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I am a triathlete who is looking to improve my running pace. I am a fairly strong biker and an adequate swimmer, but feel like my running is not up to par with the other two diciplines. I tend to beat alot of my friends on the bike only to watch them pass me on the run. I am planning on running the ING Miami Marathon in January 08. I am looking to not only get a good base for triathlon season, but actually start improving my running pace. I have done one other stand alone marathon in Tampa a year ago and ran a 3:44, running around an 8:15 pace before water stops etc. I have done two other marathons during the course of Ironman races, but there was no emphasis on pace, just survival. I would like to 'approach' 3:30. For my marathon in Tampa I used the Hal higdon Intermediate 1 plan and was very happy with my results (was just looking to get under 4:00). I started out on his Intermediate 2 plan this year, but there is no speedwork on either plan except for one 'pace' day a week. I didnt do the advanced 1 because I cannot schedule 6 running days in my life right now. I feel good aerobically, but I do not feel like I am getting faster. How critical is speedwork and are there any good 5 day plans out there that incorporate this? Any other suggestions improving pace would be appreciated.
I'd say long tempo runs would do the most to help you. But what you need is guidance to build your own work-out plan. Try picking up a copy of "Daniels's Running Formula" by Jack Daniels, PhD. It is the one book I've found that offers the theory and "how-to" behind building a training schedule. It also goes into the physiological reasons for the various training techniques and when they're applicable.