Last night, the plan was to improve my tempo runs when I go alone. When I started running, running meant just running as fast as I could, for as long as I could. I never got very far on that mode. I always got tired, but most of the time I just got bored and this is when the “I’m too tired/I can just stop/when is this over” thoughts start creeping into my mind and ruin my perseverance.
With time and with training sessions at the club, I started grasping the meaning of different kinds of runs and how they can improve my strength, my endurance and all those fancy words that made my mind hazy when I picked up running magazines.
In tempo runs, you’re supposed to run at “comfortably hard” pace. Never a sprint, but a fast pace that you could keep up for a long-ish time, as you would in a race when you’re pulling out all your guns. The feeling is supposed to be something like “I can keep this up, but I really wouldn’t mind slowing down”. I’m not a specialist, but the internet has a lot to say about tempo runs.
Personally, I like these because they are challenging and they keep my mind busy on longer runs. I tend to get distracted with ruminations about stopping, impulses to take pictures of the scenery, any excuse will do. So, tempo runs make me swallow up miles faster, while getting my heart beat up and making my running more efficient.
Highlights from yesterday (to cross with my HR graph):
– Started off slow and sluggish. I rarely use phones, but yesterday I did and went off on a 20 minute slow run;
– When I hit 20 minutes, I started running faster for 3 minutes. I had decided to do 3 minutes tempo (at 5:00min/km) and 1 minute slow jogging;
– On the second interval, my Polar chest band kept sliding down to my belly (it’s been doing that lately and really gets on my nerves) and when I tried to adjust it, it came off;
– After the third interval I got weak in my mind and walked a little at the end instead of jogging slowly;
– After the fourth, I stopped to take pictures;
– On the fifth, I overtook a guy and felt really confident, running off into the setting sun;
– On the last one, my Polar band came off again (I realise there is a technical problem I really need to take care of) and I had to stop to get it back on;
– So I did a 7th interval, slightly shorter, to make up for it.
On the last few km back to the starting point, I felt lighter and a lot more energetic. The aim for the next few tempo runs will be to improve the lenght and the quality of the intervals (and less random events).
- Pain: 2/10 (a little in the knees in the beginning)
- Fatigue: 4/10 (mostly in the beginning)
- Number of times I thought “is this over yet?”: 2 or 3 (in the beginning)
- Self-challenge: 5/10