Since I started in this sport, about 4 years ago, I've been sort of a weekend warrior. I've always done *just enough* training to be able to complete my distances. I've done slow sprints, slow olympics, a slow half, and a very slow ironman. Up until this season, I've been okay with this, however, next year, I'm ready to start getting fast.
In running, I've always done the Joe Friel, slow run, low heartrate thing. I've never (aside from the last month or so) done any serious intensity training. And I've always run somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-11 minute miles.
To be honest, I've always neglected my runs. Even training for CdA, I did my long run every week for sure, usually did a shorter run (via a brick) with a little more speed in there (not much) and almost never did a 3rd run in the week.
So I was in Salt Lake Running the other day, and I'm talking to this kid, who is, in his words "one of the top marathoners in the state." okay, that's cool, so I ask him about building speed, and tell him I've always been pretty slow, and want to get in the 7:30-8:00 pace for a half. He says, forget intensity, and do 90% of your runs at conversational, and do longer runs like 2-3 90 minute runs per week.
Now this sounds nice, right? Conversational runs are enjoyable, you can look around at the mountains or whatever. I could do this type of training, but I feel like I've already done that. Mind you, not as long every time (that's like 30 mile weeks, which I haven't done) and not so consistently, so he might have something.
The thing is, since I've started adding intensity, I cut 30 seconds per mile off my olympic distance (yesterday had a PR run 59 minutes at Bear Lake).
What does the Internet think about this? Please enlighten me with how you (or anyone you know) went from a slow 11:00 pacer to a fast 7:00 pacer. Reveal your secrets oh internet.
P.S. Trifuel is awesome, nice work Tribro.