Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tempo Tuesday

Most people follow some sort of training plan when they are preparing for a distance race. This involves things like tempo runs, long runs, 400s, 800s, speed work, fartleks, 3542s. Okay, I made the last one up. But you get the point. This is complicated. I'm sure I could understand it if I tried, but I just file it away in the "things runners do that make other people think they are crazy" file.


I'm on a running roll and I'm pretty proud of that. Last night, I ran 9 miles. It's only February and I'm training for Tinkerbell Half in May, so I feel way ahead of myself. Yes, I'm aware that this is what normal dedicated runners do, so I've been pretty busy patting myself on the back, feeling all awesome for doing shit most runners do all the time. Baby steps, people.

Saw this on Instagram


I've developed my own kind of tempo/long run/speed work type of training plan that I've sort of become addicted to. I use a Garmin but I also use the Runkeeper app on my phone. I had taken most of 2015 off of running, so when I committed to run 1000 miles in 2016, I was basically starting over.

I started taking a screen shot on my phone at the one hour mark. Each week, I've tried to get a little farther in one hour. Then I keep a list on my phone to see how I've progressed. I have a file for 1:00, 1:30 and 2:00 hour runs. This includes my warm, walk breaks, water breaks, and freaking out over Darth Vader runners in my neighborhood.

Tracking myself this way forces me to be really aware of how long it really takes me to cover a certain distance. For example, if I can get to 5 miles in a hour and then be at 10 miles at two hours, I have a chance at getting a PR at Tinkerbell. I'm shooting for getting to 5.5 in an hour before May, which is totally doable. If I can get to 10.5 or 11 in two hours, I'll be golden for a PR.

These were my screen shots from last night. I didn't really intend to run on a Monday night for two hours, but I just kept pushing and I felt pretty good for most of it. Because I was only intending to run 5-6 miles total, I didn't have any fuel and I was really feeling it in miles 7-9. (I did finish 9 miles but only took a screen shot right a two hours.)

Yes, I know this is slow, but I'm getting faster!




This method seems to combine tempo, a bit of speed work to beat the clock, and distance running. I like watching myself improve, even if it's just in small increments. Instead of focusing on specific distances, I'm focusing on time and increasing the distance within a certain time.

So far, I'm really enjoying training in this manner. I definitely don't do this for every run. Some runs I just mosey along and get some miles in, however they come.

Last night's 9 miler leaves me with 910.44 miles left to run in 2016.




  1. I like your method of running a certain amount of time instead of miles. When I do my longer runs ( around 10-13 miles). Mile 7-9 is when I really start "feeling it". You crack me up with your "patting myself on the back for doing shit other runners do all the time". Love it.....lol

  2. I'm impressed with your commitment to training for Tinkerbell. I think everyone needs to find a way to motivate themselves and your idea of times runs is certainly doing the job for you. With a huge concentration on another sport (your riding), it would be hard to be as committed in another, or at least that is my opinion. As a part time golfer, I can't take myself too seriously on the course, since I don't practice and running is my current focus, except that I am injured.

  3. Great way to track your progress. I used to do this with my trail running. I would give myself 20 minutes to run as far as I could up the mountain. Eventually I was able to hit the saddle within 20 min. Its really fun trying to improve the distance.

  4. I'm so bad at actual speed / tempo work, but this sounds like a good plan. Easy to track. Sometimes I just do pickups - sprint to the next tree or other landmark.


Thanks for reading!