Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tempo Runs - a creative touch

Week 8/10 to Marathon

Having conquered the peak load stages of my 10 week marathon training program, I feel like my legs can eat 10k for breakfast, 20k for lunch, and still have room for dessert without much discomfort. It’s a wonderful feeling, really! Two weeks ‘til the marathon, I feel confident about getting my main course meal - my Boston Qualifier time (3:10:59)!

All this running mileage building however is not without its obstacles. My body is handling the extra mileage beautifully, though the same cannot be said about the in taking the large icy-syrupy beverages. Lately I have restrained myself from going anywhere within 50 meters of any gas stations or 7-11s to resist the urge of getting a slushie.

The hot N cold just doesn’t mix well, especially eating yummy shanghainese rice cake noodles after a slushie. It upsets the enzymes apparently - I learned that the hard way while making many visits to the bathroom during the night. =/

To the running and triathlon worlds, it shouldn’t take a great stroke of insight to realize that throwing in a weekly tempo run is the answer to racing your best.

How to become one step closer to global domination, STEP No. 16: Be creative. The Kenyans may get upset at me for using their tempo race secret, but don’t worry, I have a clever idea to add!

We all know the benefits of tempo running. It’s basically a way to teach the body to use the oxygen more efficiently by increasing the lactate threshold. This involves running at a constant speed at a 'comfortably hard' pace that should hover around 85 to 90% of your maximum heart rate.

They also say you should have a warm up and cool down stage before and after the tempo stage.

The problem.

Some friends wanted to do a 10k tempo at 40-42 minutes on this past Saturday after the bike ride. That’s a long tempo run - usually they’re only up to 20 minutes long. Plus, I also live 20k from campus, which means I also have to do the friendly commute. Taking public transit with my Cervelo P2 just wouldn’t be cool.

The solution.

Use the cycling stuff as warm-up and cool-down. Hey presto, kills two birds with one stone (I know that sounds environmentally wrong, but it works). I got in a decent bike workout in. The commute to and back campus was flawless. Lastly I also got in a solid tempo run in. I ran with some friends just under 41 minutes. It felt comfortably hard (avg heart rate 172 bpm).

The 10k tempo Run route

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