August 7, 2014

The Tempo Runs

What's the difference between a speed workout and a tempo run? I'm sure I should probably google it but those have been my runs this week - one speed, and one tempo. Tempo seems to alternate between race pace and "steady" pace (whatever that means) for 1 mile at a time, and speed seemed to be a shorter sprint with little recovery jogs inbetween. I guess that makes sense?

The speed run on Tuesday called for the following, with .25 mile recovery jogs in between.

1 mile warm up
1 mile- 10k pace (8 min mi)
.75 mi - 10k pace (8 min mi)
.5 mi - 5k pace (7'30'' min mi)
.25 mi - 5k pace (7'30'' min mi) 
.75 mile cool down

So, I'm still working on finding my true 10K pace - but my best pace ever for a 10K distance was during an 8 mile training run, so I based it off that (my average pace was 8'06" during that run) so I figured that was a good goal to set.

Well, my first "fast" mile ended up being average 7'55" (fastest at 7'34"!) - about 10 seconds faster than I wanted to be, and it ultimately killed the rest of my workout. I was so winded by the end of it, .25 recovery miles wasn't enough... I slowed down to about a 10'30" pace. Ugh. I tried again to run around 8'06" for my .75 mile segment, only to peak even faster (7'19", woohoo downhills!) and further screw myself for the rest of the workout.

I essentially did the workout backwards - I should have been a little slower at the beginning, to fly at the end when I was supposed to be doing 7'30" (or 5K pace) splits. I'm sure I could have done the workout as it was intended, but sometimes I just have no concept of my pace, and Nike isn't really that great at telling me what my pace is while I'm running it. Maybe I should get a Garmin...?

So, I attempted to run 7'30" for my 5K paces (.5 mile and .25 mile segments), but I was so tired that I could only muster peaking at 7'42" for the briefest of moments, and I mainly hovered a little faster than a 9 minute mile for the rest of the half mile segment.

The last segment, the tiny orange color midst that sea of red, which was supposed to be my fastest, ended up only peaking for a brief second around 8'53" before plummeting back down to almost a 10 minute mile.

Lesson learned!

This morning, I knew I had to knock out a 9 mile tempo run, so I got up early so I would have enough time to go to a Restore Yoga class at 9:30. The workout would look like this:

1.5 mile - warm up
1.5-2.5 - half marathon pace (8'50")
2.5-3.5 - steady pace
repeat, and alternate between half marathon and steady pace, in 1 mile increments, until:

7.5-9 mile - cool down

The average pace by mile picture doesn't really work in this case, so I looked at to see what my paces looked like when I was sprinting:

So, all those green tops? Those were my mile splits - all around the same speed, and all around 8'20"! That was better than I was hoping for - my PR half marathon pace time is 8'52", so I was aiming for around that.

I wasn't really sure what "steady pace" meant - just, my normal pace? That varies every day, so as you can see I tried to kind of keep around the 9'30" mark for my "steady paces", but soon got tired from all the energy I was exerting on the sprints, so I dropped back down to well past 11 minute miles as it got to the end there.

I tacked on another little half mile split before I started the cool down, since technically I was running at a "steady pace" for miles 6.5-7.5 and didn't want the whole rest of the workout to be so slow.

I mean, I'll take what I can get - I haven't done speed in a really long time, and lately all my workouts have felt really slow - so this was a nice change of..pace. Hah. Hah. I'm hilarious.

Nerdy running post, ftw!

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