Tempos vs Intervals

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Two quick things to share:

First, my good friend, Kristin (who is also running the LA Marathon – yay!) is running 37 miles on a treadmill on Friday for charity. She is also hosting a virtual race in conjunction with her run (you can win some awesome prizes!). You can read all about it (and how to donate!) here.

Second, Zulily picked their 10 Favorite Health and Fitness Bloggers and I’m thrilled that I made the list along with some of my friends: Christine, Kristin, Madeline and Katie!



I’ll be the first to admit that until a couple of years ago, I wasn’t completely sure of the difference between tempo and interval workouts. I knew that intervals should be faster than tempos, but I didn’t understand the purpose of either nor did I know what distance/time/pace I should be running them at.

Today, I have a better understanding of their importance as well as how to incorporate them into my training plan (I am constantly learning and improving on this and am NOT an expert by any means!).  I typically aim for two workouts each week during marathon training – often one tempo and interval.

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    Please keep my beautiful friend, Sarah, and her family in your prayers.  Her adorable 4 month old son, Jack, is undergoing surgery today.  You can read about her son and what he’s going through here.


    If you look at my marathon training plan, it’s a mix between being extremely detailed and very vague.  The long runs, types of workouts each week, and target weekly mileage is pretty black and white.  I know what I want to get done each week and I try hard not to deviate from that.  I run six days a week with three of those being quality days – long, 2x speed (either intervals, tempo, SS, LT) – and the other three being easy/recovery days. The workouts for the speed days are left blank.

    I don’t believe that I have to do the same speed workout every single week.  It’s boring.  I like the variety of changing it up every week (or every few weeks). Intervals and tempo one week.  Intervals and steady state another week.  I typically decide what my plan is for the week after my long run (based on how I’m feeling) but have changed my mind the night before or even the morning of the workout.  However, I often do one interval workout a week.

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      Hills Are My Friend

      Photo Courtesy of Michelle: elleroos.wordpress.com

      Photo Courtesy of Michelle

      If you are like me, then you know that hills suck when you are doing them.  But they pay dividends on race day.

      My target race this spring is the NJ Marathon. Even though it’s a pancake flat course, I am incorporating some hill-specific workouts as well as general hill training into my training plan. Knowing that I’ve done hill training is a huge mental boost for me when I’m racing. I feel stronger knowing I’ve done those hill repeats.

      There are a few ways that I incorporate some hill work into my training:

      – Choose the route with hills.  If you have the choice between a totally flat course and one with some rolling hills (during training runs), go for the hills.  Your splits won’t be as fast, but it will pay off in the end.  I was confronted with this choice the last two Saturdays on my 12 and 14 mile runs.  If I run south from where I live, it’s almost entirely flat.  I decided to run north which has three back-to-back hills that would each rival cat hill in central park.

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        Treadmill Workouts to Get You Through the Winter Months

        **This post was written for and featured on FitFluential‘s blog: http://fitfluential.com/2011/12/treadmill-workouts/**

        During the warmer months, I do almost all of my runs outside – regardless of how rainy, windy, or warm it may be, I gladly battle the elements over running on the treadmill any day .  However, I find myself logging many more miles indoors once the cold weather hits and the icy roads, sleet, and snow prevent me from completing my scheduled speed and tempo runs.

        It has always been extremely difficult for me to get on a treadmill and just run.  The clock never seems to move and I am constantly tempted to stop when I get even the slightest bit out of breath.

        I have found that if I have a workout to focus on [rather than just run for X minutes or miles], then it’s much easier for me to stay on and finish the workout/distance I had planned on.  Three of my favorites are: Ladder, Sprint and Lunge, and Fun with Hills.

        1[a]. THE LADDER

        – Designed as a 60-min interval training workout (not including warm-up)

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          Five Tips for Achieve a FitFluential Balance During the Holidays

          All ready for my husband's holiday work gala!

          As a runner, I often use running analogies to put things into context.  I view a calendar year the same way I view a marathon.

          If you’ve ever hit the “wall” during a marathon, you know how painful the remaining miles can be. They never seem to pass and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to move any faster.  You spend the last few miles wishing you were more focused and dedicated with your training and swearing you’ll never run another one.

          You wish you were able to finish strong.

          Similarly, I don’t like ending the year in a rut – whether it’s pertaining to my running, diet, or overall lifestyle.  No matter how great the whole year was, if I’m in a downward spiral the last few weeks, it causes me to view the entire rest of the year as a letdown. And all I want is for the year to be over.

          You wish you were able to finish strong

          The ideal marathon is one where you run negative splits and cross the finish line pushing your hardest. The last few weeks of the year should end the same way – you should try to FINISH STRONG and cross the finish line (New Year’s) with a smile on your face, pleased at the hard work you put in.

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            Workouts before a Marathon

            I’m definitely not an expert at marathoning and racing.  But, from previous races and long runs, I’ve learned what works best for me and my body before a marathon.  Below are my workouts for the last week as well as what I will be doing the week prior to NYC Marathon.
            – Friday, Oct 21 – 30 miles – 8:34 pace– Saturday, Oct 22 – Rest – Sunday, Oct 23 – Rest– Monday, Oct 24 – 5 miles (44 min) – 8:45 pace– Tuesday, Oct 25 miles – 7 miles (59 min)- 2 mile warmup (8:45 pace), 5 miles @ 8:15 pace– Wednesday, Oct 26 – 5 miles (39 min) – 7:48 pace– Thursday, Oct 27 – Rest– Friday, Oct 28 – 7 miles (56 min)- 1x mile warm-up and cool-down – 8:45, 8:25, 7:57, 7:45, 7:42, 7:29, 7:52 – Saturday, Oct 29 – Rest – 60 min sport massage in the afternoon– Sunday, Oct 30 – Poland Spring Marathon Kick-off 5 miler (may run an additional 5 miles after)

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