The idiom pick it up the pace means to increase tempo. I need to describe a specific rate of doing thing that is being increased. For instance:

You could start out with one training a week, and then pick it up the pace up to 3 times a week.

I'm not sure if the usage pick it up the pace up to sth is correct. In the dictionary I referenced to above, there was an example describing the fact of increasing speed rate, without specifying a concrete speed.

  • There's no "it" in the idiom you're quoting. Even in the link, the idiom is simply "Pick up the pace". There is certainly an idiom that reads "Pick it up"... but it seems that you've smashed the two together here. – Catija Aug 31 '15 at 3:43
  • @Catija You're right. I thought that if pick it up means to increase speed of doing some excercise then we could also just append the pace to it and get a correct expression. It's not true? – Dmitrii Bundin Aug 31 '15 at 3:52
  • @Catija BTW, what about specifying the increased rate? As far as I understood, pick up is generally used to just indicate that the tempo's increased, without specifying that tempo. – Dmitrii Bundin Aug 31 '15 at 3:53
  • Nope. It sounds really odd like that. In some uses, "pick it up" and "pick up the pace" mean the same thing, really. So "the pace" isn't necessary. – Catija Aug 31 '15 at 3:53
  • 1
    Yep, that sentence sounds fine... though I'd personally use "You'd better pick up the pace if you want to finish it by the end of this month" It's odd how, as a native speaker, there are slight preferences... someone else could tell you something completely different, though. – Catija Aug 31 '15 at 4:07

You've mashed together two different phrases in your question:

Pick it up

  1. to move, work, etc., at a faster rate.

And, as you show in your question "Pick up the pace"

to speed up the tempo; to increase the rate that something is being done.

These two phrases mean about the same thing.

It would not be acceptable to combine the two phrases the way you have:

*pick it up the pace (bad)

That being said, in your example, it would be understandable for you to use "pick up the pace":

You could start out with one training a week, and then pick up the pace to 3 times a week.

You're right that "pace" usually refers to the tempo or speed of something but it's acceptable to use it to increase frequency as well.

Here's a quote from an article:

In terms of future expansion, McVeigh said: “We did two last year. I’m hoping to do two this year and pick up the pace to three to four the following year. We would like to get to 10 by the end of 2014.”

If you're worried about this, you could also use "frequency":

You could start out with one training a week, and then increase your frequency to 3 times a week.

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