Post-Run Berrylicious Smoothie & A Tempo Run



I found myself a Personal trainer!

I found him at a good rate too…only 2 bags of cat treats per day and ample Light Box usage…


Don’t ask.

He has a thing for sunbathing…and he gets it any way he can during our gloomy winter season.


Speaking of Winter, when the weather forces me indoors it is time to get creative with my own running.


I had my first Tempo training run on the treadmill today as per my Winter 2011 Training Plan, but first, I needed a refresher as to what exactly I would be doing. There are a lot of conflicting theories and definitions as to what a Tempo run actually is, but the one that resonated the most with me was Hal Hidgon’s approach:

1) A Tempo run is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace.

2) A Tempo Run of 30 to 45 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to 15-20 minutes near the middle, then 5-10 minutes easy toward the end.

3) The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout. Hold that peak only for a minute or two.

4) Hal considers Tempo Runs to be the "Thinking Runner’s Workout." A Tempo Run can be as hard or easy as you want to make it, and it has nothing to do with how long (in time) you run or how far. In fact, the times prescribed for Tempo Runs serve mainly as rough guidelines. Feel free to improvise.

5) Improvisation is the heart of doing a Tempo Run correctly.

Anyone who stresses that improvisation is a good thing instantly wins my heart! I am not a fan of rigid plans or theories about running…or with most things in life for that matter. Flexibility is key and there is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The first thing I did was check what my 10k race pace was back in September 2010 when I ran the Oakville Labour Day 10k. My average pace was a 7:58 minute/mile (finishing time of 49:50 mins), so 7:58 min/mile would be my peak pace during my tempo run.

Here is what I did for my first Tempo run of half marathon training, following Hal’s general guide:

1. “Begin with 10-15 minutes of easy running” –> I ran for 15 minutes at 6.0 mph (10 min/mile), incline 1%.

[Water break]

2. “Build to 15-20 minutes near the middle” –> I ran for 5 minutes at 6.5 mph (9:13 min/mile), 5 minutes at 6.7 mph (8:57 min/mile), 5 minutes at 6.9 mph (8:41 min/mile), 3 minutes at 7.2 mph (8:20 min/mile), and 2 minutes at 7.5 mph (8 min/mile)…all at incline 1%. (Total time 20 minutes)

[Water break]

3. 15 minutes cool-down –> I ran for 5 mins at 6.5 mph, 5 minutes at 6.3 mph, and 5 minutes at 5.8 mph. (Total time 15 minutes)

[Walking + Stretching]

Total Tempo Distance: 5.30 miles


So how was it?

The tempo run was much more difficult than I anticipated! It was probably one of the toughest runs I have had in a long time. I had such a runner’s high after though!

It has been a while since I have continually built speed during a run and I found myself struggling a lot by the half way mark (around speed 6.7-6.9mph). I wanted to stop and take a break before the peak speed (7.5 mph), but I pushed through and told myself that I could do it. It wasn’t supposed to be easy, after all.

I have been doing a lot of interval runs lately and I am used to always having a decrease in pace on a regular basis, but during the Tempo run I didn’t have that luxury to decrease my speed when I wanted to. It was tough to get used to, but I think that just shows why Tempo runs can be such a great addition to a training plan!

Here is to a love-hate relationship with the mighty Tempo run for many workouts to come…

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to have a delicious reward for all your hard work!



I don’t care if it is Winter or not, the only thing I wanted after that workout was something COLD!


Frosty, berry goodness and packed with antioxidants.

Did it ever hit the spot!


And then I proceeded to get a huge chill down my spine and covered myself in oodles of layers, sitting beside the space heater until it melted my clothing. The smoothie was good in theory I guess.

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{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephie January 19, 2011

Thanks for describing the tempo run! I’m doing my second 10km run this weekend and my first half marathon in a month. I’ll definitely try the tempo run over the next few weeks!


Freya January 19, 2011

Fantastic that you pushed yourself to try something new and challenging, and with a yummy reward at the end!


Alaina January 19, 2011

I really need to get into tempo runs for my half marathon coming up. Thanks for the description! Makes it much less intimidating. :-)


Sabine @ thefruitpursuit January 20, 2011

me too! I like long distance running much better though ack.


Ashley @ Taste for Healthy January 19, 2011

I love the portrait of Sketchie in the light box! I’ve been wanting to make a lightbox for food photography… but you have given me a new idea… taking cat photos!!! :)

P.S. I am making this smoothie for breakfast tomorrow! Say hello to antioxidents!


Molly January 19, 2011

your cat is fabulous. and I need a smoothie NOW :)


Sophia @ Raven Waves January 19, 2011

Great lookin’ smoothie! Definitely agree, I don’t care if it’s -3 degrees, a smoothie is always good! Cool tempo run! I need to try something similar (with lower speeds overall) once my knee tendinitis finally goes away…


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 19, 2011

Cats TOTALLY would stake out a lightbox as their turf..I can totally see that, big time. Cozy, small space, clean, just like the place on my bed right by my clean pillows that my cats used to love to curl up in. Cats have a knack for finding cozy perfect spots :)

I love this part you wrote:
“Anyone who stresses that improvisation is a good thing instantly wins my heart! I am not a fan of rigid plans or theories about running…or with most things in life for that matter. Flexibility is key and there is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

That is soooo true! I never follow running guides or approaches and prefer to wing it. Heck, I never follow recipes. Even my own. I wing it every time, I swear :) Always tweaking…in life, running, recipes, you name it.

Thanks for your running recap & thoughts :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

I simply cannot follow a recipe either…even when I say I’m going to, I can’t…lol.


Katy (The Singing Runner) January 19, 2011

I have everything but the chia seeds!!! This looks amazing!!!

Great job on the run! :D Tempo runs are no joke, but I love them. So challenging! :D


Charlie January 19, 2011

Yum! When I saw the picture of this smoothie on twitter, I was drooling, and I still am :P. I actually make most of my smoothies like this (almond milk, banana, berries). I don’t think I ever mixed strawberries & blueberries… need to, I love the color :P.


Roz January 19, 2011

Love the almond milk smoothies. And Sketchie in the lightbox is HILARIOUS!!!! He’s seriously gorgeous.


Shanna, like Banana January 19, 2011

Sketchie doesn’t want to be the only cat on spring break not to have a tan!!! he’s starting early ;)


Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles January 19, 2011

Oh, Sketchie! I loved the pic you posted on twitter of him as a kitten. So cute!!


Kat @ Cupcake Kat January 19, 2011

This smoothie looks gorgeous, just like you!


Pearl (Crunch and Chew) January 20, 2011

I always need a yummy reward after long runs that I can look forward to. It’s great motivation!


Gail January 20, 2011

I love the vibrant colors berries make in smoothies. It’s almost un-natural! And that color always gives me such a boost, especially in the winter when everything is drab and gray! Yum! It’s like drinking sunshine :0)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

I know what you mean…it is crazy that food from nature can make such vibrant colours! I love it :)


kayli (Running on Sunshine) January 20, 2011

I am using the same Hal half-marathon schedule, but I had my interval run today. As you said, I can hadle the intervals because I look forward to the decrease in speed. But I am not looking forward to my first tempo run next week- good to know I’m not the only one. Thank you for the little oomph in my motivation :)


Maria @ Oh Healthy Day January 20, 2011

This is the best description I’ve found of a tempo run! Without knowing it, I’ve been doing tempo runs for a while now, according to this! I always crave a berry smoothie after my workouts – regardless of the temp outside :)


Sana January 20, 2011

That smoothie needs to come with a tropical vacation!


Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA January 20, 2011

I’m a big fan of your new trainer! A little jealous, too…


Jess@atasteofconfidence January 20, 2011

Wow, that’s a speedy run- good job!


stephanie a. January 20, 2011

Aw! Your cat just stole my heart with that light box picture : )


Cara Craves... January 20, 2011

Your cat cracks me up!
Only a cat would find the most random of
places to take a nap.


Hannah January 20, 2011

That smoothie looks so, so refreshing and gorgeous. I’ve been trying to make something like that but I think your strawberry and blueberry choice is key – I’ve been using frozen raspberries and the smoothie ends up being a bit too tart for my liking.

Also, your cat has the most beautiful eyes!


Red Deception January 20, 2011

Your cat looks like a little leopard :)


Pamela Martinez January 20, 2011

Ya gotta love the tempo runs! They’re really good for improving your time too. I’ve been working out a lot indoors because of the cold and the fact that it’s so dark when I have time to exercise. I just recently added jumping rope to my workouts and I have to tell you that it has done wonders for my leg strength. I felt so strong when I went on my long run on Sunday. I highly recommend jumping rope to enhance your running.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

Wow I haven’t jumped rope in years…but I used to do it as a workout and it was always killer! I should invest in a rope soon. Great idea :)


Sabine @ thefruitpursuit January 20, 2011

Haha I keep tortyring myself with cold smoothies too!


Emmy (Wine and Butter) January 20, 2011

You are so committed and organised exercise wise. Youve inspired me! All winter Ive been considering it enough of an acheivement just to stand on the treadmill – I think I have actually decreased my average speed :)… Tomorrow I will challenge myself! xox


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

I normally don’t create training plans, but when my motivation hit an all time low I thought it would help, and so far it really has. :) I like it for Winter anyways!


Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 20, 2011

Tempo runs are great for getting a good high though, because you push yourself harder, so I love tempo runs (afterwards!) :P
Yummy smoothie! Looks delish! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

oh yea I felt AMAZING afterwards!!!


Beach Bum Beauty January 20, 2011

Congrats on the tempo run, it sounds hardcore! The berry smoothie looks scrumptious and as berries are my fruit of choice, I’ll be indulging.


Healthy Chocoholic January 20, 2011

Sounds like an awesome, if uber-difficult workout!
Aaand that smoothie looks fabulous! So thick and creamy!


Chari January 20, 2011

WOW, your cat is gorgeous!!! That smoothie looks so good, but I don’t have any strawberries, rats! Maybe I’ll just add peaches instead :-)


CathyK January 20, 2011

great work on keeping the tempo in your tempo, angela! and thanks for sharing your feedback on your workout! tempos are soo not easy!
i had the pleasure of meeting hal higdon at a race expo and he is the nicest man…and so knowledgeable. glad to see so many bloggers find his tips and training plans useful.
stay warm!


JL goes Vegan January 20, 2011

Argh! My cats go for the light box, too! It’s sided with parchment paper and one feel through the top about a week after making it. I know have to store it on a the top shelf of a book case! LOL

I have a love hate relationship with the tempo run. I dread them before I do them and then I’m thrilled while doing it because it makes the run itself more interesting and goes by quicker (that’s a tempo run outside, by the way — hate the treadmill but on it right now due to weather. Blech)


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2011

Your cat fell through the top?? omgggg that is hilarious. I could so see Sketchie doing that.


Meesh January 20, 2011

I love how you research your runs and set out a plan. I tend to just run and hope for the best, which may not be the best approach. Love the cat in the light box, totally made me smile! And your smoothie pics are gorgeous!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is January 20, 2011

I love berries, especially frozen, in my smoothies. Such a pretty color!


stacey-healthylife January 20, 2011

Sketchie is so cute. Love him in the light box. :)


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} January 20, 2011

Tempo runs are great! Way to push through. On a treadmill, no less.


lindsay January 20, 2011

oh that picture of sketchy just made me spit out my coffee, HILARIOUS! and of course, I love the chia seed addition to the smoothie. Great post run nourishment.


Allison January 20, 2011

I stumbled across your website a month or so ago. LOVE what you are doing and enjoy looking to see what you are up to everyday. Thanks for your recipes, humor and a glimpse into your life. My husband and I are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle and you are making it easier! I am also a runner and appreciate your experiences so much!


Dancer January 20, 2011

Ahhhhhhhhh!! Now I know what a tempo run is! lol. And now I know that I used to train like that all the time w/out even knowing it! It does wonders for your time, and if you push your incline during your speed increase you are going to ROCK IT in your next race. Trust me!

I used to avoid any training program w/anything complicated sounding like “Tempo Run” or “Fartleks” lol!

BTW…I have finally jumped on the GM bandwagon and I have one every single morning after I workout :) I’m ADDICTED. You deserve compensation for starting that movement! I really feel great.


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