I recently started running again after a several-year hiatus. Most of my running so far has been on a treadmill indoors, because the weather has been bad, so I have relatively solid data for my progress so far. I've worked up from a 12-minute mile pace for 20 minutes to around 9 minutes per mile for the same 20 minutes.

Then I bought some minimalist running shoes, and have knocked my runs down to 10 minutes (and increasing my pace to almost 8 minutes per mile) this week so as not to overdo it. I'm now at a sort of critical junction in my training I think.

I'm training for the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back in June. My position has 3, 7, and 4 mile legs, the last of which climbs about 1600 feet.

I used to run a lot, and I did the Army Ten-Miler in 68 minutes, but that was 13 years ago, and for the last 4 or 5 years I haven't run much at all. Is it realistic to think I can both increase my average pace and at the same time increase my mileage to be ready for the race by June 17? I ask because I'd like to get my pace to 8 or less minutes per mile if possible, but with only 9 weeks I'm not sure I can do this and still build up the serious mileage and time I'll need to be properly conditioned for the race.

  • I feel your pain! I want to get back to my longer distance running, but not sure how to increase my intensity the right way
    – Ivo Flipse
    Apr 9, 2011 at 9:47

2 Answers 2


You can probably increase your pace for the 3 and 4 mile legs, but hitting an 8 mile pace for the 7 mile leg I would consider and accomplishment.

The fastest way to increase your conditioning and pace is to incorporate interval training into your runs. It can be done on a treadmill, but you should really get out and run outside if that's where you're race will be.

Do some sprint intervals where you sprint 20-30 seconds every 2-5 minutes. Do some long intervals where you run a strong pace for 3-5 minutes every 10 minutes. Do hill intervals where you drive up the hill, then jog or walk back down.

I suggest doing 3 of these types of workouts per week. Combine the interval workouts with with 2 easy runs per week, one paced long run for distance, and an off day.


7 miles at a 9 minute pace is 63:00 minutes.

Are you running just 20 minutes at time or doing more than described in your question?

Being a very 'new' runner again, you should worry about increasing time spent running and increases in pace will follow.

You have to build up an aerobic engine.

  • I was running 20 minutes, 3 times per week, and 30 on Saturday. I was about to bump to 30x3 + 40 when I bought my minimalist shoes. To prevent injury I dropped to 10x3 + 12. Once I get accustomed to that and can do it without soreness I'll bump to 12x3 + 15 and start increasing the time by 2-4 minutes MWF and 5 on Saturdays.
    – alesplin
    Apr 14, 2011 at 16:37
  • Getting used to the minimalist shoes is the smart way to do it. Bumping up by 5 or so has you at about 45-50 minutes by June. It may help to add in another day when you hit the 25/30 minute mark. It'll give you more time on your feet and help with conditioning. Listen to your body and don't build if you've got residual soreness.
    – RunSC
    Apr 14, 2011 at 16:40

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