Friday, April 10, 2009

Do I Really Need to Do This?

That was my "Question of the Day" yesterday. I had a tempo run on the schedule. I know that I'm pretty deep in a training cycle because there are some runs that I feel like I just have to force myself to do. Yesterday was one of those days. I was sooo not looking forward to another hard run. The wind was pretty stiff, which meant that my run back was going to be a couple hard miles into a headwind. Errgghh. I forced myself to take off after 20 minutes of procrastinating. Maybe if I just get this over with....

Well, it really wasn't as bad as I imagined. 45 minutes and I was done. Yeah - the run back was a little tougher because of the wind. But, I covered five miles in the allotted time. Put me right on a average pace of 9:00. The most interesting thing was that I didn't reach my target heart rate until about the mile 3 mark. The real purpose of a tempo run is to stimulate improvement of lactate threshold. This has *everything* to do with being able to stay aerobic during a race. And, the longer you can stay aerobic, the further and faster you can run! To stimulate this improvement though, you need to run at 80% to 90% of maximum heart rate for a 20 to 40 minute period (see Pfitzinger here). The bottom line is that the quality my workout was really suspect when 20 minutes of a 45 minute workout is warm up/warm down, and I don't break into the 80% bracket until 15 minutes into the actual workout. Hmm. This means that I *do* have room for improvement! Time to start pushing a little harder!

But, since today is Friday, it's rest day! Whew. I'm actually looking forward to an easy 12 miles on Saturday.


  1. Okay. I wish I had a rest day. Dangit.

  2. Thanks for the Pfitz link -- isn't it great to know you've got room for improvement.

  3. Great work, Glenn. Looks like you're selling yourself a little short. I agree that it's time to start pushing it a little harder. Time to rock it down into the 8's.

  4. I find that the hard runs are the easiest to talk myself out of, and yet they provide the most reward when I don't listen.