Happy Sunday fellow racers.
A nice even 40 miles for me this week. Nothing too crazy -4 mile trail/slightly hilly tempo for me Wednesday (6:42, 6:17, 6:00, 5:53). Please read on and give me some input on these runs if you have time.
DC - gr8 race, awesome season
Pablo - solid week (sick tempo as well)
Marm - good luck in the 30K
Brum - Nice CC race
Tiger - heal up my friend
I’ve been getting back into tempos lately and would like to get feedback on what you all feel is the best way to do them. You can label them whatever you want (LTs, Tempos, Steady-States), but when I run them, it is primarily by feel and not by time. I’ve always liked starting out honest, but slowly building into a good, hard clip – maybe 65-70% for most of the run, then hitting the gas the last mile or so and negative splitting. When I do them right, that last mile really isn’t that much faster than the one before, but it feels faster and hurts like hell. The benefits IMO are twofold: 1) I am able to gradually ease my 42 year old bones into some pretty fast running without the shock of blasting off the line and 2) I finish strong and with confidence for my upcoming races, but still get to taste the pain that will accompany a hard effort. If anything, I probably run the last few miles too hard, but like to push.
The other school of thought is that you run consistently hard, but in control, throughout the run, which is obviously more in-line with a real race situation. I will do these occasionally, but even then, my last few miles are almost always faster than the 1st. Usually not true in races. If I ran my races the way I ran tempos, I would lose at least 30-40 seconds on the 1st 2 miles because of my slow start. Those are seconds I could never get back no matter how dramatically I negative split the race.
A 3rd and even more drastic way to run these is to blast the 1st mile and then try and tempo out the remainder of the run with respectable splits. This is how Gerry Lindgren reported he would run hard 10 milers. Seemed to work for him. Putting yourself in immediate oxygen debt, going in the hurt locker and never coming out. Does not sound fun, but I’ve been in my fair share of races that have gone out too hard and became gutchecks. Again, another good way to simulate a possible race scenario. Probably no longer a true “tempo,” but I don’t care about the label. If it will help me run faster, I will give it a shot.
I am looking for feedback on what method has worked best for all of you. Should I stick with how I’m doing them? Try a variation? Thanks in advance.