Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tempo Time!!!

Over the 6 weeks, I have not done a "quality" run of any sorts. By quality, I mean a run in which I push myself pretty hard to improve my speed and endurance. After the Ft. Lauderdale Marathon, I think my body was kinda beat up, so I wasn't planning on running hard anyway for at least 4 weeks. The knee discomfort turned that into a 6week hiatus from hard running... but now I am back!!! The two types of runs that allow for this to happen are tempo runs and intervals. Next week I will explain intervals, because I plan to do an interval workout next Tuesday... but for now we will go over what a tempo run is.
The whole idea of a tempo run is to improve your lactate threshold. What the heck is that? Well, at all times of the day our bodies produce lactic acid and remove lactic acid at a fairly even rate. When you push your body really hard, like running, doing aerobics... anything for a fairly long period of time (over an hour) your body usually produces so much lactic acid, but it can't get rid of it fast enough, so you start to slow down, because your body has had enough...this happens to most people in marathons, and this is the single most important aspect of successful marathon running.... run at a pace that doesn't build up to much lactic acid in your system that it builds up and your body can't get rid of it quick enough... good news??? That can be improved upon with proper training, and the tempo run is the best way to do it.
So basically what I did today was warm up for 2 miles, run at a tempo pace (which is a pretty hard effort) for 4 miles, and then cool down for 2 miles. I'm not going to lie... it's challenging, but when you finish, you are tired enough where you are glad its over, but in the back of your head you think "I probably could have done another mile or so...."
So all in all... it was an 8 mile run today. The weather was very nice this morning... in the high 50's, and I felt really strong. I was concerned with not having done one of these runs in almost 8 weeks, and I thought I might not be able to hold a strong pace for long, but it went quite well. Here is the run... if you click on the map below, you can see my splits throughout the run. At some point this weekend, I plan on running around 11-12 miles at a fairly easy pace. Just not sure if I want to do this on Saturday or Sunday... it just usually depends on how I feel after a long day at work tomorrow.

Map of Ivy Lake Tempo Run

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