I figured tempo running would be a good place to start (tempo is so hot right now...). It's not a wild leap into training and if I did it once a week or every other week, it seems that it could only help. So, it was off to Buffalo Park to do some tempo.
To my surprise, it wasn't that bad (I didn't puke my brains out afterward or get super grumpy...good sign or maybe bad sign...) and Buffalo Park it a pretty scenic place to work hard to make it a little more motivating.
I had read and heard that my tempo runs should be about (2-6 miles x 2) because I do longer distance running and at about 80% effort. So I went with that, decided to do 3 miles x 2 and turned in times of 21:12 and 21:28 (both barely over 7 min pace). Good place to start and I felt like I was about 80% but maybe I could have gone harder...not sure. I should probably run the 3 mile course at full 100% to see what my 80% pace should really be.
I was o.k. with the times I turned in for a first go at it but would love to see that pace go down substantially over the next few months if I can stick with it. 7 minute pace is not a very fast pace to sustain over 3 miles at 80%. Almost embarrassed writing about it here actually... I'm pretty sure that it is a ton more interesting reading about the big boys crushing it then reading about my very average tempo runs. Sorry if I'm being boring...
I would welcome any comments about others experience running tempo to improve speed for long distance running. It's easy finding info about it for marathon runners or less mileage distances but not a lot about it for 50 and 100 milers. So, I'm winging it a bit here and seeing what happens. If I'm on the right track it would be nice to hear that from others and if I am an idiot and should be doing something different I would LOVE to hear that pronto before I get too far into this. Thanks for any comments!
Last week cont...
Wednesday: 3 miles (work)
Thursday: 14.5 miles (from house to a newish trail near Fisher Point that heads out to Skunk Canyon and then pieced trails back to home in 2:10. Great run. Really enjoyed the Skunk Canyon section. New trail for me.)
Friday: 6 miles easy (urban trail to Schultz Pass Rd and back) + 4 miles (work errands) = 10 miles
Last Week Total: 60 miles and about 4,500 feet elevation gain
Sunday: 2 miles easy on mesa with Susan
Monday: TEMPO (at Buffalo Park, 3 miles 21:12 + 3 miles 21:28 + 4 miles warm up/warm down. Not too impressive but gotta start some where if I want to get faster...) = 10 miles