Head over to my friend, Lottie’s blog (Running On Veggies) to check out my Workout Wednesday Feature! I’m sharing what a typical day looks like for me – training, food, activities and so on!
So, I FINALLY nailed a LT tempo outside. After two failed tempo attempts the last couple of weeks (a 4 mile LT tempo and 8 mile AT tempo), I was both excited and nervous when I saw this little beast on the training schedule – it’s a short, but intense tempo.
For those that have been reading here for a while, you may know that I have a much easier time with workouts on the treadmill – even with the treadmill at 1%. I don’t know what it is but I can run paces on the treadmill that I can only dream about outside. And so, I am always much more inclined to give in and use the treadmill on workout days.
But the reality is that I don’t race on the treadmill. I race on the roads. And that is where I need to practice these paces. And to get the confidence that I CAN run these paces. So when I start to get tired or question my ability during a race, I can pull from these workouts.
I slept straight through my alarm (set for 4:45am) and woke up to the boys at 6:15am. I’ve been a sleeping machine lately (more on that in a later post!). I finally got on the roads at 7:15am. It was already 77 degrees with 73 dew point (and 85% humidity). The muggy, soupy air hit my face the moment I opened the door. Awesome. I had thoughts of taking it to the treadmill because I really wanted to hit these paces. But that’s the easy way out for me.
Plan from Coach called for 3 @ warmup/easy, 4.5 @ LT tempo (6:40-6:50), 2.5 @ cooldown. Despite being in just a sports bra and shorts, I was dripping with sweat by mile 2.5, so decided to return to house, drink some water (I had left it outside), stretch and then start tempo. First 3 miles: 8:09, 7:53, 7:40.
I prefer doing tempo runs on the main road by my home. There’s no major hills, but it definitely is rolling in both directions. I used to do it on a completely flat stretch of pavement but I find that the rolling course gives me something to focus on and look forward to while also making me a stronger runner over hills.
I did an out, back, out loop – each way was 1.5 miles (my block is 1.5 miles from the end of the main road – so I run as far as I can, turn around and then run back).
Mile 1. As always, the first mile is a shock to my body and I spend a lot of the first mile fighting the faster running and finding the right stride and cadence to match the pace I am hoping to see. Coach’s range was 6:40-6:50, but with heat and humidity, I figured I would shoot to stay around 7:00-7:05. Mile 1 beeped at 6:55. First thought was way too fast – I thought I was going to blow up and pay for it later (last tempo run I ran 6:57, 6:59 and then quit).
Mile 2 was one of the best miles. The pace came more naturally and my legs were starting to get a good kick in them. I felt in control of the pace and slowed it down a bit towards the end since I saw I was in the 6:40s. 6:51
Mile 3 – the middle mile. Always the most challenging mile for me in any workout. Not quite halfway to just past halfway. But still a long way to go until the hard part is over. Breathing gets more labored. Legs start to feel a little tired. This is where I start talking to myself. Where I begin imagining myself getting close to the end of a race (any distance, doesn’t change things). And where I start pulling from other female runners who are training for amazing things and who inspire the crap out of me. 6:55
Mile 4 – my mind was fully on board, but my body was starting to have other plans. I was tired and sweat was in my eyes and pouring down my legs (gross, I know). This mile hurt. 6:51
Mile 4.5: Breathing was labored and legs were exhausted but I wanted to push so I could end with my fastest pace of the day. Success. 6:37
Tempo miles: 6:55, 6:51, 6:55, 6:51, 6:37 (.5 miles) – 6:51 average
Finished it off with 2.5 miles cooldown (8:37, 8:02, 8:15 (.5 miles)) for a total of 10 miles for the day @ 7:32 average pace.
And then spent the rest of the day in the pool with my little guys!
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