My reading speed has gone up tremendously. I suddenly made a huge leap from sounding out every little letter to reading in a much more natural way. I'm sure I'm not pronouncing everything 100% correctly, and I'm still far slower then when reading English, but it's been pretty amazing. It was almost an overnight thing! I wonder if my brain has gone through the same process children do when they begin to read! All of a sudden it clicks, and your brain is able to put together the words without having to sound out each letter sound. I'm still on the beginner readers, but I was so excited when I read a page through without stopping!
I have a Russian version of Alice in Wonderland waiting to be read!
I believe the two things that have really helped me are, listening to lots of Russian, and using memrise.
Memrise has really forced me to write in Russian (I really don't enjoy it!), and therefore I've become more familiar with spelling patterns, which letters are often together and when vowels changed their sounds. The combination (and repetition) of seeing the written word, and hearing it at the same time has been great for me. I find that the words on memrise that don't have a spoken version are much harder to remember.
Also listening to Russian (I can't emphasise this enough!), as you get to hear the words spoken at a normal speed and you ear becomes far more attuned to it. This is why I also improved when I went to Russia, my reading speed and speech improved even though I was only there 9 days. In my Russian class the following week my tutor could really tell the difference. Unfortunately, because I didn't keep this up my level dropped back down again...but I'm definitely starting to see a real improvement again now! :)