You learn something old every day…

Perhaps it’s me needing to read things thoroughly, or I don’t know, just remember things I’ve read years ago?

At the end of my night shift I was chatting with a friend about our training plans (made by the same person) and how they make us want to die. I mentioned how my next long run was 15 miles – with a 5 mile tempo run in the middle. Of course my reaction when I first saw it was “Are you f&@#ing kidding me?? How is that even possible? This is surely how it all ends. That can’t be right!”.

You see, when I first read through the training guide I saw “tempo” and “30 seconds faster than goal marathon pace”, so on all my tempo runs I have done a ~1 mile warm up (if that, and definitely not at a warm up pace) and then ran at the tempo pace for the remainder of the run.  When I went back and re-read the whole thing, suddenly everything I had once known came rushing back. Oh right, you actually run easy for a solid chunk at the beginning, slowly build up to tempo pace over the next 1/3 of the run or so and hold it for ONE TO TWO MINUTES, then bring it back down for the rest of the run. Just like I read on Runner’s World or whatever 2-3 years ago.

Well. Shoot. I thought when I cut the tempo portion of my run a little short last Thursday that I was a quitter, but it turns out I was quite the over-achiever. Or just stupid. It was supposed to be a 45 minute tempo run. After 36 minutes I was like F. This. and stopped to take a breather before “jogging” the remaining mile home as a cool down. I even logged it as a separate run so it wouldn’t mess up my average pace and make me feel like a loser.

My splits from last Thursday’s run. Serious WTF to mile 2.

Not only was the AVERAGE pace faster than it should’ve been (I was shooting for 7:20), I also held that pace for 34 MINUTES longer than I should have. *Slow clap*

I’m really glad I discovered this before the 55 minute tempo run came at me. That would’ve sucked. No wonder I was doubting myself so much – these runs felt so impossible that I was seriously starting to re-think my race goal. Turns out I was just doing them wrong. So, so wrong.

So there you have it. Reading is imporant and stuff.

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