Fretting and Stopping – Oh, Long Tempo Workouts!

I admit, I have this problem – when I look at long tempo workouts, I fret about them.  I wonder if I should move them to another day so I’ll have fresher legs.  I will often stop in the middle of them if I’m doing them alone (I don’t know why).  I think about how much they’ll hurt.  I question if I can hold paces for that long.

Does anyone else do this?!?

That was exactly the case Tuesday.  Because of last week’s workout switch-arounds (due to weather), I knew I had run 22 miles on Friday (workout and PM run), 20 on Sunday (easy), and this Tuesday called for 19 miles (workout and PM run).  Ouch!

My legs did not exactly feel fresh on Tuesday.  I called Nate and told him that I wasn’t sure about the workout and might decide to move it to Wednesday if my legs felt dead.  Plus, it was pretty nice out (33 degrees!  Woot, woot!), and I wanted to take advantage of a run outside.  Wednesday was supposed to be cold, which would be perfect – I could lace up and do the tempo workout inside on a treadmill.

I headed out the door, fully intending to just run easy miles.  I wore my heavy, more cushioned Trance’s (I switch my Brooks models often, running in different shoe weights depending on the workout – these are great for those easy recovery days) and brought Mesa with me.

At 2 miles, I stopped to stretch.  I can do this, I thought to myself.  Why not at least start?

Workout was: 2 mile warm up, 4 miles at tempo, 4 min rest, 3 miles at tempo, 3 min rest, 2 miles T, 2 rest, 1 mile T, 2 CD.  (Plus PM shake out run)

Can you see why I wasn’t looking forward to this?  In the past I’ve always converted workouts like this, per Daniels’ recommendation: 1 mile = 4:45 minutes (the elite plan he wrote was written for people who run their MP around 5:00, Tempos around 4:45).  But I decided that this cycle I’m going to try not to do that.  Jerry has written them this way for a reason – and hasn’t told me to convert.  So trust his plan.

And… drum roll, please!  For the first time in, well, ever?!? I completed the tempo segments with only 1 “pause” (bathroom break needed!).  I stayed mentally positive and just went on effort.  So what if I’m not hitting 5:45’s or below (ideal tempo pace)? At this point it doesn’t matter.  I just need to become stronger and more mentally tough, and that’s exactly what this workout helped with.

I did take a longer break in between each one (maybe 90 seconds longer than written?).  

Paces: 4 mile: 6:04 average (more downhill), 3 mile: 6:12 average (more uphill – and was feeling the fast 4 miler before!), 2 mile: 6:05 average (rolling), 1 mile: 5:48 (very much downhill – so close to my goal time, but definitely aided!).  

So THERE, mid-week workout!  You didn’t get the best of me! 🙂

PS – Mesa is a great workout partner.  Before every segment, I’d ask her if she was ready, tell her how far we had to go.  She’d just look up at me and then look forward, like “Of course!  Why are you making us stand out here any longer than we have to?  Let’s start this and get it over with!”.  Well, that’s what I think she was saying.  She very well could have been cursing me the entire time :).

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One Comment

  1. I have to psyche myself up for the tough workouts – and then I'm so amped up, I end up going out way too fast and quitting early. Then, feeling guilty about tanking an important workout, I try to make up for it on another day when I should be running easy. That right there is why having a coach can be useful!

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