Sunday, September 11, 2016

Types of Tough Runs #4: Tempo

Tempo – no, not the small village in east Fermanagh at the foot of Brougher Mountain – but the last and perhaps easiest type of tough run commonly undertaken during marathon training.

Put simply tempo running is where you run a short to moderate distance for a sustained period of time at a faster pace than you might do you long slow runs at but usually somewhat slower than your marathon race pace. If a week’s running contains a weekend long run, a mid-week fast run that might be intervals or a hill’s session, a slow short recovery run then a fourth run could be the tempo.

I hadn’t been doing tempo runs in my marathon training, at least I hadn’t thought I’d been doing them. While they would have traditionally made a weekly entry, following my injury I had instead concentrated on short slow miles, a lengthening one at the weekend and final last week a solid intense interval. However yesterday I discovered that they may have been making a more regular occurrence that I had not been aware of.

The thing is – my running watch has long since gone to the great Garmin in the sky so I’ve been making do with everyone’s favourite, the black plastic Casio to help me track the time I’ve ran. When running with someone I have relied on their watch but on my own I just kind of presumed I was running 5 minutes a kilometre. Today however I charged my wife’s watch and ran with that, discovering that what I would have thought was 5 minute pace was actually 4.35.

In the boxing movie Cinderella Man, Russell Crowe’s character injures his right hand either in his last boxing match or out gladiating. Having to care for his family and unable to use it he gets a job down the docks and starts employing his left. He gets through hard times, gets a lucky break and in his first match back, a final pay-day, he knocks-out his opponent with his left. It had gotten exceptionally strong with the right-arms lay-off. That story has absolutely very little in common with me but it did come to mind when I thought, wouldn’t it be great that so concentrated have I been on getting round and being able to run that I hadn’t noticed my speed coming back? Chance would be a fine thing.

Still, it was a good run tempo run all the same. If I can just clear the long run tomorrow morning I hope to be full steam ahead to continue my catch up on lost ground.

Yesterday’s training
Nearly 13 k in nearly 1 hr.


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