Too easy? Too hard.

April 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Posted in running | 2 Comments
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First things first. Chuck pointed out that this photo belonged in yesterday’s post (in case the reference wasn’t clear):

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about running.

This morning I did my favorite run on the schedule – 7 x 400 at 5K pace. This time I upped the speed to 8:13 miles (7.3 on the treadmill). I felt great. Maybe too great. Maybe it was too easy? I almost feel like I cheated somehow today, even though I did exactly what was on the schedule. I guess I need to increase the pace next time? Take shorter breaks?

Meanwhile, the speedwork day alternates weekly with a tempo day (so speedwork this week, tempo next week, speedwork the week after…you get the idea), which is my least favorite run on the schedule. Tempo is the worst! It’s like running a race during a training run. Next Wednesday I have to do 40 tempo minutes. I’m already dreading it.  

Tempo runs are almost race pace runs. (This is sometimes still confusing for me, since I am still working on figuring out what my race pace is or should be, so to me, it sort of just means “faster than usual and extra uncomfortable.”) The purpose of these runs, in layman’s terms, is to teach your body to be faster for longer. My understanding is that in the world of training, long runs improve endurance, speedwork improves speed (duh), and tempo runs do both of those things.

According to my sources (Runner’s World, obvs), “…many running experts believe that tempo runs are the single most important workout you can do to improve your speed for any race distance.” You can read the whole article for all the deets. But I’m convinced. Torture makes me a better runner. Really, this is not new information.



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  1. I loathe tempo workouts. I would much rather do intervals than tempo.

    • same here 😦

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