Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tempo running

Tonight was first my first tempo run. If you're like I was a week ago, and don't know what that means, here's a definition from Hal Higdon's site:

Tempo Runs: This is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two. I consider Tempo Runs to be the "Thinking Runner's Workout." A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise. Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.

Here's how I did:

If I do say so myself, I think I did a pretty good job. See how my pace picked up towards the middle, and then tapered off towards the end. Almost like I'd done it before.

Now the question is why. Although I've complained about tough runs before, this one was in a different category. Usually the only thing I have to push myself to do while running is to continue. Tonight I had to push myself to run faster, and that's another challenge.

Even though I slowed towards the end, when I finally stopped running, I could barely walk. My shins were throbbing, and it almost felt like the muscles were "humming" when I rubbed them. It was pretty stange. I feel okay now after icing them, but I had to limp home from the running path.

So what's the point? There's no way I'm going to break my half marathon PR; I'm not nearly as in good shape or as well trained as I was when I set it. So what's the sense in pushing myself?

What I've come up with is that it's good to start throwing in some more advance training techniques. I don't want to get hurt, so I probably will cut out one of the runs in the week (like tomorrow's!), but I like the idea of getting my body used to speedwork and tempo runs. I don't think it will pay off in this half marathon, but down the road, with a little more time to get into shape and train properly, I think it will make a difference. (So watch your back, Meb!)

I think this is another one of those things in life where it's not great doing it, but it's good to have done it. (For example, I hate waking up early, but I love having woken up early.) Even though it was really tough out there running, I kind of feel good about having put in a really tough workout. Having a little variety in my running is an extra bonus as well.

So tomorrow I'll rest, and plan for 5 miles on Friday. I'm pretty busy Friday so I'll have to squeeze it in sometime.


Blogger Darrell said...

Nicely done, just like a pro. Its funny that you did this run tonight. I'm using Hal's multiple marathon plan right now and tonight called for 6 at marathon pace. I did 3 in the middle. Kind of a tempo run, too.

Thursday, October 19, 2006  
Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

I've become a fan of tempo runs and speedwork. Running hard in a controlled environment is good practice for racing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006  
Blogger LeahC said...

i followed that plan and dropped like 12 minutes off a previous 1/2 marathon time. I think that the tempo runs are hugely beneficial but are also by far the hardest workouts that I have done. I agree with shoreturtle on being better at racing at the race. Perfect job on the splits too!

Thursday, October 19, 2006  

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