jog in place) at stop lights at times.

The thing is Steve, I don’t just run a mile. I can run a mile with no problem pretty fast, it’s doing several miles that is the problem since I’ve got to pace myself. I can pretty much sprint a mile if the terrain is flat.

Luke, what exactly do you mean by “hurt zone?” There are several ways that a run can hurt and some seem better than others. It is sort of like I said in my first thing, I hurt on some runs and don’t on others, but my time remains relatively steady. Hell, right now my right knee is a little messed up (I have no clue as to why) and the most that it does is drop my time by a minute or 2 (which is usually over the course of 3 or 4 miles), or if you want to break it into mile times, it drops my 8:30 mile (average over 3 miles) to about 9:00.

Try regularly swimming and maybe taking up a wind instrument. If you improve your lung strength and oxygen capacity you’ll find it easier to run longer distances.

You can sprint a mile?

Jesus dude, I’m in twoadays for football right now, and 100 yard sprints are hard enough.

I’m afraid I don’t have any profound tips on distance running, but the treadmill idea for Zep seems good enough. If you can’t force yourself to speed up, let the treadmill make you run faster