I have to say that I'm excited to find my speed workouts are actually helping to make me faster. I was running 9 minute miles (or just a little under) and I was getting frustrated. When I was training last summer for the half marathon, my speed was closer to 8:30 miles. So I decided to push myself.
Last Saturday, I did what's called a magic mile. I went to the UVA track and warmed up with 2 laps. Then I ran 4 laps really pushing myself. I managed to run them in 7:18. Then I rounded out the workout with 6 more laps for a total of 3 miles. I was proud of my time (assuming my stopwatch is right).
Then I had to run one of my workouts on the treadmill since it was dark out at the time I could fit in my run. I hate running on the treadmill, so to keep it interesting I ran a half mile at 6.5 mph and increased the speed by .1 every 2 minutes until 7.5. I kept it at that speed until 3 miles, then increased by .1 every 2 minutes until the last half mile which I ran at 6.5 (total of 4 miles).
After all that work, this week's long run (8 miles) was run at an average pace of 7:49 (if the MapMyRun app got it right)! I'm pleased with the signs of improvement!