Tempo Runs & Twitter

Yesterday, I read this article about tempo runs and ironically, I ended up doing a tempo run last night, which was not originally planned.

Mac and I were going to do mile repeats, but decided on just a normal run instead.  I thought a normal run would be good instead of a hard workout since we are racing on Sunday and I want fresh legs for that.  Well…normal/marathon pace for Mac = tempo run for Colleen.

I don’t know all the actual splits on this because I was not in charge of the Garmin.  I think the first 2 miles were about 7:30 and then we picked it up for a few to 7 minute pace and then the last mile was back down to about 7:30 again.  I had my watch at 48 minutes and mapped it out online to 7 miles, so if that is all correct (or even if it’s a bit off), that was a really fast run for me!  We did stop in the middle for a bit to stretch, etc. but that is quite alright and I needed that break.


So after I read that article on tempo runs, I started freaking out that there are only 5 and a half weeks left until the Chicago Marathon and that I haven’t gotten in enough “quality” workouts or “marathon-specific” workouts.  I decided I really need to build in some tempo-paced runs.  With only about 3 weeks left before I have to taper, I wanted to know what workouts I should try to get in.  So I did the logical thing and emailed Catherine.  Subject line: important running question.

First of all, I realize this article is from 2007, but I doubt running philosophy changes that drastically (even though I do think running has gotten way more popular in the past couple years and more and more research has been done).  I just stumbled upon it yesterday because the Columbus Marathon tweeted it, so I read it.  They tweet lots of good articles.  You know who else tweets awesome stuff?  I do.  So you should follow me @CSmith_Run.  While you’re at it, also follow @PJSmith9.  He tweets good stuff too (and he knows it).  Some examples:

Anyways though, Catherine and I are pretty comparable in pace and she has trained for a few marathons and knows what workouts are good.  So I trust her.  I asked what pace she does for tempo runs and if she has any good workout suggestions.  She usually does tempo runs around 7:20-7:30 pace, so that was consistent with what I was assuming.  The article says tempo pace should be 30-40 seconds per mile slower than your current 5k race pace.  I did a 4th of July 5k averaging 6:55 pace and I think I would be even a little faster than that now.  So the 7:20-7:30 tempo pace sounds pretty reasonable and manageable.

The article also said a good indication of tempo pace is the “talk test.”  A simple question or answer should be possible, but conversation should not.  This was definitely true on our run last night…my sentences were pretty broken up in between gasps for air.  And then Mac got too fast for me so I was about 10 feet behind for a bit.  Conversation is not possible that way either.  I guess that means I need to get faster.

Catherine suggested a workout of 2 x 3 miles at tempo pace.  I think that would be a workout that would be very beneficial.  The article from Runner’s World suggests a tempo workout of 2 x 5 or 6 miles at tempo pace, but with the warm-up and cool-down, that would essentially be a long run with tempo portions.  A workout that Mac has on the schedule in a week or two is 3 x 5k, which would also be at a “tempo” effort.  So I think I will aim to do that when he does and then make one of my two remaining 20 mile runs into a tempo workout/long run.  Two workouts in one!

Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?

Any good tempo workout suggestions?

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