Tempo interval run

I am sure you have read about the benefits of doing both tempo and interval runs. Intervals work your heart by increasing your heart rate for sprints and then recovering with cool downs, then repeat. Tempos strengthen your stamina by getting your heart, body and mind used to increased effort over an extended period of time. But which to do? Which is better? The answer of course is do both, preferably with a recovery day in between. All fine and dandy if you have three days! So my new answer is to combien the two (absolutely no scientific basis for this!) getting the benefit of 72 hours of running combined into a one hour run!

Like I said, I have no scientific basis for the benefits of doing a tempo interval and in fact I have only done it once on my run today. But buy my new book and workout plan today and become the runner that wins gold in the Olympics! Only $19.99 comes with a water bottle and free iphone/android ap that doesn’t work.

But seriously that today I ran a tempo/interval run. I did about a mile of block long intervals sandwiched by two sort tempo runs, and I did it all under 10 min miles. It felt pretty good, definitely feels like more effort than a normal run of equal distance. I think I’ll do it again at some point. The block long intervals were a bit longer than my normal interval trac workout (straights and curves) and it was a bit of an effort to keep up the sprint for the full blocks (longer blocks than normal too!) I did them along the reedway park strip, next time I think I’ll go back as well.

Running well these days

So again coming back into running. I have actually run a lot lately and just didn’t write about it. I kept thinking I should and even thought about topics to write about. But just never got to it. So runs this week were a couple of base runs after a long cold/flu. They were hard but I pushed through them. Both runs I took walking breaks which were needed. But the last two runs (yes, four runs since I wrote) have been really good, a recovery run and a tempo(ish) run.

Yesterday I did a great recovery run. 10k and kept my heart rate below my recovery ceiling (HR less than 144 for me) for probably 95+% of the run. I had my first slip up when a woman was running in the opposite direction of me. We both hit the end of the East Moreland Reedway blocks (or whatever it is called) looping back towards reed, her going with traffic and me across the park blocks between us, going against. I noticed she was barefoot and we chatted a bit about barefoot running, she was training for a barefoot Hood to Coast team. I was pushing it to keep up with her when I remembered that I was trying for 144 and my HR was 160! So I said so long and went slowly on my way in a different direction. It actually didn’t take me too long to get my HR down and I continued through reed and the canyon all under. I knew the hills were coming up and as I got closer I tried to bring my HR down as much as possible to get ready for the slow climb. The first set of smaller hills through campus went fine, all under. But the final stretch is significantly steeper and I had to really slow down. There was nobody around so I didn’t mind appearing to run as slowly as possible! I almost made it, but I crept up to 146 for parts of it. Still pretty darn good. The last hill went fine. I had brought my HR down to about 129 before I started and made it to the top under 144. Then crossing the street at the top of the hill I was up to 150. I didn’t sprint across the street or anything, but maybe my dislike of cars… All in all a great recovery run with an average pace of 12-13 min miles.

Today was a different story. I started pretty cool with some clouds that quickly gave way to sunshine and some warmth. I hadn’t decided what to do on this run. I found myself doing a steady brisk pace with ease and decided to push the pace throughout the run. Today’s now decided goal was sub 10 min miles for 10K. I kept strong for the first three + miles and then bonked a bit coming out of the canyon and up the hills. I slowed down for the hills but kept pushing. At the top I was still under 10 min mile pace so I pushed again. I think I even needed a last burst of energy to get me through the final four blocks. In the end, under 10 min miles easy.

So two solid runs back to back and both training runs of sorts. Ones I can at least categorize in my running log. well, tempo(ish).

Four runs, four days

Today I did a recovery run that marked the fourth day in a row I have run. This has always been my benchmark for getting back into running. Over the last couple months I have gotten close a couple of times (three days in a row twice) but never got to the fourth for one reason or another. So today, I finally made it over the hump. I am ready to embrace running again! Not that I ever really didn’t, but my enthusiasm has been diminished this spring.

Yesterday after I blogged the last post, I went out on one of my base 10k runs. I started out pretty fast and decided heck I may as well keep my pace going. I ended up running sub nine min miles for the first three miles. Then, pooped, I stopped the tempo portion and just coasted out the final 3+. The fast portions went really well, but I was exhausted for sure. It did feel prety good to get some speedwork in. This was another run after an injections where I felt extra energy. I wish I knew if that is really a side effect to the rebif or if it is a mental increase to my energy levels.

Today I just did a 5 mile recovery run. I tried really hard to keep my pace under 144 (my 70% recovery ceiling HR) and I more or less failed miserably. I was able to bring my HR down to that level several times but my avg was 150 and I really felt that is where I hovered for most of the run. Running four days in a row could have a little bit to do with that, but I think I have just lost a significant amount of my base fitness. The good thing is that it gives me something to improve upon that I can see immediate results for. I still plan on doing more quality runs and staggering them with recovery. Maybe I’ll read my HR training book again to get some inspiration.


Today’s run started out to be sort of a recovery run after the LSD run I did previously. But since I had taken a day off in between then and today I wasn’t firm about my choice. Unfortunately, as I was thinking I would do the recovery run, I didn’t bring any water with me (jeez this is starting to sound like a familiar refrain, isn’t it.) But despite the lack of water I found myself running pretty fast, my first mile came in at just over 9 minutes. So I thought to myself “that’s the fastest first mile I have done in awhile, why not make this a tempo run.” So I did.

My second and third miles both came in under 8 minutes. The second mile felt really good and I felt strong throughout. The third mile was a different story. I really struggled but about halfway through I rededicated myself to keeping a fast pace. I had to do that again at 3/4s, but it worked and my third mile was actually a few seconds faster than the second. But that is where the party ended and I slowed down considerably for the fourth mile. I was really tired and missing that water. But I kept on and actually got a bit reinvigorated once I was in the canyon.

My runs in the canyon are usually a bit slower. The terrain is variable and it usually is much more humid there. I find myself struggling quite a bit. And to top it off I like to go slower cause it is so beautiful there. But not today. I flew over the dirt trails, leaped over obstacles and avoided walkers. My pace was quite a bit slower than the tempo speeds, but was still not slow. As I came out of the canyon I kept up the pace and pushed it out of the campus as well. The last two miles ended up being tempo runs of their own right, albeit slower.

Overall I came in with an average speed of 9 minute miles, which doesn’t sound too fast (and well lets be honest, it isn’t!) but it was for me today and I feel like I worked extra hard. In addition I have been adding a new exercise to my post run workouts. Facing a life long shame of not being able to do pull-ups I have decided to try to do something about that. For the last couple of days I have gone to the park on my runs to try to do some with no success and further embarrassment. But I am not going to let that get in the way (too much anyway) and I have discovered that I can do them on the cross beam above my porch. I am enjoying the added privacy! Still can’t do them. I have decided to rename my pull-up exercises as a hang-down as this more accurately reflects what is going on! But I am feeling it in my arms and shoulders, so I’ll keep it up.

Tempo from hell

I had to laugh today when I looked at the distance of my hellish tempo run, 6.66 miles! Running with the Devil should have been on my Ipod today. It was actually not too bad of a run, not nearly as hellish as it sounds. I tried to keep a relatively consistent pace on the three mile tempo portion. In the past I have gone out fast and then faded. Today I dialed the pace back a little and ran the first mile at 8:11, still pretty fast for me. My second mile was a bit faster at 8:03. I was still starting to fade on the third mile, but I picked it up for the last half and really cranked it out for the final quarter mile and came in at 8:15. So overall I was pretty happy with the consistency of today’ tempo run.

Even though I held back on going really fast, my HR was still pretty high averaging 163 for the whole run with a max of 187. My avg HRs on the splits was 162, 175 & 177. Still probably higher than I want it for these runs, but actually thinking about how I felt it wasn’t too bad. There were a couple of times when I knew I was going to hard and the 187s of my final mile show that (plus I was pushing it in hopes of combating a slow start to that mile.)

I have been trying to wrap my head around calories burned on my workouts. Last night I ran a slow six miles with an average pace of 10:46 and avg HR of 136. Today’s tempo run, a much harder run in terms of effort had an average HR of 163 and avg pace of 9:17 (which is not totally accurate representation as it was three miles of fast and 3.66 of warm up and cool down. The easy run from last night burned 843 cals and the tempo run (despite being .66 mi further) only added a little over 100 cals. It really seems like I should have burned more calories if it is so tied to HR as they say it is. There is an increase, but very little. 140.5 per mile on the slow run and 144 per mile on the fast. Hardly worth it if burning calories was the goal.

Fastest tempo run yet and then rain

Yesterday I set out to do a tempo run. I wasn’t feeling to into it and the air quality was really poor from either a forest fire or more likely wood burning that has become so popular in the area. If its wood (or even looks like wood) burn it! No regard for pollution, just burn it! Anyway, I could rant for hours about this but I have a run to talk about. So my breathing was not great and I had to keep coughing to remove my neighbors enjoyable fires from my lungs (wait, I said I wouldn’t rant anymore.) So as I was going through a warm up and approaching my tempo route I was none to confident in my abilities. Still, I forged on, I really wanted to get this out of the way in my schedule of quality runs.

The first mile came really easily to me and I recorded a 7:33. I was feeling it in my lungs, but I still felt pretty strong. As I pulled through the second mile I realized I had to slow down. Seems I went out to fast for that first mile. So I paced it down a bit, but still kept pushing it. It was tough, but my second mile was not to bad at 8:13. At the start of the third mile I kept thinking about something my running partner heard at her boot camp. If you are doing a quality run and can’t keep up then its not a bad idea to bag it. The thinking with that being that you aren’t getting the benefit from the activity if you aren’t doing it properly. It was starting to sound like a really good idea. But, I remembered my philosophy of powering through difficulty to build yourself for the future. Sort of a variation of ‘no pain, no gain’. While I disagree with Nike’s motto I am all for powering pushing myself through the hard parts. So I kept at it albeit slower yet. In the end I finished my third mile at 8:40 which wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be and as it turns out the fastest I have done my three mile tempo run yet. So I was really happy with the run. I finished up with a run through the canyon and home.

This morning I got up early to go for a run with my running partner. She is not much for the rains and it is even harder for her to get through that first wet run. So was prepared for the text saying she was bagging it. So alone I headed out for eight miles of recovery. It was a good run, slow and easy and a nice change from the previous days tempo. I didn’t mind the rains too much even though it was too warm to wear my running jacket. So I stripped it off and got soaked. Still it was a nice run. I was actually surprised at the number of runners I ran into in teh rain. Good to see everyone keeping up with it. Now I just need to work on my running partner. She’ll come around!

Couple days of rest and running

After running for eight days in a row, personal record for me I took two days off. At first I was just going to skip one day, but convenience turned into two. Monday morning I ran out with a vague plan of a tempo run. As I warmed up my pace felt good and I decided to go for it. I forgot to set my lap at the start of the tempo portion so the first quarter mile got factored in with my slower warm up. Miles one and two were almost identical at 8:16 and 8:17. The pace felt good and like I could step it up if needed, but the third mile is just grueling and slow as I slowed down and then did all the uphill at the end. Next time I think I’ll just do laps on the reed college strip until I hit three miles, should be about two laps, maybe a bit more.

Today I felt enthused to go out and run a recovery run. I did a good job of keeping the heart Rate under 70% of max. There is even a hill as I climb away from East Moreland Golf Course that I always get up into the 150’s. Today I did the entire hill under 144. I really focused on breathing from the belly, I think it makes a big difference.

Also I was listening to the moody electronic trance of William Orbit on the first part of the run. Then when I hit the canyon I switched to Talking Heads and there went the HR. But it is a harder run as well, but I still think music has a huge effect on a workout.

Tempo Tuesday

I am having a difficulty with scheduling my hard runs. Tuesday always seems to be the best day for it. If I do a long run on Sat or Sun, then I have Monday for a recovery run which means I should be ready by Tuesday to go for a quality run. The problem with this is that I have band practice on Tuesday night and after a quality run I am too tired to perform for two hours. Usually after an hour or so I have just lost it at rehearsal. Maybe it is a matter of just doing it and getting tougher. At least that is my theory tonight.

I did my traditional tempo run today, but I did a little bit slower than last time with splits of 8:23, 8:24 and 9:04 for the tempo portion. Two weeks ago my splits were 7:18, 8:27 and 9:12. Four weeks ago my splits were 8:26, 8:20 and 8:14. It appears that when I start out fasterĀ  than 8, I poop out. The uber consistent tempo run 4 weeks ago was all flat whereas my usual tempo has an uphill for the final half mile or so, so that could explain the fast third mile, plus I was trying to show off for my running partner who almost puked at the end of that one.

I think it will be interesting to keep track of these runs doing them every two weeks or so along with the speed work at the track and some hill repeats. All in all I am getting some good quality runs in and feeling pretty good about it. This weeks tempo was probably the easiest of the three some of which probably was due to the cool weather we had today. These runs are definitely early morning runs to take advantage of the temp for the summer anyway. I also gobbled nearly a full pack of sport beans on this run and had water.

I just found a fourth recent tempo run (I knew there was another). My splits for this one were 7:59, 8:23 and 9:02. This one I was more consistent, but still had a falling off for that third mile.

High HR tempo

Just got back from a tempo run that kicked my butt. I started out with a 2 mile warm-up (actually a bit less). The whole time I was thinking about how I didn’t want to start the tempo portion. As I got closer to the point where I start the dread faded away and I was off. Pretty quickly I found my HR to be pretty high, higher than I would think it would be for my pace. But it was the third running day in a row so I guess it is to be expected. My first mile clocked at 8:08 with my HR staying around 170, too high. I slowed a little for the second mile coming in a 8:27 with the HR creeping up to 175 or so. I was really feeling the effects of the run, but that’s the way it is supposed to be so I kept on. My lat tempo mile really slowed down to 9:12 and the HR still kept going up. By the time I finished and pulled into the park for water I was feeling really woozy, almost dizzy. Water helped a bit and once again illustrated the need to carry it with me. I had every intention of bringing it, but as often happens I forget to strap it on. I finished up the run with a couple miles of cool down pace. My HR was still pretty high for this portion and I didn’t really try to get it down to 70%. I figured that was a lost cause and I didn’t really feel like plodding along. All in all I averaged 161 for the HR. Pace is of course screwy as I have more miles of warm up and cool down than I do tempo. All in all a great workout and I really feel like I did some hard work.

Once I got home I immediately grabbed a whey protein bar Greens+, very good stuff in there and 16 g of when protein. I really wanted something quick and I think it was a good thing not to wait too long to get something in my belly and protein for the muscle recovery. I added a green drink with protein powder and a big glass of G2 so I should be well on my way to recovering from this. Good quality run.

Fast run from out of nowhere

My plan today was to do a recovery run after yesterday’s slow 12 miles. I was on my own as my running partner had the dual recovery going on, 12 miles and a open bar gala last night. Since the both of us plan to do a recovery run tomorrow, I decided to just wing it and see what I was comfortable running. During my first mile I was lugging a pile of library books along with me for the first half and managed to do 9:30. I thought that sounds about what I expected. During the second mile I was paying more attention to my heart rate which was around 150-155 so I wasn’t real sure of my pace. When the mile two beep sounded I had ran that last mile at 8:17! And I felt pretty strong, so I decided to do another mile at that pace which I did. As I started into the fourth mil I knew there were going to be hills so I decided I would try to recover for a mile. The first half was all up hill and I relinquished the pace but not the HR which was hovering around 170+. For mile five I cranked out another 8:15 before hitting another set of hills. Again I relinquished the pace but kept the HR up topping 181 at one point and keeping a pretty steady HR of 175-180 for the next six tenths before I decided to back off and recover up the last hill. My last mile I ran pretty steady but relaxed around a 9:30 pace with a stop off at the library. All in all a much faster run than I expected and very enjoyable after the luxurious slowness of yesterday. Speed rules…sometimes.