Tonight was a killer! It is the kind of workout that I love to hate.
We did our 1/2 mile warm up and then the "fun" began. Tonight we did a tempo run. A tempo run, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is, “a rate of performance at a steady pace.”
The coach said to make the run slightly uncomfortable. We had no other guidelines than that today.
We were to run 1 mile at tempo pace with a 1 minute recovery 3-4 times. I am pretty sure I ran these too fast. I did each one faster than the last. Not smart. My only excuse is that I was trying to keep pace with some other runners 100-150 yards in front of me; little did I know they were going too fast as well. I think it is also good for the natural competitor in me to push myself when necessary, and tonight it just was not necessary! I will know this the next time we do this workout. It was a fun time, especially when it was over.
A tempo run teaches your body to adapt to an increased intensity. By tempo running, you can accumulate a fairly high volume of relatively intense work that improves both the aerobic and lactate-threshold systems.
The first step in making this type of training effective is to establish a good running base. Next is to determine your optimal tempo-run pace. This can be done by taking your best recent 5K time and aim to hold a pace about 15 to 20 seconds slower per mile for around 20-25 minutes; if you're a longer distance racer, use your 10K time and hold a pace about 15 to 20 seconds slower per mile for 40 to 45 minutes.