I'll admit it. I hate tempo runs. I hate all speed work. I'd run 20 milers every day, if only I didn't have to hit the track and the roads at an uncomfortable clip. But alas, tempo runs (and other speed work) are key to success at almost every race distance. As such, my summer resolution is to restart Tempo Tuesdays again.
I begrudgingly got out of bed this morning, strapped on my heart rate monitor and headed out with the dog for a short tempo. I planned to do a 2 mile warm up, 2 at tempo and 2 mile cool-down. I figured that even I couldn't wriggle my way out of that short of an effort. In fact, I did. Ava is a great running partner, but tempo pace is not fair to her, especially in the summer. Instead, we had to settle for a fartlek workout, and she did a great job, even initiating a few intervals when a squirrel was spotted.
Next Tuesday morning, I'll warm up with Ava, then drop her at home for the hard portion of the run, which will be a sandwich tempo, with 2 miles hard, a 5 minute jog, then 2 more hard miles. The first part of the sandwich is a slightly easier pace, 6:55 to 7:00. The second part is harder, both because I'm tired but also because it's faster at 6:45 to 6:55. These paces seem pedestrian, but after 8 weeks of running slow in preparation for Vermont City, I need to regain some snap. Then I can grab my trusty running partner for the cool down. As the summer goes on, I'll alternate between a regular tempo and sandwich tempo, adding distance slowly towards about 60 minutes of hard effort.
What about you? Do you love or loathe speed work? What workout would you skip if you could?
P.S. I am always open to company on Tuesday mornings. I like it even more if you talk me into a different workout...