The secret to running faster is to ... wait for it ... run faster.
I hung around 10 minute miles for a very long time. That was my comfortable easy pace for years. Yes, years. My mid-to-long distance race paces were in the low 9s, shorter distances in the 7s.
Then my comfortable easy pace started dropping into the 9s. No real reason. I didn't do anything in particular to get faster. My shorter distance race paces were still in the 7s, but my mid-to-long distance race paces were in the 8s. I learned how to hit goal paces in half marathons. Aimed for an 8:15 pace and ran 8:13. Aimed for 8:05 and ran 8:06. Hit my goal pace almost exactly. Twice. No easy feat over 13.1 miles.
And now my comfortable easy pace falls in the 8s. I should have ran slower over the last few months because it was the summer. Heat and humidity mean slow down. But unless it was very hot and humid, that didn't happen this summer. I brought my summertime long distance race pace down by 20 seconds per mile. Even when I went out easy and didn't pay attention to pace, I was easily in the 8s. When did that happen?
Oh. Yeah. Hi, Rhody G. Thanks for keeping me accountable.