Friday, July 16, 2010

Tempo Run Fail...or was it?

Tonight the training schedule called for a Tempo run.  This was my first tempo in a while, and I'm not sure that I was really even doing them correctly in the past.  I'm not experienced enough to go by feel, so I tried to figure out where my pace should be based on my other recent runs.  I decided my tempo pace should probably be around 9min/mile.

So, here was the plan for tonight:
10min warm-up (easy pace); 10min tempo pace; 3min easy run; 10min tempo pace; 5min cool-down (easy pace).

Here's what happened:

The warm-up and first tempo run went well.  I was really feeling challenged by the tempo pace, but hung in there.  The 3min break was okay too.  Then came the second tempo run.  I made it through about 3min of the 10min run before I hit a wall and had to stop (FAIL).  The rest of my workout was a patch-work of runs and walks.  I felt pretty defeated. Maybe I just wasn't mentally ready for the tempo run yet.

then I looked at my heart rate info:

My anaerobic zone is between the green turns out that I actually maintained my heart rate in the anaerobic zone pretty much the entire workout (except for warmup and cooldown) despite the walking/slowing down.  So, maybe not a total fail after all, I guess.  I can see now where I hit the wall - my heart rate had been hitting my redline zone (above 90% max hr) for about 3min.  So it wasn't just a mental thing - I really was pushing myself.

Anyway, I obviously need to back off on my tempo pace a bit.  Garmin reports my average pace for the first tempo split to be about 9:08.  I'll try backing off of that, maybe to about 9:30 or 9:40 next time.

1 comment:

  1. Tempo Fail?? Never!! I try to find a positive on every workout. I replied on your blogpost above and then looked at your profile--BRAND NEW BLOG!! Cool. Started mine in June. Drop by!!

    The Tempo workout is great. Depending on your fitness level, you might want to do fartleks. Have you ever done these? These are shorter than going 10 minutes straight like on a tempo. I might alternate going hard, then easy, then hard, then easy.... say using between mailboxes or telephone poles.

    Shorter hard efforts though might go better as you add fitness.