We all work on our speed as best we can. For the endurance athelete this may not amount to much but throwing in solid tempo and interval training can be extremely beneficial come race day.
One of the secrets I use to hold a faster than normal pace at the end of a long workout, is to finish on a long gradual downhill. Is that cheating? Not at all. Unless someone is bringing you to the top of the incline you earned the descent. But by lining up the decline during a time in your run that you might be struggling to keep pace, it allows you to push a bit harder on the turnover thus holding your pace more effectively.
I live in a very hilly area and there are a number of different ‘courses’ that I will explore. Some are a long 2 or 3 mile uphill, others are a more steep but shorter route. Depending on the goals of the workout depends which direction I take. One thing I do try to avoid though is ‘wasted descent’. This is running down hills so steep you have to put the brakes on a bit and can not go full throttle. These types of hills are better to run up, to gain the strength than they are to run down.
So on your next long run, when you need an extra boost, try to time it so you hit the hardest sections alongside a nice mild downhill.