Thanks for your reply Hadd,
Your advice is great and I can really relate to the person you gave as an example. I sort of reached a level in races and actually got worse. Last July I did a 5k in 17.24, then in Sept did one in 17.55. Between these two races my training consisted of what I do now (pace of run's), tempo run's (way too hard, sometimes felt like a race) and intervals. I guess I felt like the way to improve was to work very hard. I felt that my easy run's were easy but the effort level must have been too hard (is this right?). I have used a HR monitor in the past but found them very inconistent, i.e. one day run 8 miles at 135 - 140 (7.45m/m), next day run 8 miles at 7.45m/m and HR 150. So I kind of gave up on it. Could you comment on the difference between a HR monitor and taking you HR yourself (15 sec x 4)?
I went for a run today (on treadmill, 1% incline, because the weather where I live was horrible today) and ran easier than I normally do. I decided to do this rather than test my existing easy run pace like you suggested. I took your advice and relized that my easy run's are too hard so no need to test that. I started out at 8.36m/m for 15 min. Took pulse and it was 104. I then ran for 60 min at 8.06m/m. Took pulse after 30 min, was 128 and at end, was 132. The treadmill had a HR monitor built in and I also checked it myself (counted 15 sec x 4). The run felt good but not real easy as a thought. I sometimes find it more difficult to run on a treadmill than outside. I will work on your advice for the next 6 weeks and than contact you. If you could please comment on my above run just to make sure I am at the right effort level.
Thanks for your help