Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting ready for the Olomouc half - TEMPO runs finally

Weekend race is coming up this Saturday - the Olomouc half-marathon. And actually another 10K race next Wednesday (the Olympic day run). So how am I getting ready for the races, what is new in my pre-race feelings and training? Strange thing is that exactly this week I became mentally tired every evening since the work is getting very busy. Just have to deal with it. And very big news: back in tempo runs after two years almost totally without them. How comes? I am very stubborn.

But first things first, this Saturday I am running the "Olomoucký půlmaraton" (which in English means Olomouc half-marathon). How am I getting ready? One important note, this is the first time when a half actually is not the main race for me. Yes, I am running the half-marathon as a part of my training. I couldn't imagine saying that two years ago, but things change. Given my training schedule, this race fitted in perfectly, the weekend long run was scheduled for 14 miles, so I guess the one mile missing will be more than compensated by the race effort. Apart from that, the last week was sort of a taper. It was the fourth or fifth week, where the mileage is not increased but stays the same or is even bit lower, so the the body is not burnt out.

I also slightly changed my week routine this week to get ready for the race. Normally, there are "longer" runs on Tuesday and Thursday (5-7 miles) and shorter run on Wednesday (3 miles). I switched Wednesday for Thursday, so last longer workout was yesterday and today (Thursday) only easy 3 mile jog. The most important change though is that I (re)included tempo runs or speed work in my training. Of course I read about those back in 2009 when I became more serious and consistent about my running, but I did not really like those, enjoy them and did not see any true benefit. I knew I should do them, but as I said, I am very stubborn, so I thought I could do without them. Yes, I could, but I couldn't go faster without them. This fact did not bother me last year when I wasn't in any kind of race training. But I am an ambitious crazy hot pink runner and if I race and train consistently, I want see some improvements! :)

Only guessing would be saying that a runner has to "grow" into doing such workouts. I don't know if there is any scientific background here, but I think and I feel in my personal experience, that one needs some base of miles accomplished in order to be able to do the different harder workouts (and even easier ones). Or at least this way it seems to have worked for me. So the biggest thing on my training plan right know is going with different paces. Really easy for the easy runs and long runs - and trust me, this can be slower than you think and it is important to be truly slow in order to recover and have enough energy and power for the stamina and the speed workouts. 

I did not understand clearly the purposes of these workouts and I am so glad I went through the long article by Greg McMillan about different types of workouts, strongly recommend reading it if you need reasons and explanations for your actions. To find out what your right paces are, you can use McMillan's famous running calculator. You need a result of your recent race and it calculates your expected race times for different distances. If you do not have a race result or if you aim for a specific result, you can input that and you will see what you need to achieve in order to get there. It is actually pretty accurate!

You can check here the brief summary of my first true tempo run. I did not really believe that I will be able to go around 8:00 min/mile for three miles. And yet I did. I saw the sweet result of getting faster and this same workout being easier the next time. I read somewhere that tempo run is that kind of comfortably hard, where you feel you would like to slow down a bit or you really long for being at the end of the required distance. But once you complete it, you feel really good about yourself. My easy runs are now between 8:58 and 9:28 min/mile and the tempo between 7:45 and 8:01 min/mile (based on 1:45 half-marathon finishing time).

Stay tuned for a race report about Olomouc and have a lovely weekend ... running or not! You can also sign up for email updates or RSS feeds or leave a comment, tell me about your story or send me a link to your blog! And just keep running and listen to your body.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

No comments :

Post a Comment