The Hal Higdon Advanced Marathon Training Plan incorporates hill workouts, track interval workouts and tempo runs. This is new for me. In the past, with my "make up your own training plan as you go along" routine, I'd throw in some random hill workouts and if upon finishing a regular run, I noticed that I ran faster than normal, I'd log it down as a tempo run. But, I never actually started a run with the intention of running at a different pace. It's not rocket science, right? It's just running. So that's what I always did... I just ran.
Well, apparently it is a little more complicated than just "running" particularly if you are looking for improvement, which I am.
Today, was my first Tempo Run. I read over Higdon's directions for a tempo run. This one was 30 minutes and I was to start out with a warm-up of 10-15 minutes and then run at 10k pace for 10-15 minutes with a 5 minute recovery run. Seems easy, right? Well, not so much. I don't really know what all my paces are supposed to be. My times have improved a lot in the past 6 months (the last time I ran a 10k), so it's hard to pinpoint the exact pace I should be running. I ended up busting my ass during the run, but my average time for the whole run was about 8:38. Which is about my 5k time. So, I guess I ran a little faster than I was probably supposed to.
Anyway, I was confused. And then I remembered the handy McMillian Pace Calculator that I found a long time ago... I plugged in my best 5k time and it gave me my pace for every distance imaginable.
I should be running my tempo runs at 9:01-9:24. So, I guess I didn't have to run as hard as I did this morning. Although, I have to admit, it felt pretty good to really push myself. But now I know, I wish I would have thought of the calculator BEFORE my run this morning. Oh well.
But, listen to this... according to the McMillian Running Calculator my marathon finishing time should be.... (drumroll please)......4:19:38! Just shy of my 4:20 goal time! Wow, did I pick a good goal, or what?!!!