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Rough 6M tempo run

June 9, 2011

Pull-ups: 36 today / 397 June

Push-ups: 170 today / 1818 June

Today was a 6-mile “tempo” run.  I ran it on the treadmill and, despite feeling fatigued before the start, was eager to get moving and push myself.  The idea behind the tempo run is to start easy, slowly accelerate until the pace is hard to maintain for more than a few minutes, then back off to the end of the run.  My plan, though not set in stone, was to do the following pace mile: Mile 1 9:25, Mile 2 8:25, Mile 3 7:25, Mile 4 6:25, Mile 5 7:25, Mile 6 8:25.  This workout should have been doable, though challenging for miles 4 and 5.  (Just a little bit faster than “comfortable” can take a toll of later miles, even if those later miles are run no faster or even slower than what could otherwise be maintained without much strain.)

Last Thursday I did a 6-miler at a pace 0f about 7:25/M.  It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t grueling, so what I had laid out for today was reasonable.  But, even in the early miles I was tired and by the time I finish Mile 3, though still on target, I could feel myself falling apart.  I dug deep for Mile 4 and ran the first half mile at something in the range of 6:50/M, slower than planned and slower than I can ordinarily run an entire 10K.  Then, despite the plans I set out for the session, I absolutely had to walk.  I know my fitness is strong but something wasn’t right so I walked for about 2 minutes, then ran the final third of Mile 4 at a 6:40ish pace.  Upon completing Mile 4 I was fried, had to walk again, and just held on for a couple of much slower miles, averaging maybe 8:30s.

I hate sessions like that.  I’ve been feeling really strong for many consecutive speed workouts, including the downhills that have felt surprisingly easy for very quick paces, and the most recent 6M pace and mile repeat sessions.  Maybe it is just a bit too many speed/intense sessions too close together.  Maybe it is the lack of real days off of exercise.  Maybe it is the added fatigue of altitude acclimatization (more on this on a future post). Or maybe it is even the daily push-ups and pull-ups generally tiring me out. Whatever the reason for the poor session, it is just one workout and it wasn’t a total failure.  I still was able to get my heart rate up for a good block and got in 6 miles in about 50 minutes, even with two walking breaks.

This one is behind me, hopefully not to be repeated as I progress over the next four months.  The goal is to be as fit, fast, and healthy as I can be on October 1, not June 9.  I don’t know how much today’s effort advanced that goal but I’m happy to be able to train, even if some days sort of suck.  Tomorrow I move ahead with a nice long run that I’ll do as slowly as necessary to get in the miles without working too hard, even if it means walking some/many of the inclines.



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