In the past I have loved Tempo Runs. My course was planned out on a road and I knew where each mile split was located along the course. I could glance at my Timex sports watch and know whether I was running too fast or too slow (roughly anyway).
Today, I run with a Garmin. I no longer have to map out my course or know where the specific mile markers are located along my route. I can glance at my watch and see more data than I could ever hope to use.
What I like best about the Garmin is it allows me to take a different route - explore new paths. I can now glance at my watch and know not only whether or not I need to speed up or slow down, but also how far I've traversed. Cool stuff.
So, how do you do a Tempo Run? How do you try to maintain a consistent pace throughout? Do you constantly looking at your watch as I do? Or, do you just go with what 'feels right'? Perhaps you don't even bother? :)
Today's plan was 2 miles at GP (8:35), 4 miles at Tempo (8:05), and 2 miles at GP (8.35). Of course, I'm pushing the jogger again so I don't have a clue how to adjust these numbers accordingly... I just aim for this pace.
The first two miles were right on the mark ~ 8:36 and 8:40. Considering the fact that I'm still pushing the stroller, the third was great ~ 8:25.
After that, I started to feel the heat of the day (even though it was only 70 degrees). So, I stopped to walk about 1/10th of a mile at the start of each mile as I re-hydrated and let my heartrate come down a little. My splits for these next 3 miles were 9:29, 9:32, and 10:44. There are a few segments here where I have to push the jogger up a tiny incline - not much of a hill really, but I'm not able to swing my arms as much and it requires more effort on my part to keep the jogger moving.
Feeling fatigued, I elected to do just one more and call it a day. The last mile was 9:46. All total I did 7 miles in 1:05 (an average pace of 9:19). I still very much enjoy Tempo Runs - they are becoming more of a challenge, however. Perhaps because the new training plan has me going faster for longer periods of time? I like it though. I'll continue to push myself.
When we got back home, I jumped into a cold bath for a short time. It is always hard getting in at first but my legs feel so much more relaxed when I get out. I've actually come to enjoy them. My question, though, is how long do I stay? Long enough for goosebumps to appear? Until my lips begin to turn blue?