Welcome back! Here is part two of last Fridays post found here. I hope you found it interesting as you are going to find more of the same here today!
The tempo run
I usually reserve a tempo run for runs that are no longer than 5k as I have a lovely near straight towpath that allows for 5k one way with no stops. I try to make these runs to essentially become lung busters. Without a doubt these test you, you want to slow down or straight up stop to get your breath back. I almost have to have a good list of songs ready for me to keep going and just try to keep that momentum going if a song or anything comes on that will mentally slow me down, then I am almost done for. I have to be able to just go hard, as I rarely do shorter runs these are all still quite new to me, so being a sweaty breathless mess is a guarantee!
I haven’t tried it too many times and will actually be trying it again today in about an hour, so check my twitter to see how dead I am.
Luckily I live at the bottom of a hilly city so I am always about 100 yards from an area that I can just pick and run up and just keep going up for a mile or so. By lucky I mean cursed as it then means I have no excuses.
I have always been quite good at hill races or running up hills, I tend to be able to judge what pace I need to keep running and not break that running to walking whilst going u that incline. As part of the East Antrim Marathon Series group, they hold numerous races that involve going up to the Knockagh Monument. Now, this entails going up approx 900 feet each lap and usually for marathon races, this means twice. I remember running in the races and keeping small steady steps but going fast enough, whereas I would be overtaken and then overtake other runners myself again and again. This happened because some runners had not got used to hill running and so were running their normal way and then having to slow or walk, in which I would pass them, then when they got their breath back, they would pass me. This would happen for miles, I would feel comfortable as I was not exerting too much effort (especially on the first laps). Whereas they would be using a lot of effort as they were having to try and find that strength to go again for the second lap!
During one of these races another runner commented as to how well I was able to adapt my running to the hills as he couldn’t do that, he was a one pace type of runner. I told him that I sometimes do tempo runs up hills to help my legs and lungs cope with everything. He said he may try some different things for his training and off I went past as I had strength again to push a little bit more. Keep your energy reserves on the hills is key!
These are my jam, I could make every run a long run. I actually plan to up my long runs to three times a week in July to help kick my ass into gear. I love just putting together a nice playlist for constant running and just go for it for a few hours. I don’t need to worry about my pace mix techniques, just let my let’s move forward. Have a rough aim at a time and just try and hit that time. Running to Carrick and back gives me around 18 or so miles and that is nice, but the temptation to make it to 20 to be even is always in my head. You see and notice so many things, the people cycling, other runners families enjoying their days etc. I enjoy it, there are no worries about anything. Just go out and enjoy yourself. I will always recommend these runs and these runs come in handy for those wanting to breach out into ultra running. It is a good tester, just past that 26.2 and aim for 27. Go on a nice flat route and just see how you and your body feel about it.
So there we are a variety of the runs I try to implement. I hope you enjoyed them and maybe try some yourself!