from mile to marathon

The journey of a thousand leagues begins from beneath your feet.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

tempo runs

Last year when I did a 50-miler, I ran Berlin and then for a month I just heaped up mileage. The race, I kind of winged it, which might be why I barely finished.

This time, when I made up my mind, I had two months to prepare and a more solid base of training over the summer.

So I emailed the Ironman, the one who paced me in Nashville, for some suggestions.

He said it's not about mileage, but about time on your feet and intensity. He admitted this ends up translating into mileage, but mileage is not how he thinks of it.

I am trying to wrap my mind around this difference. In the meantime, in a more practical vein, he mentioned tempo runs.

Oh - tempo runs. Speed work. Intensity. I have run almost twenty marathons, and never did speed work. I am not sure if this is ridiculous or not. Speed is not my strength. Or maybe... I always called myself a lazy runner. Maybe I was just lazy.

The truth is I don't even know how to do it. I tried to read up on it, but the articles talk about lactate threshold and similar stuff, as if I am running with a little chemical lab attached to my belt. It just confuses me.

I can, on the other hand, simply put in some intervals at greater speed. So yeah, I started doing this.

I had this one little problem. When I fell, nearly three weeks ago, I was running much faster than usual. I wasn't doing speed work. I was just enjoying the fact that, with all the running over the summer, I could run hard from time to time. That's why my body described such a splendid arch through the air that I came down face-forward and almost broke my nose. It was speed. Two fingers on my right hand are still swollen. Not that I run with my hands. Just made me think twice before I started on tempo runs.


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