I put “Tempo Run” in quotes because I’m not entirely convinced I did it right. But anyway, that’s what I did last night.
At the gym, I grabbed a treadmill and set out for a 10 minute warm up, working my way up from a slow walk, to a fast walk, to a slow run, to my goal race pace of 10ish minute miles. Since my goal is a sub-2:30 half, I only need to average 10:30 miles, but I’d like to do even better than that, hence the slightly quicker pace.
My training plan said to run 30 minutes at tempo, and honestly, during the first 5 minute or so at a pace of 10:10 minutes per mile, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I thought very seriously about stopping, or alternating some walk breaks, or lowering my pace. But I told myself to suck it up, and after that first 5 or so minutes, I felt fine. Great even. By the end of my 30 minute tempo run, I was gunning it at a 9:40 pace, which, for me, is pretty dang speedy. I finished and felt really strong and happy.
Last night made me realize a few things. First, I was reminded once again how much of running is mental for me. Once I made up my mind to just suck it up and finish, I did fine. I stopped focusing on how hard it was, and just did it. My new mantra for treadmill running, courtesy of Ben’s Dad, is “Become one with the tedium.” Sort of like “embrace the suck,” but a little more zen 🙂
Second, I figured out that I NEED a good, long, gradual warm-up. For most of my runs, especially outdoor runs or when I’m short on time, I do ZERO warm up. I just start out at my average pace for whatever type of run I’m doing, and go. And I usually feel like crap during the first portion of my runs. It takes forever to settle into a groove, and I always want to stop or slow down. If I took the time to properly warm up before every run, I’d probably feel a lot better throughout.
Third, I realized that I’m a lot faster than I used to be. During that last portion of the run where I was going at a 9:40 pace, I kept running into the front of the treadmill, like my body was telling me it could go even faster, wanted to go even faster. Let’s do it, body!
Lastly, watching Netflix on my phone while running on the treadmill makes everything better. I’m working my way through Charmed right now, and up next is probably CSI Miami.
Bonus: Eating dinner and drinking a beer in bed while watching Futurama is my favorite “recovery.”
Do you include a warm up in your workout?
Do you ever do tempo runs?