Now let's be honest. Who hasn't said at least once recently "I'd like to see if I can get faster". I have read a number of books and articles about this topic and things can get a little confusing. Should I go to the track and do 400's or 200's? Perhaps I need to increase my cadence when I run aka my number of strides per minute. There's an article by former U.S. Olympian marathoner, Ed Eyestone about doing just that in the September 2011 edition of Runner's World. Some say do hill workouts for a period of time because they're like "intervals in disguise". I do pickups on some of my 5 mile loops because it allows me to do some faster running without going to the track. I typically do a 1-3-5-3-1-2-2 Fartlek circuit, where I warm up with about 4-5 minutes of easy running and then 1 minute fast followed by 1 minute easy. I repeat this process but increase the fast time to 3 and 5 minutes before backing down the fast times 3, 1, 2, and 2. This fits in perfectly with my 5 mile courses. In Hal Higdon's Book entitled "RUNFAST", he talks about doing flexibility drills to improve speed like 1) high knees and 2) fast feet to improve. High knees requires you to run in place, gradually moving forward while lifting your kness high and landing on the balls of your feet. Fast feet requires a similar motion as high knees except you try to move your feet very fast without the high knee lift.
If you have been looking for ideas how to get faster, try using one or more of these techniques. Let me know what works or doesn't work for you. Just remember that speed training will tire you out so work in easier runs or rest periods after doing these sessions.