Category Archives: tempo

just a bit

I had said I wasn’t going to start tempo or speed workouts until August, but I just couldn’t help myself!  I did just a bit – just enough to get me wanting more!  The husband has had a crazy work schedule this week (working 8pm-3am, then all day, then again the following night waking up to go in at 2am to stay all day – yes, crazy!) and he did another of those shifts last night of going in at 1:30am and was due home around 9am.  It would be too hot at that point to run outside, plus I knew he needed a nap. So today’s 7 mile run is planned for tomorrow and I went to the gym to get in a 40 min elliptical workout.  Well, the treadmills were calling my name when I finished!  So I jumped on for a quick 2 mile run – starting normal and dropping done to 6:45 pace.  I hadn’t run that fast since June, and it felt oh so good!  It also felt like oh wow I have some work to do!

My training plan is set, starting August 12.  So I may throw in a bit more of things like today until then, just to keep waking up my legs!

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Filed under marathon training, running, tempo, that feeling

new type of workout

I called my brother last night to get some inspiration on a good speed/tempo workout.  I could give you tons of workouts that are great for getting ready for a 5K-8K (from coaching for 5 years) but longer distance hard workouts are new to me.  In the past, when training for marathons in 2008 and half marathons in 2010, I basically just ran a lot – I ran hard if I felt good, easy if I felt not good.  I am seeking to train with more distinct purpose right now and to have 1 speed/tempo workout a week.  I’m thinking/hoping this will help me achieve the PRs I am aiming for over the next few years.

He talked about “progressive” runs, which I have been reading about and seem to be spot on as far as target/specific training for longer races.  A modified version is a “half workout” (I think he had a fancier name for it but I can’t remember!)  Basically, you do your normal mid-week distance, and then add on half the distance at the end, shooting for half marathon pace (or somewhere between full and half pace).  The purpose of workouts like this is to teach your body to run hard when tired.

So for me, 5 miles is a pretty standard mid-week distance.  So I ran 5 miles at a normal pace – not too hard, not too easy.  I then tacked on 2.5 miles with the goal of half marathon pace (7 min/miles).  I was a bit slower (7:30/miles) but all in all it was good for my 1st attempt.  And not bad to get a 7.5 mile run in mid week!

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Filed under running, tempo

tempo run

I did my 1st tempo run this morning since October 19. Almost 2 months ago!  It was short, and nothing spectacular, but at least I did it!  I warmed up 1 mile, tempoed 2 miles in 15:08, and cooled down 1 mile.

Baby steps :)

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Filed under running, tempo

that good kindof sore

For the past few years in my running, I have not been overly intentional.  When training for the marathons in 2008 I was intentional with distance, especially my Saturday long runs.  Yet not intentional with pace, tempo runs, etc.  I mostly ran comfortably.  If I felt good, I’d run a bit harder but not too hard.  That’s not a bad thing.  For injury prevention and long term durability, that’s a good thing.

Yet for this season, I am seeking to change that.  I want to be intentional in doing a tempo run each week, and a speed workout some weeks, and a Saturday long run.  This was week #1 with that formula.

After Sunday’s 10 miler and an easy 4 on Monday, I ran a tempo run on Tuesday. I really fought to push it, especially as the run went on and I was feeling it. I ran 4.27 tempo at a 6:48 pace.  Nice! I was pysched.

Wednesday was a planned day off (which ended up being perfect because we had a serious downpour ALL DAY LONG).

Thursday, I did 6 x 1/2 mile repeats around our block.  I averaged right around a 6 min pace for those.  I slowed more than I wanted in my last few but I was happy with the workout.

Friday, I had planned to run an easy 3, but totally forgot as we planned a picnic at the beach for dinner.

This morning, I ran 12 miles, right around a 7:30 pace.  My legs felt sore the whole time. I do think an easy run yesterday would have been smart but oh well – beach is way better!

I’m achy, but happy now :)

I’m running a local 5K next Saturday, so I’m going to go a bit easier this week because I REALLY want to beat my post college PR (19:56)

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Filed under long runs, plan / weekly recaps, repeats, speed work, tempo

tempo run

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!

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Filed under coaching, tempo