Tempo Run with Double Stroller

Last Wednesday was supposed to be a 45 min run (with 25-30 min at tempo).  My goal pace would have been between 6:40-6:45  (average) for 4 miles.

But after deciding to sleep in a bit, my options were either the treadmill or the double stroller.  I spent almost the entire winter logging miles on my treadmill in the basement – long runs, intervals, tempos.  It was the rare occasion when I would head outside – especially on speed days.

Now that I’ve been running and biking almost exclusively outside, I DREAD the treadmill.  And I’ve (re)learned that running outside is harder.  A 7:45 pace on the treadmill is much easier (at least for me) than a 7:45 outside.  You have to work for every step, every mile.  And you can’t zone out the way you can on the treadmill – especially on speed days.

Truth is, I have been forcing myself to get outside as much as I can.  I’d rather run slower outside on a daily basis and be ready for my pace on race day then run much faster on the treadmill and walk away from a race disappointed.

It was a gorgeous day (almost 80), minimal wind, and sunny skies.

So I opted for the double stroller even though I knew it was going to be much more painful than a solo run on the treadmill.  Realistically, I can’t run the same pace pushing over 50 pounds of little ones + the stoller.  But my goal was to push hard and try to keep my pace under 8 for a few miles.

double stroller3

I ran the warmup mile in 8:25 and that pace felt REALLY tough.  My legs felt fatigued from the bike ride on Tuesday and I realized I wasn’t really in the mood to feel as uncomfortable as I should during a tempo run.

Mile 2: 7:53.  The first fast mile in any sort of speed work is always the hardest for me.  It’s a shock to my body.  My body wants to slow down and return to an easy pace.

I won’t run on the roads around / by my house with the stroller because of traffic, so I am very limited as to where I can run with the boys.  There is a park about a mile from our home that I drive to – there is a paved section of road that is about 3/4 mile long.  This has it’s benefits and drawbacks.  It’s great because I’m never more than a mile from the car in case one of the boys decides he’s had enough, it has only one small hill, and there is virtually no foot or bike traffic.   But it’s tough because I have to have the self control to keep pushing them when we go by the car.

tempo run

After the 2nd mile, I really wanted to stop.  My legs didn’t have the normal kick in them that I’m used to and my mind seemed to be following suit.  I convinced myself to run one more out and back loop.

Mile 3: 7:43.  My body seemed to be getting used to the faster pace.  It still hurt.  And I was out of breath.  But I FELT stronger.  So headed back out for another loop.

Mile 4: 7:45.  I began envisioning  myself at mile 24 of the marathon for the Ironman in 6 weeks.  I know that I will experience pain and discomfort unlike any I have ever known.  The more I push now, the less I will hurt on race day.  That thought alone kept me moving forward.

Mile 5: 7:39. This one hurt.  But, I knew it was the last tempo mile and at a few points, closed my eyes and just pushed. I wanted it to be my fastest mile of the day and was gasping for air by the time my watch buzzed.

Cooldown Mile 6 + .2: 7:55. 

6.2 miles (10k) in sub-49 – almost 4 minutes faster than my 10k during last weekend’s Olympic Triathlon.

double stroller2

I finished the run and felt nauseous…but ecstatic.  I haven’t pushed that hard on a tempo run in a LONG time.

I’m learning that it’s MUCH more manageable to focus on one workout, one mile at a time.

How did I manage to swim a distance PR and run 20 miles on Saturday followed by a distance PR on the bike and a short run?  If I looked at the whole weekend in it’s entirety, I would have scared myself.  Instead, I focused on the upcoming workout – and concentrated on getting through it.  Once that ONE workout (which on it’s own is manageable) was complete, I would think about the next.

I think the Ironman needs to treated that way.  If I’m obsessing over the marathon while I’m at mile 20 of the bike, I am screwed.  How will I ever have the motivation to bike another 92 miles when all I am thinking about is the 26.2 miles left to run?

I thought about only the mile I was running during this workout.  Once I hit that mile, it was time to focus on the next…and then the next.  Before I knew it, I had run 4 tempo miles at a 7:45 pace.


Do you do tempo runs?

Have you had a run recently where you pushed harder/faster than you thought possible?

How do you manage hard/long runs?

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    25 thoughts on “Tempo Run with Double Stroller

    1. Hey woman! Nice tempo with the stroller. I push the single stroller on most of my runs, but can’t imagine the double with two kids. I’m sure it is much more challenging weight wise. 6 weeks, 6 weeks! Did I mention I wish we could train together?
      Lindsey Hein recently posted..Wednesday Morning Speed SessionsMy Profile

    2. Awesome! That double jogger is just a training tool. Who needs to pull tires when you can pull babies?

      That stinks that you can’t just head out the door because of traffic. That’s how I feel with riding my bike outside :(
      Jackie@ MuscleUpMom recently posted..SplurgingMy Profile

    3. You just BLEW my mind!! This is amazing and I LOVE your mindset!! I bet it totally helped that you were pushing two total cuties!! I’m not a fan of tempo work, but you have me motivated!! I definitely love pushing the stroller to work on speed, and you just took it to a whole new level!!!
      char eats greens recently posted..family day photo dumpMy Profile

    4. I have been finding that mantra “run the mile you’re in” keeps playing through my head, especially on tough runs. I had to repeat this mantra to myself last week. I ran 3 miles to our local track, did 8×400 on the track and then ran (mostly up hill) home. 9 miles total, but I had to fight for every mile. Especially those repeats on the track. But I have a goal and I kept repeating to myself “run the mile you’re in,” it helped me stay focused rather than projecting to the next difficult part of my workout.

    5. I love tempo runs. I actually feel like a runner when I do them. I am convinced they are the reason I have been getting faster. You are a beast. A tempo run alone is hard, but pushing to children is crazy! I am going to take your advice and focus on one workout at a time. I am currently training for my first half, and looking ahead on schedule and some of the long runs that are in store for me is scary, but I think as long as I just focus on today, I will get through it with a smile.
      Lynsey recently posted..Running with the Cows Race RecapMy Profile

    6. Oh wow, you are on fire! I do throw myself into a good temp run everyone now and again, but I cannot even fathom doing it with a stroller – much less a double one. For difficult/long runs, I do like to envision myself in the middle of a marathon, surrounded by people. I’m pretty much a solo-runner when training, but definitely feel more inspired when I run with others. Thinking about what I’m going to eat afterwards never hurts either. :)
      Brittani recently posted..on why physical therapy does a body goodMy Profile

    7. Double joggers are so hard–way to go! And I am totally with you; I have to break off training into smaller chunks. When I was training w/ my coach this spring, I couldn’t look at the entire month of workouts–I would psych myself out. So one run at a time is what I did. I think this is an especially great approach for Ironman training. Way to go!
      misszippy1 recently posted..Training the running egoMy Profile

    8. I break down races (and workouts) too, to the mile if needed. My “standard” breakdown for the three half marathons I ran this spring was 5 miles/8 miles/10 miles/12 miles/13.1 miles. I focused on getting to 5 while holding my goal pace, then once at 5, focused on 8, etc. It REALLY helps, and led me to a 5 minute PR (1:56:00) for the half only 6 months after having my third kiddo Griffin. I’m sure the same strategy will help you tremendously in the IM! Keep up the good work Mama! And thanks for the daily inspiration 😉

    9. OMG Really?!?! Dude you are killing me. i can’t even run with the one stroller haha. Actually I was sooo looking forward to running with the stroller and I have it but I think it made my knees flare up and i have not used it in over a month and a half. i am bummed. it is sooooooo hard

    10. WOW! Great workout! I agree, I get so angry at myself when I can run an awesome speed workout on a treadmill and then get disappointed with my pace on race day. So annoying. I force myself outside (within reason, it’s going to be 102* here today…so it’s either get out before the sun comes up or run on the treadmill) when I can. Sometimes I wish races would start at 5 am, since that’s when most of my training runs are, I’m not used the heat! :)

      That last photo is so adorable! What a cutie pie.

    11. Animal!!! I don’t think you could pay me enough to even attempt a tempo run with the double! Isn’t it so much harder?! Even on easy runs with it, I find keeping a good pace challenging, especially on hills. I bet the next time you do some quick miles without the stroller it will feel like you’re flying. :)
      Ashley recently posted..Classic Roast ChickenMy Profile

    12. Like I said yesterday, you’re incredible! A double stroller tempo run under 8-minute pace is AMAZING! It’s funny because I find speedwork on the treadmill much harder than on the track. I’ve been loving my track workouts this summer and am glad to see my treadmill gathering dust! Think your approach to concentrating on one mile at a time is perfect for the Ironman. You’re going to do great!
      Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Help End Child HungerMy Profile

    13. Great workout Michele! Your pace is amazing, I can’t believe you were pushing a stroller too. I totally agree about the treadmill, speedwork always seems easier to me on the treadmill. This is the first time I train for a marathon on the road, I trained for the previous four on the treadmill and I was always disappointed on race day.
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