Pink Elephant Guide to Tempo Runs

20140620-072229.jpgLast nights’ long run with Jenn closed out week 3 on the run less, run faster plan.

In this training plan each week you have tempo runs at different paces. (You consult the chart of what you can run and what you want to run and magically come up with some arbitrary pace that you hope won’t kill you.) The tempo run for this week, for example, had 1 mile easy, 4 miles at your “mid tempo” pace, and then 1 more easy mile. Now, if you were a responsible runner, let’s say, you might do the warm up and cool down miles as they were prescribed. Ha! Sucker.

You need to go out like a bat out of hell. I mean tear into that first mile from the second your Garmin picks up a satellite, just run like there’s a sharknado on your ass. Or at least that’s what I always do, otherwise I spend the warm up mile freaking out about keeping my pace so I prefer to just do the requisite miles and then enjoy my strolling through the easy miles at what basically becomes a crawl.

Aside from the long run that never would’ve happened if Jenn hadn’t been benevolent enough to run with me, everything was on or under target. The long run became a delightful exercise in how running with other people helps you get through miles that you otherwise don’t want to do BECAUSE YOUR LEGS FEEL LIKE LEAD. Jenn also has a talent for telling delightful stories that make you forget that you’re tired and don’t want to run anymore and I have a talent for picking routes with a mile and a half of incline.

Friday morning rounded out this week’s workouts with a sculling session where I fake raced some of the other scullers without telling them we were racing. Apparently, this a runner thing and I got a few dirty looks from some of the men. Aside from almost crashing into the rocks and an 8 person learn to row boat it went well and I was informed by one of the coaches that I’m getting bumped up to a racing shell the next time we go out. With sculling, your boat gets progressively narrower the better you get at it until I get put in a boat where my ass just hangs off the sides because I was gifted with hips that were just meant to accommodate fat, life-sucking babies.

And now it’s time for a delightful weekend of being comatose on the couch watching copious amounts of television AND DOING NOTHING ACTIVE.

Do you do the “warm up” mile or do you just gun it from the start?

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12 thoughts on “Pink Elephant Guide to Tempo Runs

  1. Hahaha, I’ve been following this workout regimen for the past 6 (almost 7) weeks for my marathon, and I just realized two weeks ago that the coaches recommend to do the warm up and cool down like you said. Lightbulb moment 😀

  2. My first mile is always my fastest. I can’t help it. I have all this nervous energy all the time.

    Meanwhile, Markers just started running again post-surgery, like two miles at a time, and he’s already back to being faster than me despite not running for a year and having a bone sawed off and a tendon stapled three months ago. Boom, there goes the morale.

  3. This is a good thing to read because I basically suck at tempo runs. Speed work. And well, everything in general. Can’t I just eat?

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