Will I EVER like tempo runs!?

No. No, probably not.

This morning got jump started with a tempo run – a 1 mile warm-up, 5 miles at tempo pace, then a 1 mile cool down. Getting out the door to make it happen went a little something like this…


I do all of my speed work on the treadmill because I don’t have access to a track for intervals and am not nearly attentive enough to track my pace or effort as much as is necessary out on the road for a tempo run. The treadmill kind of does all that for me. Probably a runner fail, but who cares. My point is, that the “It’s raining today,” argument isn’t actually a valid excuse to get out of a tempo run… but no doubt I would try and use it on myself at 5:30 AM.

I haven’t liked tempo runs since I first began attempting them close to a year ago. The miles seem to drag on when I am at that slightly uncomfortable effort level. I can do them physically but getting past the mental block is tough. I tried to cover up the treadmill screen with a towel this morning so I wouldn’t be staring down the mileage slowly ticking by. But then I just watched the minutes slowly tick by on the CNN ticker instead.

I know that tempo runs are an important part of training to gain speed. For those newer to running, tempo runs involve running at a pace that is slightly faster than what is comfortable for a prolonged period. This type of workout incorporated across a training cycle speeds up the pace you are able to run while also prolonging the distance you are able to run at that faster pace. (For more information about speed training, I recommend this post).

I don’t expect these runs to ever get easier. That would defeat the purpose. But I do wish that I could learn to enjoy them even close to as much as I love interval training. So ends my whiny runner rant.

Do you like tempo runs, intervals, or despise speed work all together? Any tips for mentally pushing through a tempo run?


6 thoughts on “Will I EVER like tempo runs!?

    • I agree completely! I actually really love intervals. Every interval is a mini end point to push for and it’s easy to break that up mentally for me. And thanks again for the great post!

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