Daily Run: Tempo Redemption

January 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Posted in Daily Run | 15 Comments

Time of Day: 5:50 AM

Weather: 37* but I arrived home sweaty because there was no wind.

Duration: 44 minutes 5 seconds

Distance: 6 miles with 10 minutes tempo in the middle

Average Pace: 7:21/mile: 2.76 miles at 7:39; 1.52 miles (10 min) at 6:37; 1.72 miles at 7:31

Average Heart Rate: 165 bpm

Notes: My training plan contains a tempo run on most Thursdays, although sometimes it has a medium-long run in the middle of the week instead. The makers of this training plan are being kind and giving me an easy tempo run for the first week; just 10 minutes in the middle of a 4-6 mile run. Very nice, considering my legs are still sore from Tuesday’s intervals.

Marathon tempo pace is 10 seconds per mile slower than goal race pace. The McMillan Calculator gives me a goal race pace of 6:56, but I’m not completely insane actually planning on running a 3:01 marathon. I’m aiming for around a 3:10, which is a 7:14 pace and much more manageable. For my tempo runs, I’ve decided to compromise between McMillan and Reality and try to run between 7:10 and 7:20 per mile.

My legs hurt before I started running this morning, so I headed out slowly and decided to run only 4-5 miles. But…my legs warmed up quickly and I hit my 10 minute tempo and loved it, deciding to extend my run to the full 6 miles because running is so much fun, oh boy! I arrived home a full 2 minutes and 30 seconds earlier than yesterday’s 6-miler and reviewed my Garmin…6:37 pace for the 10 minutes of tempo!? That’s not tempo! I can’t hold that for 26.2 miles! In fact, I’m fairly sure I missed the point of this workout, which is to get used to running a specific pace. I’m not sure whether to be annoyed because I did the workout incorrectly or pleased. I’m going with pleased, or absolutely delighted.

Besides, there will be plenty of time to slow down my tempo pace when I have to hold it for 40 minutes, right?

My legs don’t feel nearly as good at my desk as they did during my tempo run. Poor things, this is their first week of speed in a while and I’m going to the gym after work and will finally begin the leg exercises that I will be incorporating into my strength training plan on a regular basis. The exercises aren’t very hardcore, but they’re new, and my legs are not adventurous creatures. And tomorrow I might put them through an elliptical workout and my quads will probably mutiny. Such is life, Leggies, you’ll thank me in the end.



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  1. tough week with intervals and tempo in 3 days!!!!! 🙂 i think you are doing great, and that’s awesome about surpassing your goal pace i think you have plenty of time to figure out if you can maintain it for 40+ min and hey who knows maybe you’ll build up to that being your actual goal pace!!!! awesome!! 🙂 i always laugh at parts of your posts, just the way you say things is hilarious. def appreciate the humor 🙂

  2. I am so jealous that you are running (and THAT fast!!!). Also, how is your HR in the 160s with this pace? I run SO much slower and its always reaching the 180s!!
    Sorry, you can so tell I haven;t been running in a while and its FRUSTRATING!

  3. awesome job!!! i say be absolutely delighted 🙂

  4. nice run jess!

    i don’t have the heart rate monitor for my garmin… do you think it is worth me spending the 60 bucks? i have a really nice polar hr monitor but i’m not going to wear two watches during a run. that’d be hilarious.

  5. Moran: I think your HR will go down after you’ve been running for longer. Hope your foot heals soon!

    Matt: The jury is still out on the HR monitor. I like it, but I’m not sure if I would spend $60 on it. I got it as a gift, so I didn’t have to 🙂

  6. you are so talented! that is amazing. awesome run!

  7. Aww, poor Leggies 🙂 I like that name.

    To answer your question about Barney Butter, I really don’t think it’s that much better. I was lucky enough to get a free jar during my blogger meet up last week – but usually when I get almond butter, I buy Maranatha, too. They have huge jars of it at Costco!

  8. Although I will add that this particular jar of crunchy is really starting to grow on me! Barney Butter is a lot sweeter, too, so if you have a sweet tooth you’ll love it.

  9. tempo runs are great. i do them with music around the pace that i should be going and it makes steady breathing a lot easier. these are def. the kind of workouts that bring you to the next level!

  10. Great job. I love that feeling.

  11. I found this interesting: “37* but I arrived home sweaty because there was no wind.”
    Maybe I’m just a sweaty girl, but I always sweat! I ran when it was 18* at home over Christmas break and I sweated. Please tell me there’s nothing wrong with me!

  12. i definitely vote for “delighted”! some tempo days are harder, some are right on, and some are even faster. you’ll find your ‘zone’ soon enough, although i wouldn’t doubt it if it turns out this is your natural tempo pace. you are fast!

  13. Justy2003: I’m sure if you bundled up for that 18* weather (I sure would!) then you would definitely end up getting sweaty. Nothing wrong with you 🙂

  14. Hooray for your inaugural marathon tempo run. I have definitely had to compromise my pace (er, become more realistic, that is) as my tempo runs have increased in duration…McMillan prescribes a pace for me that is do-able for about 2 miles max. So not tempo.

  15. […] as a refresher, last time I did a tempo run I decided that my marathon tempo is between 7:10 and 7:20 per mile. Last time I ran at 6:37 pace, […]

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