Today’s total was about 5 miles. The middle 2.6 miles was a tempo run. I averaged around 7:40 pace for the tempo section.
Here’s the workout: I gave the team a set course to run – repeats on a 1.9 mile loop on our trails. Guys were to run 30 minutes, girls 20 minutes. We did this same workout last Tuesday, and their goal today was to get further than last time (and most did!). I struggled in the middle but finished strong.
Tempo workouts are so important if you are looking to add speed and strength to your running. It not only trains your body to run faster for a sustained time, but it is also an excellent opportunity to train your mind to stay engaged and focused – which you have to do to push yourself to the “edge” (the place were you know you are working as hard as you can but not working so hard that you crash and burn before you finish). African runners swear by tempo workouts and claim that it is these workouts that enable them to kick all white people’s tails. Many of the top American runners are seeking to implement this strategy into their own running. It seems like it is beginning to work. The key is to run consistent for the entire time. To run consistent for a prolonged period, you feel like you are running harder as the workout progress because to maintain the same speed requires more effort the longer you go. A key to doing this is keeping your mind engaged – if you tune out or think about how tired you are, you slow down. Often this happens unconsciously. I definitely struggled with that today – I tuned out and slowed down in the middle. I did redeem it a bit and finished strong.
And for the record, the past 2 days have made my legs S O R E. I love it though :) I was impressed with how many ankle handled the trails. As long as I don’t bend my foot to the right in a certain way I’m fine!