MarathonMaiden's Blog

January 14, 2010

Riki Tiki Tempo

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:09


So I stretched last night for a good 20 minutes while watching NCIS kick some booty.  And I don’t think I should EVER go on such a long stretching hiatus. It’s been 5 weeks since Jazz classes ended and thus 5 weeks without me stretching.  Combine that with huge mileage and the recent start of actual training (read: lifting and speedwork are regular occurrences)  and my muscles are clearly tight.  And I will say that the stretching felt good last night.  But man, I am sore from it.  I have no idea why but I did know that this would happen last night.  Maybe I overdid what my muscles could handle? Oh well.  Hopefully this soreness doesn’t deter me from stretching more often because I have lost A LOT of flexibility.

On the other hand I woke up with no Achilles pain.  I must have done *something* right. And Matt just sent me some stretching and strengthening stuff that helped him deal with this issue. Going to keep stretching lots as it did tighten up a bit after my run today. But sore legs are no excuse for slacking in the training plan.

Ergo I still had to do my tempo run today.  And before I get into how AWESOME it was (because it’s the truth) I want to say that I’m still loving the twice a week speed work that I’m doing.  I guess I love going fast. Don’t get me wrong: I love my distance and would feel incomplete without my long runs but (and shhhhhh it’s a little secret) I’m a bit scared of speed work.  Yes, my running start was as a sprinter so I shouldn’t really be but speed work is *HARD* and you have to put so much effort and energy into it.  So I always shy away.  This plan has me confronting my fear head on and I say BRING IT beyotch.

Here are the stats for the run:

  • 2.7 mile warm up
  • 5.9 to 6 mile tempo (mapmyrun says 6 but I’m thinking it’s a little overzealous?)@ 7:17-721 pace!
  • 4.1 mile warm down

Right off the bat I’m going to complain about mapping online and yes I know I should get a garmin but I am po’.  I had mentally calculated the tempo portion to be 5.9 miles but when I actually mapped it for accuracy online I got a 6 miler.  Obviously not the biggest deal in the world but I’m obsessive and need to know exact.  Anyone use mapmyrun and want to chime in as to how accurate they’ve felt it is? I did both “follow roads” and manual and they both spit out really similar results (like one hundredth on a difference)

Regardless of that .1 I am so pumped with the pacing.  If you recall last week I was slightly disappointed with my pacing job as I was on the low end of the range I wanted (target pace = 7:30 +/- 15 seconds). I had that in the back of my mind as a “carrot” to get me to dig deep within myself and obviously something clicked.  The pace itself, even though I had no idea what it was at the time, felt really hard.  But a comfortable hard. I think tempo runs are the hardest runs to do because it’s not sprinting, so you’re not going all out, but it’s not just something you can go by how your body feels.  It’s supposed to be hard.  You’re supposed to be breathing heavy and feel your legs getting tired and want to slow down. Eventually, however, my body just accepts that I’m not slowing down.

Well sort of.  It’s been a problem for me to keep a steady tempo pace.  I can feel a change in my form when I go from pushing-tempo-pace to relaxing a bit.  Even though my actual speed doesn’t change too much (at least I don’t think so) I notice a small shift.  Tempo pace has me running forward – almost falling into my step.  But when I relax I feel like I’m on my heels more and my hips shift forwards, almost as though I’m contracting my torso.  I like how aware of my body I’ve gotten lately.  No idea where it’s developing from per se but it’s good to be aware of any pacing and form connection.  Again, this doesn’t dramatically affect anything but it’s interesting how this happens.

And I think it’s linked to mental focus, which is always a point of contention for me. I’m still not able to focus as well as I’d like to.  I am aware that I can’t be 100% focused on maintaining a fast pace 100% of the time but I’d like to cut down on the accelerating/decelerating (or maintaining speed work form vs relaxed form) that I’m doing.  Any tips?

I do know that this is the reason I’m going to keep my tempo runs outside.  It’s getting me used to running fast on my own which is obviously something I’d be doing in a race.  And the runner’s high off of an outdoor tempo when you know that it’s 100000% YOU keeping up the bamfness is just not going to be found on any tm (even though I do find the tm useful). Plus as much as it would totally suck to bomb a tempo paced run it is a good learning experience (as I have learned in the past).

Although just as a note: I think my tempo was progressive today as I timed my last half mile (since I knew the distance) and I was running at – ready for this? – 640 pace!! Wayyy too fast for a tempo but still exciting to see for sure.

Today I also XT’d a bit.  As I was about to hit the showers my friend texted me to see if I wanted to hit up the gym when it reopened at 1600.  I figured I could use that time to play catch up, circulate my blood and get a good stretch.  I won’t get into too much detail here (or any really) because that’s basically what happened.  My HR stayed really low  so I knew I wasn’t taxing my cardiovascular system too much, funny because that ‘s what most people want to do! And stretching afterward felt sooooooooooo good. Like unbelievably good.

Before I click “publish post” check out these giveaways from Nikki (Slow is the New Fast) and Brandi (Bran Appetit)

Also: lots of new readers have been commenting! YAY. This makes me happy because I love getting feedback and hearing from y’all. But unfortunately I haven’t updated my blogroll in a *very* long time. So if you want to be on it let me know — and that goes for people who have also been commenting frequently too! I’m just lazy when it comes to update the blogroll

P.S. Anyone remember the book that I got my title of the post from?! Or am I just showing how weird I am 😛


  1. Nice tempo run! In my experience mapmy run has been pretty accurate. I did a tempo today as well. On the dreadmill though, no other option. I agree they are so much better done outside.

    Comment by Teamarcia — January 14, 2010 @ 19:09

  2. Awesome tempo! I know what you mean about being po’ and not being able to get a garmin. Do what I did…ask for one when you graduate! Worked for me. Oh, and you can add me to the blogroll as I’m pretty sure you are one of 3 people who reads mine.

    Comment by Nick — January 14, 2010 @ 20:30

  3. Riki Tiki Tavi, am I right?

    I’m a new reader. I am just not a commenter, usually. I was somewhere near you on the POTM spreadsheet, I think, and found you that way. Or maybe I was looking for the higher mileage people and found you that way. Either way it was something to do with POTM.

    You are very inspiring.

    Comment by Alicia — January 14, 2010 @ 20:34

  4. Nice tempo! BAMF!

    You really need a Garmin. I know you are poor, but they are worth every single penny and it will make training so much easier. Maybe we should do a blogger fundraiser. “Buy Karyn a Gramin so she can show off her BAMFness”.

    Comment by Matt — January 14, 2010 @ 21:20

  5. All kinds of BAMFness today. I’m with Matt. You (we) really need a Garmin. Having any uncertainty about distance just sucks. Great job as always!!!

    Comment by a marathoner — January 14, 2010 @ 22:34

  6. yes! i remember that book for sure:)

    WAY TO FREAKING GO with that tempo!!!! let’s put “long tempo” on our to-do together workout list. hehe. i burn out after 3-4 mi and could use the discipline of practicing longer tempo runs. it is ON the schedule, so hold me to that. your distance astounds me continuously 🙂 and i am so jealous you are on campus w/ a gym and time and friends to just go and meet up for xt and stretching 🙂 i miss that!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    you def need a garmin. maybe you should fundraise!!!!! sell girlscout cookies or something. bet you’d rock the uniform 🙂 heheh.

    Comment by Lacey — January 14, 2010 @ 23:10

  7. Are you talking about the children’s book Tikki Tikki Tembo? I loved it, if that’s what you mean. I’m also a new reader (although you know that because I commented before), and again, I really like your blog. I’m nowhere in your running league, but I love having “BAMF” runners to read about.

    Comment by EE — January 14, 2010 @ 23:31

  8. I was wrong. =( Close, though.

    Comment by Alicia — January 15, 2010 @ 00:20

  9. Awesome job on the workout! Don’t feel bad about the Garmin. I didn’t have one until I was in my mid 20s. You’re training like all the youngsters should be. LOL. Yeah, it amazes me how flexibility can be lost so quickly. I’m dealing with the same thing!

    Comment by Rebecca — January 15, 2010 @ 03:14

  10. great job on the run! I can’t imagine running at that pace 🙂 so fast!

    thanks for commenting on my blog/entering my contest!

    Comment by brandi — January 15, 2010 @ 08:18

  11. Yes – YOU of all people should have a garmin !! you are too hard-core…check out some older models – the 205 is JUST as good as the newer models and less expensive…and stay flexible!! I can guarantee you that I used to be able to get away with what you did – but the body changes with age…and besides tight muscles, etc…there’s also arthritis, etc.

    Comment by eatmovelove — January 15, 2010 @ 10:31

  12. Great job on the run! Any suggestions on how to start doing outdoor tempo runs/speedwork? I know I don’t do it well on my own so I stick to the TM to force the pace I want. Do I just need more experience to start doing them outside?

    Anyways, you just rock 🙂

    Comment by runningfiance — January 15, 2010 @ 10:58

  13. So fast! It’s hard for me to hit the right tempo pace too. I think “speedwork” and just go.

    Comment by runjess — January 15, 2010 @ 15:29

  14. I remember that book. Rikki Tikki Tembo (etc., etc.) has fallen into the well!!! Good work on the run. I’m doing a treadmill tempo run tomorrow so send some BAMF vibes my way.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — January 15, 2010 @ 15:33

  15. great tempo run. 🙂 don’t worry about keeping a perfectly steady pace because the terrain, turns, etc., make a bigger difference than you’d expect.(in this respect, having a garmin can be toooo much info and i’ve seen people get really obsessive about hitting “perfect” splits.)

    Comment by paige — January 15, 2010 @ 16:40

  16. Nice tempo run! You’re so fast. I love the feeling of stretching, I really should get back into doing it.

    Comment by BostonRunner — January 15, 2010 @ 21:43

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