MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 2, 2010

Math and Pacing and Tempos. Oh My.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:02

First off: I’m glad you guys enjoyed my Halloween cookies. I certainly did.  Decorating with frosting was the best part. I recommend it highly 🙂

I was going to post some numbers here today but I noticed a discrepancy between the running total that I use week-by-week vs month by month.  Not a lot, but enough to make me wonder and re-calculate the numbers.  I actually LIKE adding numbers by hand so to me it’s not as bad as it sounds. Yes I know I’ve just outed myself as a numbers nerd.

Thanks google images

But I’ve admitted it before.  So it’ll be another day-ish before I feel comfy sharing the month of October as well as YTD miles (plus I’m holding off of this review of October until I perfect the format. I’m trying to make it a “Very Best Of’ deal)

As tedious as it could be I’ve actually enjoyed recounting the runs of this past year.  Some of them I DEFINITELY still remember.  Plus it was cool to see the trends in how my miles have flowed: the highs of training for Boston, to the lows of shin splints and hitting the elliptical then the highs of the beginning of the summer (HELLO JUNE) to the lower mileage after my trips to Philly and Texas and then building back up this fall.

Nostalgic much? HA! But moving onto the HERE and NOW.

And cooler more exciting things.  Like running.  And TRAINING.  I can’t believe it was only one week ago that I registered for WR.  Thus making 4 full weeks of training left before race week.  AKA 32 days?! (Plus some hours of course)

I’ve been doing some thinking about training (and listening to the Peanut Gallery) and figured that the most beneficial workouts for my speed work are going to be: Tempos, Tempo intervals and Long Runs, with some fast miles thrown in.  I do want to get some mile repeats in there, just because I love them so, but getting my body used to RACE PACE is where it’s at. So I need some miles between HP and GMP.

And if I’m shooting for 3:18:08 (thank you McMillian for that time with my HP of 7:10) then GMP = 7:34.

Which feels slow for a tempo, for me.  I always go out too fast on tempos and intervals.  While this doesn’t exactly hurt me (I do complete the workouts without feeling like I’m going to die) it isn’t telling my body what the pace I should be running at is.


Maybe I think I'm traing with the elites or something hahah! Courtesy of google images


The Plan

  • Warm up
  • 5 mile tempo @ 7:15 . Let’s face it: I’m always going to be going on the faster side of GMP anyway.  Plus McMillian says tempo for me is 6:537:11So 7:15 splits the difference and is also really close to HP.  And last week my tempo for 4.3 miles was at 7:04 pace.
  • Warm down

Sounds easy, right?

How’d I do?

  • Easy peasy warm up.
  • 5.3 miles @ 7:16 pace
  • Easy, peasy but draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagging out warm down

How do I feel about it?

I have mixed feeling about this workout. I definitely see it as a good solid workout though.  I just don’t know where it falls in terms of telling me info about my upcoming race!

  • While the overall pace was nearly dead on with respect to what I thought I would do the way I got my overall pace was annoying, or rather not quite what I wanted.  I had wanted an even tempo pace but I got more of a progression run as the first two miles were very slow compared to how I ended.
  • I did better than last week in overall pace and kept it slower (last week’s tempo was 7:04 and last week tempo intervals were on the fast side too!).  Ideally I think I would be going for another mile or two at GMP but it’s hard to ask of my mind and body to jump right into that.  It’s a learning curve. So while the pace was a bit faster than I probably should have gone, it’s an improvement over last week. Maybe next week I’ll go longer and at GMP
  • I am pretty pleased with seeing a pace faster than GMP though.  I can’t lie about that.  It’s just in my blood to want to PUSH and GO AT IT.
  • That said, the whole time when I *thought* I was at GMP I was like “How on Earth can I run this for 26.2 miles?!”Luckily I don’t have to.  Because GMP is slower than what I was running hahahh.
  • My legs don’t feel as dead as they did after my tempo last week.  Yes they felt the workout but my legs felt SHOT after the last time.  A learning curve I tell you 🙂

Check out this giveaway from Amy (Second City Randomness) and Julie (Hotlegs Runner)



  1. I’m almost positive my legs would fall off at 7:15 miles. Sigh… jealous is sitting in… 🙂

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — November 2, 2010 @ 17:09

    • I bet you have it in you. For real. Ummm trip to the northeast and we can beast out miles together?!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 2, 2010 @ 21:38

  2. Progressing into HMP is a good thing. It just means that you conserved and distributed energy properly. Feel good about that. Nice pic. BTW – had my first elite sighting this morning in Central Park. I imagine seeing plenty more tomorrow and Thursday. 🙂

    Comment by a marathoner — November 2, 2010 @ 17:34

    • An elite sighting would absolutely make me run HARD and then likely embarrass myself greatly. And I do feel good about the workout. But I’m a perfectionist and can always find things to nitpick 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 2, 2010 @ 21:39

  3. I love math too! Maybe that is why i signed up for the major that has 8 math classes! Great job on the tempo! That workout is design to be hard and work you because it is a fast pace! I need to get back to that tempo pace!

    Comment by J — November 2, 2010 @ 19:02

  4. I’m loving your nerd love!! ‘It’s just in my blood to want to PUSH and GO AT IT.’ I like it – I felt like that today!

    Comment by Laura — November 2, 2010 @ 19:12

  5. I definitely can relate to you just wanting to push as hard as you can every work out. I usually force myself to slow down.
    Looks like you got a good plan here, good luck with the workouts!

    Comment by Caroline — November 2, 2010 @ 21:09

  6. well i think you’re still getting used to the pace? maybe? that’d be my excuse…

    let me know if you have/when you get a serious boyfriend so i can tell him to propose with something mathy like that.

    Comment by lindsay — November 2, 2010 @ 21:16

    • Omg that last sentence of yours seriously made my night. If any guys did something like that I’d be all theirs forever hahah

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 2, 2010 @ 21:40

  7. You know I like math!

    Great workout too! Can’t wait to see you crush your goal!

    Comment by Nick — November 2, 2010 @ 22:41

  8. Hi! Just found your blog. 🙂 Great job on the tempo!
    So, you are focusing on hitting GMP rather than true tempo because you only have 4 weeks.? That sounds like a good plan in that scenario to me. Looking forward to following your training :))

    Comment by ERG — November 2, 2010 @ 23:01

    • Yup. No time to keep going really fast then teach GMP. Gotta just jump right into it! Yay for you liking that plan 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 3, 2010 @ 15:23

  9. NERD sista’s UNITE!!!
    haha umm Calc was my 2nd favorite subject in highschool and undergrad with biology being my first…yep nerd over here! no shame! 🙂
    I LOVEE to tempo! and MP looks mighty GOOD! ummm so do the cookies bellow, I’m hoping they travel to Dallas for our Post-Mara feed fest!
    I hope your week is off to a great start!

    Comment by lizzyj1305 — November 2, 2010 @ 23:12

    • I will see what I can do. They’ll be messy and un-pretty but I’m positive they will taste amazing. And you love to tempo? We should move to the same state so that you can make me love it tooooooooo.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 3, 2010 @ 15:22

  10. Running and splits are probably the only time I geek out over numbers. Heh. I say you did a good job! If you turn it upside down or inside out, you still nailed the tempo.

    Comment by sarah — November 3, 2010 @ 06:51

  11. Nice running, as usual! If you do your MP tempos at a little faster than MP, then at least MP will feel that much easier come marathon day. Or, you’ll just be even faster 🙂

    Comment by mealsformiles — November 3, 2010 @ 08:27

  12. Math and me don’t compute.
    Great training are going to crush your goals.

    Comment by Laura — November 3, 2010 @ 08:48

  13. I love math, too!! We’ll all be nerds together! 7:15 is fast! Good for you! 🙂

    Comment by Jaime — November 3, 2010 @ 09:30

  14. I am a numbers nerd too!! Wow!! You can do it!! I love your plan of attack!!

    Comment by — November 3, 2010 @ 10:02

  15. You’re doing excellent and I think it’s so cute how much you like numbers! LOL

    Comment by Kim — November 3, 2010 @ 10:55

  16. Nice job on the tempo! I totally understand thinking “Holy Shit! how am I going to run this pace for 26.2 miles??” but I think that’s totally normal. On race day you’ll be all hyped up on adrenaline 🙂

    Comment by Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) — November 3, 2010 @ 13:33

  17. Yeah, I always feel like that on goal runs, as if there was no way I could do that for a marathon. Somehow it works out.

    Comment by Jess — November 3, 2010 @ 14:58

  18. I’m another numbers nerd!

    By the way, I bookmarked you, then got behind, then finally figured out how to add non-blogspot people to my reader, so now I’m catching up.

    I see you’re running White Rock! That’ll be my first marathon… warm the finish line up for me.

    Comment by Lesley @ — November 3, 2010 @ 15:18

    • Yay for running WR! I’m so glad that I signed up for it because soooooooooooo many people I both know and “know” are doing it!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — November 3, 2010 @ 15:25

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