I joined a distance track clinic at MTSU (also my alma mater). For $75, we get a weekly clinic and workout with the distance coach for nine weeks, a long-sleeve tech shirt and the freedom to get advice from the coach at any time. I also got an awesome discount on some running shoes through the coach's connections.
It's been really fun the past 5 sessions. I try to do some speedwork as part of my marathon training anyways, and it's super awesome to get to go do it with other people and a coach! It's also been bringing back high school memories since I haven't done much running on a track since those days!
I can't say that the information has been new. I have been into distance running for a while and read a ton about it on my own, but it's always nice to hear what a distance coach thinks about all of the information that's out there. Last night, he shared a ton of great info on core exercises, and I left feeling inspired to try to do a better job of working on my core.
The biggest advantage I've found so far is that I push myself harder when I'm out there on the track running with other people... and with someone watching. Last week we did 6x800, and I ran all of them with a 8:00 pace. That's kind of fast for me. Last night, he had us do 20 minutes at tempo, so I ran about a 9:00 pace. Then he wanted us to run a hard mile, and I ran mine in 7:20. DANG!
I think it's been helping me to improve a bit on my speed, and I can't complain about that. I hope that I can continue to stay on top of doing these kinds of workouts even after the clinic is over.
I share all this to say that if something like this is ever offered in your area, I would definitely suggest taking advantage of it! I think everyone gets different things out of such a clinic, but I know that I'm finding it to be a really great part of my marathon training. I guess a big part of it is that it helps me to make sure I don't blow off my speed work - I paid for the clinic, so you better believe I'm not going to skip it!