Friday, April 20, 2007

Comfortably Tempo'd

Thursay I slept in late, real late. I spent most of the day working on things around the house. About 4:30 in the afternoon, I decided to go for a nice easy 5 mile run. Temperature was about 65 degrees and the sun was shining. I started running nice and easy. Before I knew it I was home again. Days that runs feel so effortless are a real treasure.

This morning I woke up early, real early. By six o'clock I was out pounding the pavement. I scheduled a 10 mile tempo run for today. I started running comfortably, by mile three I was feeling good. The rest of the tempo run I stayed in the groove. At mile 10 I clicked my my watch for the lap time. I averaged 7:13 per mile. Things are progressing along nicely.

Next Sunday our running club is going to meet and run the half marathon course in Rock Island, IL. I will find what my shape is really like then. Planning on doing the same approach as this week. Ease into the pace and stay just below the discomfort range for the whole race course.

I believe that tempo runs are the best way to get into race shape for any distance from 10k to the marathon. By using a heart rate monitor you can watch your lactate threshold rise as you become fitter. The best way to tell your threshold zone is to find a pace that is just below discomfort. I like my tempo runs to last from 20 minutes to as much as 90 minutes. Your heart rate can vary from 80-92% of your maximum heart rate. Most experts will tell you to run right at 85%. From my own experience, your lactate threshold will rise and fall depending on your fitness.

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