I decided to train for a sub 45 minute 10k at the end of October. I devised a training plan where my "weeks" are 9 days instead of 7 days. The two most important days during each 9 day period are my tempo run and my speed work. The only way to run faster is to RUN FAST.
On Saturday, I had my first tempo run of my training. The goal was to do six miles with two of them at or near race pace. I sure procrastinated on Saturday morning. It was like I'd do anything except lace up my running shoes and get out there. The longer I waited, the more nervous I got. Mental Note: Next time I have a tempo run, I need to get up drink, coffee, eat, and hit the road before I have time to get nervous!
My splits ended up like this:
Mile 1- 8:45
Mile 2- 7:50
Mile 3- 7:11 <---- Pace
Mile 4- 7:10 <---- Pace
Mile 5- 8:13
Mile 6- 8:13
A couple things about this run I want to share with you...
1. During my third mile, I started to think about the very first marathon I ran. Then I thought about this post by Kristina. In it, she discusses and article by the New York Times entitled: Plodders Have a Place, But Is It in a Marathon? Well guess what? My first marathon took me almost four and a half hours to run and four years later I ran Boston. Everyone starts out somewhere, and for some of us, it's PLODDING. Eff the Times.
2. While my two miles at pace were almost exact, I was having a hard time maintaining a steady pace during those two miles. Sometimes I would look down at my Garmin and I'd be running a 7:30 pace and other times I'd look down and I'm be running a 6:47 pace. I hope with these tempo runs I will get enough practice running at my goal pace and know what it feels like without looking at my Garmin.
3. At mile four and a half, my right shoulder got so sore that I wanted to stop running. Whenever I run "fast" I tense up my right shoulder for some reason. Do you guys do this? When it happens, I shake my arms out or run with them down at my sides. Usually it is just annoying, but that day it hurt so bad that I wanted to stop running. A mile later, the pain went away. Weird.
4. I'm already envisioning the 10k. I would like to kick it up a notch and give it my all during the last half mile- if I have some energy left in me. I don't want to conserve energy for the last half mile, I would just like to kick it into gear if I am able to. I am thinking practicing this during my long runs is a good idea? My long runs are going to be at an easy pace and never longer than 10 miles. Sprinting the last half mile could sort of prepare me for the end of the 10k. What do you guys think?
How do you do tempo runs?
What do you think of my plan to kick it into gear at the end of long runs? Do you think that will be effective, at least mentally?
Do you ever tense up your shoulders like I do?