I've upped my mileage to the most I've ever done (I like long runs), but I've been including a couple tempo sections that seem to help make me faster (fastest APFT since running with the 10-Miler team in 2002). Since I have no troops any more, I use "courses" in MapMyRun that allow me to virtually race myself and others. It's really motivating, even when something hurts or I'm tired.
Of course, intervals and short tempo runs work, too!
How much of the long run do you do those tempo sections for? I can see that definitely helping, I've just never really tried doing that before.
For PT with my guys I'm definitely going to start doing some intervals and tempo runs, but really just any kind of running at all will probably help them out. There seems to be a bit of an institutional dislike of running that I hope I can help change.
Well, it depends on how I feel. That's a good question - I'm not really sure what "right" looks like here, I've just figured that any fast running is better than none.
5.65 mile route - .7 mile flat, immediately followed by .5 mile hill climb. Often push the final mile+ in to finish. So between 1.2 and 3 miles total.
8.8 mile route - .6 mile flat, immediately followed by that same .5 mile hill climb, final push in. Sometimes I try to also do a 2 mile section early on, but that requires that I feel pretty good. Between 1.2 and 5 miles total.
When I run from the Pentagon around the Washington Monument and back (7.1 miles), it can get pretty interesting. There are tempo sections from mile 2 to finish...actually, pretty much along the whole thing if I feel like it, so sometimes this gets intense. I usually tempo at least half this route.
When I feel really froggy, I go after a PR on the route. I still kick on the tempo sections, but I try to push across the whole thing.
Since I run these 3 routes fairly regularly, it's easy to just kick the short bits if I'm hurting, or push the whole thing if I'm feeling good. I also have a sprint map drafted of the last park before returning to the Pentagon, so I use that for speed work at the end of a run when I'm feeling unmotivated and know I haven't really pushed myself.
I hear you on the institutional dislike of running. I highly recommend orienteering for PT...just take the local post map and create a score-O style race that sends people to various locations where they have to answer a question (Who is the CSM for this BN?). Put more locations out there than they can do in an hour, make teams and provide an incentive for the highest score, and perhaps they'll find they outrun their dislike of running!