Tempo Troubles

Year of Challenge, right?

Training for Destination Races Santa Barbara started Monday.   After much deliberation and a little reworking, I am using a combo plan.  Primarily Run Less Run Faster with a little Jeff Galloway thrown in.  Kind of an oxymoron but I was hoping it would work for me.    The plan means 3 key running workouts a week, 1 tempo- 1 interval workout- 1 long run.

Sounds great, right?  Except it’s day 3 and I am already having troubles.

Monday opened with a tempo.  Probably not the best idea (also against the plan) considering I had run the previous 2 days but unfortunately that was how my schedule worked out this week.   That wasn’t the only trouble.   I suddenly realized I had no where to run said tempo.    I have no access to a track.   The treadmill tries to break me, even the idea of attempting a 5-6 mile made my calves seize up in imagined pain.  I haven’t been on a treadmill since the nightmare fiasco back in October.    Normally I run my tempo runs at the lake path…except thanks to the mudslides not only is my commute 15 miles longer each way due to the road closure but I can’t get to the lake.   A fact that did not occur to me until Sunday night.  Oops.

So now what?

Monday’s run called for a 1-2 mile warmup followed by 3 miles at short tempo pace with a 1 mile cooldown.  What was my tempo pace?  Well according to my last 5K- it should be 9:02.  Trouble.   Let’s all start laughing now.   People, I’m not in 9:02 shape not even close.  I would need a downhill with an 8% grade, a strong tailwind and maybe even skates to pull that off.   I went back to the pace chart.   Could I even maintain a sub 10?  Honestly, I wasn’t sure.  Ouch.

Next trouble.  I was running this in work town.  After work.   In the dark.  On the streets.  With cars.   Yeah, this was going to be very abbreviated and interesting.    What really happened?

.75 mile warm up
1 mile tempo
.2 mile gasp for air
.7 mile tempo
.5 mile cooldown

Holy crap, I was sucking wind.  My legs were so confused.  They were like, wait, fast running?  I thought we didn’t do that anymore, who agreed to this?    As for the paces?  Haha.    Tempo mile 1- 9:55.  Ouch.   I had hoped it would be a little better than that.  Except let’s be real, there was a 30 second walk break in there.  Ok, there was also a break.   Because when you come around a corner and see this sunset, you stop and stare a bit.

And try to stop panting.

That last tempo portion wasn’t a full mile partly because I decided it was too dark to run safely and if I stopped it there, I had a half mile cool down jog to my car.  That .7 mile of tempo came in at a 9:27 pace.   Somehow I improved going uphill, wonder if I could have held it.

So yeah, ouch.  I cut my 6 mile run in half.  Ran hard into the reality of how much work I need to do get faster.  I felt like toast just after those 3 miles.

However I still have the problem of where to run.   Until the highway opens back up, I can’t get to the lake path.     I could try the treadmill but I fear it would cause more harm than good.   I could keep running them at work until the lake path is available, they would just be way shorter than the plan says.  Something is better than nothing right?   The days are getting longer so I could the push the tempo portion to be a little longer each week.   I was looking forward to working on my training plan and now I just feel foiled.  Grrr.

What would do?

Where would you run?


11 thoughts on “Tempo Troubles

  1. You should see how I run to get my miles – 3 miles is easy, but once I had to go over that, I had to drive the neighborhood! LOL. I had 5 miles on my training plan today, so I go up and over to the next neighborhood, come back through the pack and then serpentine up and down four blocks before heading back home!
    Grab the Map My Run app, I download it a couple times a year when I want to look and see what paths others have logged. I discovered a local trail at a park – and it’s a sidewalk trail, but I never considered running it until I saw others had logged it!


    1. Oh! and this morning, mile one was 13:50, which is on par, because I walk the first part as a warm up – and mile 2 I swear the struggle bus was coming for me – and when I heard my pace, I knew why… I haven’t run sub 12 in ages, today? I cracked up and said, well, apparently I’m running a tempo mile today… but then, something happened…
      1 – 13:49
      2 – 11:28
      3 – 11:39
      4 – 11:16 (<— WHAT?!?)
      5 – 13:15… dude, my headphones stopped working! I stopped and walked a bit trying to figure it out before I had to give up and run the last mile sans music.
      .17 – 12:41 cool down.
      I don't know where this run came from (and sorry this is long on your post!) but yeah… now I need some massaging shoes! LOL


    2. It’s not so much the distance but the pace. When I run tempo mile I like to be able to tune out a bit. That’s why the lake it best. Only cars on one half of the path to avoid. I may have to adjust to the treadmill but last time hurt so bad, I don’t want to!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry to hear you’re not having a great start to your training plan. I’m not sure where you could run, but I’m sure it’ll work out. It’s just a hiccup and we all have them. Good luck on the rest of your training!


  3. As much as I don’t really like laps, I’d probably just do 2 or 3 laps to get the miles in if the course wasn’t long enough. That sunset is stunning! It’s definitely one of those where you stop and just take it in.


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