Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tempo Run Tomorrow

Monday was an off day from running after my 13-miler on Sunday.  However, I did have a 2-hour session at the gym.  In addition to my usual core work, stretching, rolling, and one of my two upper body routines, Monday is the day where I do some heavier lifting on legs.  I've also started incorporating some of the weekly power lifting  which will be on Mondays as well.  Last week I added the deadlift - this week I added some light squats too.  (the deadlift and squat routines will get heavier down the line, but I won't up the weight until I can do so w/ minimal soreness as I don't want the lifting to hinder my running in any way)

Today was an easy day where I did my morning 4-miler and evening 5-miler w/ the 5-miler at a slightly quicker pace.

Tomorrow is Threshold day once again.  Last week it was 3 x 1-mile w/ 1-minute breaks.  Tomorrow it's a 3-mile tempo run.  (with a 2-mile warm up and 1-mile cool down for 6-miles total)  

This run will really tell me a lot about where I am mentally.  Last weeks average pace of 5:55 says I should be OK physically, but then I had the benefit of those little breaks between each mile.  Tomorrow, I won't have any breaks - it's 3-miles straight thru and being that it's my first tempo run in a long time I know there's a chance it blows up.  My plan is to alternate my weekly T-work between cruise intervals and tempo runs.  I know it's the tempo runs that will ultimately help me the most down the line, but I tend to run them right on the knife's edge and about 2/3 of the way thru if I've either started too fast or I'm just not mentally ready for the challenge, there have been times where the runs have been aborted.  (when this happens I typically suspend all subsequent workouts and re-do the tempo run the next day where I then get it right)

Anyway, I don't want to have to deal w/ that tomorrow.  The biggest thing for me is to complete the run.  Seven days ago, the pace for this run was going to be set at about 6:20/mile.  After last week's session I'd have to be really sand-bagging if I set a pace much higher than 6:03.  (and even that might be a sand-bagging pace)  Point is, I don't really know.  Was last week just a day where everything went right - I don't think so.  There's enough evidence out there over the past two weeks that says last week's run was real.  

However, even though theoretically you're supposed to keep the same pace for all threshold work that's under 20-minutes duration, the simple reality is if you do 3-miles w/ 1-minute breaks and compare that to 3-miles straight thru - you either have to slow down on the tempo run to keep the same intensity OR ratchet up the intensity to keep the pace because you're not getting the 1-minute breaks.  Averaging 5:55 on the tempo run is therefore out of the question unless I turn it into a Time Trial and that's not the idea of the workout.  

So - the plan is to run the first mile in 6:05 - 6:10 and bring it down if I can.  Where I don't want to be is running the first mile in 6:02, the second one in 5:58 and then early in the 3rd mile have the feeling that I just can't make it.  

Why am I this concerned about a silly little 3-mile tempo run?  I don't know.  I'd like to believe that my actual T-pace is now in the 6-flat range, but I that's probably just wishful thinking at this point.  While last week I had an enormous amount of confidence that I could run a great workout, now that the bar has been raised so to speak, and I've got a tougher workout on the schedule my confidence is just not very high.  And knowing how I approach these things, regardless of what I tell myself, I know once it's time to run I'm going to put that peddle down somewhere in the first 2-miles leaving me an absolute bear of a 3rd mile . . . . so like I said, tomorrow's going to tell me a lot about where I am mentally.


9/15:  No running.  Lifting (upper-B, core, abs, legs)  Also deadlift and squats.

9/16:  AM  4-miles, 7:58 pace
           PM  5-miles, 7:12 pace, HR - 147

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