Friday, July 24, 2009

Up Tempo

I'm getting prepared to hit the gym soon and I'm going to try a new run. I'm going to try a tempo run, something I think can have some good benefits.

A tempo run means you sustain a greater pace for a few miles or minutes, whatever you want to use. So let's say you want to run a 4-mile tempo run. The first and last miles you'd run them at a slower pace, so like a 5.8 or so on the treadmill or like a conversational pace outdoors. Then for Miles 2 and 3, you would increase the tempo, so instea of 5.8 you go up to a 7.3 or something. As long as you increase the pace and hold it there for a couple of miles or maybe like 20 minutes or more, that's the key.

I am not looking forward to it though. That's fast for me, the 7.3, and I would rather just run 5 or 6 miles or an interval but I can't do the first and just did the second. So I have no choice.

I'm blogging about it so I have to see it through. Ugh.

I guess I'll be back later to report on my progress.


What a great run! I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous about it and wasn't looking forward to it. I biked for six minutes before the run so I got my heart rate up a bit. I walked for about a minute on the treadmill before starting. I ran the first mile at a 5.8, which is a little slower than 10 minutes per mile. That's a comfortable speed for me; slow, steady, comfortable.

Then at exactly one mile, I jacked it up to 7.3, which is an 8:13 per mile pace. I suppose that would be my 10K pace, since that would be a 10K in under 50 minutes... well, then it would probably be faster than my 10K pace because I've not been able to run a 10K in under 50 minutes.

The first mile went by okay and the second mile was a little tougher but I didn't feel like I was going to hurl or anything at any point. I sort of wanted to keep going at the higher pace but I didn't want to get ahead of myself so I slowed back down to a 5.8 for the last mile, and that was pretty slow going there.

Overall, my time was a little more than 36 minutes for the entire four miles. I walked until I got to minute 40 as a cool down.

Next time - and there will be a next time - I think I'll run a little longer so the last mile won't be so long. I may try to keep the overall running time at 40 minutes so I may run like 2.25 or 2.5 miles at the higher pace. Gradually I'd like to increase that so I'm running three or maybe even four miles at that pace. I guess that's one way to make myself run a little faster, to run these tempo runs and force myself to run faster.

Whatever the case, I feel very good both because running usually makes me feel good and that I was able to accomplish something I felt was challenging. Maybe for Mr. Super Marathoner that's not an accomplishment but for me it is :)


Amanda said...

I think I'm going to try that out tonight. I run a 5-5.2 comfortably right now ( short legs :) so I might bump it up a mile. I think I'll only be able to do 3 miles, but I definitely need to get my speed up.

L.B. said...

Awesome! I think that this would be a great way for both of us to increase our speed.

One suggestion, and you can do with it what you will, but you could keep the same distance or about the same distance but just taper off some in the beginning and end, and increase your time in the middle.

So you could start off at 4.8 and run a mile or three-fourths of a mile, then go up to 5.7 or 5.8 and try to hold that for at least .75 of a mile and then you could go down to 4.8 or even a 5.0 for the last .75 of a mile. That's 2.25-2.5 miles, probably a distance you are comfortable with, but you will maximize your run that way. Plus, you'll burn more calories since you will be working your heart harder than you would with just running the same pace for that long.

For instance, I got more out of my 4-mile run today than I would have had I ran 5 or 6 miles at the same pace.

Good luck! And let me know how it goes.

Angie Eats Peace said...

Awesome job!