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…
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%.
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)
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!
Post-Run Berrylicious Smoothie
Serves 1 (about 2 cups)
- 1 large frozen banana, chopped into chunks
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1.25 cups Almond Milk
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
Directions: Add Almond milk into blender followed by the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Add sweetener if preferred. Serves 1 (about 2 cups).
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.