Tempo-runs are typically something I tackle alone; I have a Target pace and a go-get-it mentality. I tuck in my earbuds, choose my “fast” songs, warm-up easy and then pick it up for each consecutive mile.
This morning, I did things a little differently. The end result was a faster speed, and an enjoyable run! In other words, every little change added up to a Successful run.
My current training plan advised an “8:00 min/mile” pace for 3 miles; last week my Tempo (3 miles) pace averaged 7:30, so I set that as my base. Kate was in for the challenge; she’s much faster when she wants to be, so the idea of having a “pacer” sounded interesting. And by “interesting”, I mean somewhat intimidating but okay let’s give this try!
Training is all about testing out what works, and what doesn’t. It’s your time to find out the best way to approach each run; it’s hard when those trials fail you, but when they prove successful, you’ve got legs that appreciate the variety.
Here’s what else I tried this morning, that ultimately sped up my Speedwork:
- 1 small cup of Iced coffee, pre-run (brewed the night before, chilled in the fridge)
- 1 handheld waterbottle, with me on the run
- 1 quick stretch session (quads, calves, hamstrings) between “warm up ” and “tempo”
- 3 Flat miles, with a turnaround
- No Ipod! Just good company.
Here’s how those trials translated into a great run:
Warm-up – 9:22, 8:38 (0.5)
Mile 1 – 7:21
Mile 2 – 7:24*
Mile 3 – 7:19
Cool down – 8:35, 9:11 (0.5)
*includes the turn-around.
I couldn’t be happier with how this went, and knowing that I have a good “pre-Tempo run” routine. It was immediately clear to me that having her pace was helpful; it was eventually clear that having that distraction made the miles pass quickly. Tempo-run: Successful!
What approach do you take to speedwork? We can always learn from do’s and don’ts!