March 31, 2010

The Tempo Run

For once my roommate Jordan and I have schedules that aren't completely opposite, so we came up with a schedule for some workouts we can do together throughout the week. Sundays are swimming, Wednesdays have been designated for tempo runs, and Thursdays for an easy recovery run. I'm actually really happy with this plan. With track on Tuesdays and long runs on Saturdays, it has me running 4 days a week with one day of cross-training and 2 rest days (I might add strength training or pilates to one of the rest days).

Today we did our first tempo run together. Okay to be honest, this was my first official tempo run ever! It's crazy to think that in the past year or so of continual training for one race or another, I never incorporated these useful workouts. I totally believe in their effectiveness, however. Over the summer I started running my shorter weekly runs at a faster pace and noticed a huge difference in my long runs and overall speed and endurance. But I think it's important that I upgrade to real tempo runs that work on increasing speed for longer distances. I've been wanting to gradually increase my overall mileage, which means bumping up my midweek runs from measly 3 milers (not to completely downplay these, they definitely have their place!). So every Wednesday I will be doing a 6 mile tempo run, with a one mile warm-up, 3 miles at tempo pace, and 2 miles for cool-down.

Today's run was one of those breakthrough, feel-good, remind-you-why-you-love-running type of runs, which came as a huge surprise to me! I was really tired after work and actually fell asleep on the couch pre-run. When I woke up I was still exhausted and not exactly up for a run, let alone a 6 mile tempo. I couldn't bail on our first planned tempo, so I pushed myself out the door. We ran one of my favorite routes onto the UCSB campus then down to Goleta Beach and out to the end of the pier. It was a gorgeous evening but super windy from the start. We powered through the wind and even ran the entire hill that I usually walk! I felt really strong the entire run, even when I was running straight into the wind! I'm really happy with our splits, especially since they stayed somewhat consistent.

mile 1 (warm-up) - 10:29
mile 2 - 9:29
mile 3 - 9:23
mile 4 - 9:26
mile 5 (cool-down) - 11:06 (the worst of the wind!)
mile 6 (cool-down) - 10:31

Overall I think my first tempo run was a total success!


  1. YAY! Way to go on your first tempo run! They're such a strange thing to me. I can't quite figure them out, though it makes sense that they would work and help.

    Have a great rest of the week!

  2. Way to go!
    Tempo runs always seem tough when you are running them but are definitely worth it!

    "Running is like mouthwash. If you can feel the burn, it's working!"

    xx Sara

  3. Teach me to tempo run!! What's that? You're such a running guru!