Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tempo Run

I did the first tempo run this morning. The basic idea of a tempo run is to build slowly to a pace that's hard enough to be anaerobic or that approaches lactate threshold. Ideally, you'll hold that pace long enough to build strength but not long enough to cause problems.

The first week of the training plan calls for a 40-minute run with 10 to 15 minutes easy, 15 to 20 minutes harder, and 10 to 15 minutes easy. Hal Higdon simply uses pace to monitor tempo runs, and he recommends building slowly to a few minutes of near 10K pace during the 20 minute hard section.

My Forerunner has built-in tempo runs that are based on heart rate rather than pace. I like that better because I think it's a better measure of effort and fitness. The Garmin training runs build slowly to a longer period of hard running that is in heart rate zone 4 or 80% to 90% of maximum heart rate.

I normally modify the Garmin tempo runs to fit the time lengths in Hal Higdon's training plans. Today, I ended up doing 12 minutes of slow buildup followed by 20 minutes hard in heart rate zone 4 with 8 minutes of taper at the end. Split 5 is the hard section with an average pace of 7:35. The run went well, and I felt good at the end.

Will do some stretching later today and enjoy a rest day (more or less) tomorrow.

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