Part of my current Triathlon training involves seriously working on my running. When I started in May 30 seconds of running would have doomed me for days, leaving me wheezing and out of breath and muscles twitching like crazy. I am not exaggerating, it was that bad. But this is now, I can run 40 minutes for 2.5 miles. Granted I won’t come close to breaking a turtle’s speed record, but I have plans that I am working on to improve this, as I have mentioned previously.
Part of that plan is to do a tempo workout once a week. A tempo run is basically a run that is 30 seconds slower than race pace. If you think in terms of exertion on a 1-10 scale, race pace is a 8-9 while a normal run is closer to a 5-6. A tempo run should be a 7 pace or just pass difficulty to carry on a conversation. From what I have seen most people do something like a mile of regular pace, mile tempo pace and mile of regular pace for their workouts. Well, I have only recently gone above 2 miles so I decided I would try mine on a shorter scale. I figured a 1/4 mile at regular, 1/4 to 1/2 at tempo and then finish off at regular would work and give me some of the advantages.
This worked fine on the normal 1/2 mile circular course I like to use, but when I switched to my slightly hilly course it was a nightmare. I ended up doing a minute to two minute medium intensity interval sets. I honestly don’t think this was terrible, as my longest one lasted over 5 minutes and my rest was usually shorter than two minutes in between. This really might not be a terrible modification to a traditional tempo run.
Of course it really was a result of the fact I could not find a comfortable pace. I usually start my run a little eager and go faster than my 16.30 pace, but quickly slow down and get into a sustainable pace. I just was not easily hitting that yesterday and found myself all over the place. I wanted to get to around 15.58 to around 16 flat, but was never able to get there comfortably. I still worked through 2 miles trying to get as many medium intensity intervals in for as long as possible.
In the end, it did not feel like a bad or terrible workout, just not what I had planned. Til next time…