A Tempo Run, and the First of the New Runner Info Series!

This summer I have struggled with writing in my blog, with keeping up with projects I want to complete, and with breathing on my runs. Life is all about moments of struggle and moments of triumph, and without those moments, what would it be worth?

As I mentioned previously, I would like to start sharing about running in terms that are broken down and more comprehensible for those new runners out there. I was a new runner once too, and I get it. I have been a runner my whole life, but I have been through just as many trials and errors on finding out what works, what doesn’t, what will backfire, what will work wonderfully, and how it all fits together into this unique puzzle that creates running.

Today’s lesson is all about types of running. This morning, I tackled a tempo run per my schedule written for me by my awesome Coach Sam! I had a one mile warm-up, a three mile tempo run at a 9:35 minute/mile pace, and a one mile cool-down. With every type of run I do, I always stretch before I run while my GPS watch is trying to find the nearest satellite. Once it finds the satellite and gives me the “Go run!” command, I am off!

My warm-up run was a mile at the pace of 10:39, with Murphy as my companion for the first half of the mile. A warm-up mile is just that; it helps your muscles get warmed up, allows you to ease into a steady pace while putting one foot in front of the other, and getting your breathing under control.

A tempo run is a run where you maintain a steady, but faster than your normal pace for a specified number of miles. I had to complete three miles at a tempo pace. It was a struggle to do it today with the humidity and how heavy my legs felt, but it’s done. My miles were as follows: mile 2- 9:39, mile 3-9:30, mile 4- 9:18. My pace was supposed to be between 9:15 and 9:35. I nailed it! A tempo run should definitely feel like it’s requiring more effort, but the payoff is the ability to maintain a quicker pace for a longer amount of distance over time.

My cool-down mile was at the pace of 10:00. I actually ran an additional .26 miles, which tacked on 2:26, but that’s neither here nor there. A cool-down mile is intended to slow your muscles back down to a nice, easy pace, and give you the chance to recover from your run for the day. It’s an easy way to transition from a full on run to a slower pace, and also allow your heart rate to slow down so you don’t pass out when you stop running.

My 5.26 mile was run in 51:33, which is an average of a 10:00 minute/mile pace. Not too shabby for a run in 77 degree weather with 81% humidity! With this kind of weather, I make sure to drink plenty of electrolytes during and after my run since I lose so much salt in my sweat. I mix 1/3 Gatorade (the one with low sugar), and 2/3 water in my bottle with ice to take on my run. I also take a salt tab to help replenish the salt I lose, and to alleviate any chance of muscle cramps. After a tough, but successful run, I ice down my legs so that the muscles heal more quickly with less inflammation. When you run hard, you break down your muscles (in a good way!), which causes miniscule tears in the muscle fibers, which in turn can cause inflammation. In my opinion, one of the best ways to alleviate inflammation is to ice your legs down! It’s cold initially, but the relief from the cold feels so good on your legs, and your legs will thank you the next day when you are less sore.  This also helps your muscles heal and become even stronger than they were before!

Thanks for reading my first intro to running blog! I look forward to your feedback and questions!

Live. Love. Run. Passionately!

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