Thursday, March 17, 2011

Double Tempo

Back in Week 6 I ran a 27:00 Tempo on a section of Shut-In that is also part of my staple 1,400'/1,900' runs. During yesterday's 1,900' run I noticed that I had run this same section in 28:00 at an easy/moderate pace and sparked a little interest as to what kind of time a Tempo effort would get me 5 weeks later. So, I decided this morning that I'd make the most of this and do 2 Tempo runs up this section with a full recovery jog back down (~21:00). The first one I would run smart and hard - in that order. The second one would be done hard and smart - in that order - with the goal to beat my first one.

The first rep went about as well as I'm capable of running at Tempo. I ran very strong while staying controlled with an even effort throughout. This route starts with a 450' climb that takes about 7:00, then a rolling 150' up/down for about 9:00, then finishes with a 500' climb in about 8:00. I finished quite pleased in 23:57 with an average HR of 150.

The 21:00 recovery jog back down was more than enough so I was really itching to see what I had left for a second Tempo effort. I had made a mental note of a few landmarks to check splits for the second run and I had hit the first climb at 7:00, right on with the first run. I felt really strong during the 9:00 rolling section and even got ahead about 6-7 seconds here before I hit the final climb. I knew the final climb would be the real test and I could tell I was working harder right from the first minute, but was expecting this to be the case, so no worries. With about 2-3 minutes left I was really working hard and needed a very hard effort to keep the pace. I was pretty sure that I had gone under the 23:57 first run time, but when I stopped my watch I saw 23:58! (average HR 154).

No complaints, very happy to have gone about 24:00 twice on that section.


  1. Awesome improvement! I ended up running just 3 X 1 mile this morning with gains of ~280ft/ 450ft/ 520ft for each mile. The last one ended at 9000ft. I split 7:03/ 7:50/ 9:29 all with HR's in the controlled range of 165-172 (not very high for me. I max out around 195.) Much steeper than anything on Evans (I hope!) but I'm thinking a recon in the next week or two will be in order.

  2. Thanks Tim. I was at a low point fitness level in January so the improvement is a little embellished, but nonetheless, still a solid improvement.
    I think the average grade on Evans is about 6% so a 280' mile at a very controlled 7:00 pace is looking good 3 months out.

  3. Solid man! Your workouts put me to shame.

  4. Your races put mine to shame!
    I'm looking at 2-3 hours tops for any of the races I do so this type of work is necessary. You wouldn't want to carry me out of the Canyon with you next month!

  5. Thanks Jim. I think the Green Man IPA's I had the night before helped out.