1. set/increase the speed or standard of sth, increase productivity
pick up the pace of work/production
When you ‘set the pace’ you are responsible for maintaining a speed of movement or productivity for others to keep up with during a race or in an activity. If you need to ‘pick up the pace’ or ‘pick up speed’ you need to increase your rate of productivity or movement. When you ‘pick up speed’ it can also mean to gain momentum in a vehicle or on a bicycle for example due to the terrain you are travelling on or due to being on a slope or the direction of the wind. You will often hear these expressions used to talk about sports or racing as well as in a professional or manufacturing context.