I recently started a new marathon training plan that incorporates speed work and tempo runs. I am NOT used to this at all. Now let me be clear, I’m not a new runner. I’ve run over 50 marathons and half marathons. My walls at home are covered with medals from the various races I’ve completed over the years.
And while I have trained for covering long distances, I’m not used to training for a time goal. So all these workouts are HARD. No wonder I haven’t bothered with it until now—the runs are kicking my butt.
Add in the fact that this training plan only has me running about 4 days a week so I’ve been hitting the gym, which means my body is tired overall. So when I saw 5 miles at a tempo pace on my plan I got a little worried. I wasn’t sure if I had that workout in me. My legs were tired. I had plenty of excuses.
But I laced up my shoes to hit the pavement. I knew I had to at least try and do it. I wanted to stick to my plan.
As expected, the workout was hard. After a short warm up I tried to turn up the pace to a good tempo for my goals. Ugh. It was challenging—and this was the first mile! How was I going to hold the pace for 5 miles?!
Instead of giving up though, I gave myself a no-BS pep talk. I know everyone is different and I think I respond best to a tough love kind of approach. “Hey, get it together. Did you show up today or not? Be here and do it.”
Surprisingly I got some negative splits out of the run! I was pretty proud of myself. I pushed all the way through to the end of the run and was able to leave it all out there.
This approach might not work for every run over the next 18 weeks of my training plan, but today I showed up and busted it out.