Training paces and random thoughts

Since procrastination is my last name, I will do my weekly summary for weeks 5 and 6 together after tomorrow… What a lazy chick.

I want to talk about training paces today. How many of you read other people's blog and compare to your own and wondered, why in the hell am I running so slow?? From all the articles, running forums that I read, the cumulative information is that THOU SHALL RUN SLOW in most of your runs to gain the most benefit. While I am a scientist by training, I seriously do not understand the physiological benefit of training slow. Reasons for the benefit I read and remember but do not understand including-

  • Building aerobic base
  • Growing mitochondria in your legs or something like that
  • Allowing speed workout to hit paces because you're not going crazy on easy days

Should we be running the majority of our runs slow, and sprinkle in some speed session manifest as painful tempos or killer intervals? Are we guilty of running our easy runs too fast?? I read on forums that people who are way fast, do their easy runs in the mid 9s, and I've been doing mine in the low 9s, apparently, I have no business in running my easy runs this fast. However, I must admit, I read blogs, and bloggers post their training time, and most of them run their daily training run very fast. Why?? They race and their results are still good. I'm just very confused.

Do you run your easy runs slow? Or too fast?

Tempo runs

I literally have this image in my head on my tempo run, trying to feel badass.

I have a love hate relationship with tempo runs. I love it that I know that this makes me stronger. Again, I do not understand the physiological effect it brings me, somewhere along the line about some lactate level will increase. Or whatever. I just know that tempo run hurts like a mofo. I adjusted my training paces based on my shiny 5k or, and it gave me a predicted HM of 1:51:xx<—- WTF?! Well, shock aside, I am hoping I can attempt to train my speed session base on this, and OMG.

The truth to it is I do not know how to do them, I don't know how I am suppose to feel. Comfortably hard was what I was told to do, but I don't comprehend how hard can be comfortable. I call my tempo run uneasy, but not yet dying, and if someone wants to say hi to me during a run I can only wave back, smiling was stretching it type of feeling. The warm up mile is always tricky. I don't want to run it too fast in fear it will ruin the run, but if I start out too slow, the drastic difference between easy pace and tempo pace will shock me to death. Easier to go from 9:15 to 8:30 vs 10 to 8:30.

I also literally have to take a deep breath and freak out every single time I have a tempo scheduled. It's a very tough mental game. I usually make all sorts of excuse to try to avoid it, but I usually get them done. Was it fun? Absolutely not. The only great thing is how I feel afterwards.

I tackled my last tempo run at 8:30 pace. I just ran 3.1 miles at 7:45, this shouldn't be too bad<—- WRONG

It was indeed very difficult. I already failed the first 2 miles and believe me, I was trying very hard, 8:37-8:39, a good song must have came on my playlist that got me into 8:10 for the 3rd mile, then I maintain my oace for 8:27ish. If I tell you this was easy and relax it was a big lie. 6 miles at 8:30 was as much as I can handle right now at my current fitness level.

Long runs:

Does anyone worry about their pace for their long runs? I usually run mine painfully slow, maybe because I run with a friend and a dog and we tend to chat non stop and let's be honest, I am not one of those people who can chat the whole time they are running while maintaining a 9min mile pace. So we ran at 10:30 or slower, depending on how many times said dog decide to pee. I don't know if I believe in super slow long runs anymore. My marathon I ran in July, the pace was exactly like my long runs… Which is NOT GOOD. This training cycle, I added what Ryan hall calls race simulation long runs. 6 miles easy pace, plus 5-7 miles at 20sec slower than race pace. Reasoning was somewhere long the line of running faster on tired legs but not killing yourself, I buy that. Except that I don't know what my race pace should be.


Wow,,, such long rambles.

Do you believe in slogging your long runs? Do you hate tempo like I do?




3 responses to “Training paces and random thoughts

  • RoadBunner

    I run my easy runs pretty easy. Let’s say my marathon pace is 8:30, my easy pace is usually 9:30-9:45. If I’m not doing a workout that calls for a specific pace, that is the pace I run. Long runs — my plan really mixes that up with weeks where you do MP+20 which keeps it working for me. But other weeks are easy long runs and I generally run those at my 9:30-9:45 pace. I have a love/hate with tempos, too. Hate mainly because they hurt and are mentally daunting, but I love them because when you nail them nothing feels better :)

  • Blaf

    Hi faye. Good luck tomorrow. I am leaving for Toronto in 30 minutes. Looks like the weather is not going to cooperate, but I worked hard for this race and nothing can stop me for running sub 1:50:00. :).

    I know you worked hard too. Go conquer those hills. :)


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