I’m serious. I know I’m a newby to the world of speed training but all my experience thus far points to the conclusion that tempo runs are, as far as the running world is concerned, the center of all evil.
My half marathon training plan has me doing weekly speed workouts and alternates each week between interval training and tempo runs. The interval workouts I can deal with; in fact, I rather enjoy them. The tempo runs, on the other hand, I have come to dread every other Wednesday morning. And today’s 40 minute tempo run was just downright agonizing – probably one of the worst workouts I have had in a long time. I think the fact that this type of run actually requires me to pay painstakingly close attention to how much time and how far I have run and how long I have left to go makes it impossible for the time to go by quickly or be enjoyable.
Any advice from speed training veterans is welcomed and appreciated! What is the real objective of tempo runs? Because so far my best guess is that it is to cause me pain… or perhaps make Wednesdays worse than they already are. Is there a reason to incorporate both interval and tempo workouts for speed? Because if I could replace every scheduled tempo run into the foreseeable future with an interval workout, I would be a happy girl. I am guessing they have a real solid purpose (why would runners do them otherwise) and the fact that I find them awful and hard is just indicative of a weakness in my running that needs massive improvements. If that is the case, what tips do you have to make tempo runs more bearable?
Today’s tempo fail was exacerbated by the vague memory of Sunday’s distance run quasi-fail. I covered the 8 miles that I intended to cover but at a noticeably slower pace than my 7 mile run the previous Saturday. It was 35 degrees outside and a miserable 23 degrees with wind chill. Running against the cold wind was brutal and I was more than a little surprised that my watering eyes and runny nose did not ultimately result in icicles forming on my face. To top it all off, I didn’t charge my running watch beforehand and got a low battery warning within the first 2 miles. I was about ready to praise the running gods when I got to 7 and a half miles and the little gadget was still holding on for dear (battery) life. Then, with a mere quarter mile to go, it shut off completely. All data was lost to the cyber oblivion. That’s just cruel.
Two mediocre-to-bad runs within a week of each other isn’t fun. But tomorrow’s a new day… a rest day! I will likely soothe my morale with yoga, an activity where my mentality is much less self-critical and much more “A for effort”.
On an entirely different note, I made a few changes to the blog! Check out the new “Races” page and a couple handy widgets I added to the site!