There are plenty of articles about how to get fast. Do intervals, fartlek workout, go on the track. These are all the solutions promoted by usual training programs. If you are a trail dude and just enjoy running in the nature, these activities might sound very boring and makes you feel like a hamster on a wheel. This is my case: I run to explore, to connect with the nature, the community and I cannot to stay isolated in the same space for hours. I also do that during my job and I need to get some air and see something nice, not a boring track where I do loops.
Some months ago, a fellow runner gave me an advice: if you want to get fast, just cut the fat off your butt. You can check if this is legit easily: first, run with a 10 pounds bagpack and pace yourself. Then, remove the bagpack, run the same route and pace yourself again. See the difference. Are you running faster without the bagpack? If yes, you might just consider to get some fat off your body.
I had the opportunity to test these principles during the last weeks. One month ago, I started to follow a better diet. In a nutshell: reduction of alcohol, strict vegetarian diet and no more diet coke (just water). Within a month, I lost 10 pounds and cut my usual pace from 0830 min/mile to 0800min/mile. No specific training: the same route, time, shoes and gears. During my last marathon, I ran a 0804 min/mile pace while being sick. The pace has been consistent as well all over the race.
On another note, these changes impact my life in many other ways: better sleep (less caffeine), less digestion issues when running and more energy overall. For sure, there are many ways to get faster but in case you also consider trails as boring, you might consider such an approach: convenient, no specific effort is required, it is pretty easy and there is obviously no reason why it would not work (please try to run with 10 pounds on your back before arguing). The downside is not to lose too much, which will then impact your performance or even your ability to run. But as usual, this is a matter of balance: adopt good diet, stay healthy to do what you love.