Recently, one regular visitor to my blog and a devoted fan has asked how to train to be faster. I thought it would be a good material for a short blog post so here we go: a 10k tempo run today.
This is the training session I did last week during a lunchtime break while at work. I set off with a slow jog over 1 km to warm up. Then I picked up the pace with an aim to run 10k as quickly as I could.
I ran the first 3k at an average speed of 12 km/h (5:00 minutes per km, or 8-minute mile). I slowed down a bit on the next 3k due to a bit of an incline. I have to mention that this was a lovely, sunny day with a temperature of 24 degrees or so, so it quickly became hard because of the heat. For following 2k I still maintained a pace just over 5-minute per km, but I was fed up with it and seriously considered stopping at 8k. I somehow managed to continue but the last 2k were agonisingly slow as there was an incline and I was drained. I eventually finished the 10k in 52:48.
After that I slowly dragged my legs back to work over the last 1.5k, where after a short rest I took a shower, ate lunch and got back to work. It took about an hour for my body to settle down! Normally I can run 10k under 50 minutes, so I blame it on the hot weather. Still, I consider this training run a job well done, because of how tired and drained I felt afterwards. Interestingly, while running and shortly thereafter I kept on repeating in my thoughts how I hate fast running, how I despise such intensive tempo sessions, and how much I prefer running in ultramarathons at my own, slow pace.
To sum up, I guess this post doesn’t do a good job of encouraging people to take on doing tempo runs, does it? Well, that’s reality: not every run is pleasant; sometimes we need to push ourselves to the limit in training in order to make our bodies stronger so that we can run faster (and longer) later. I must make an important note here: I would do such training session at most once a week; doing such intensive workouts too often can lead to injury, or to burning out.
All the best,