Tempo runs are the bread and butter of many training plans. The basic tempo run is usually a sustained effort somewhere between 15-minutes and an hour at anywhere between 10k and marathon pace. Sustained one-pace tempo runs are great … unless you are stuck on the treadmill, which turns sweet innocent sustained one-pace tempos into torture.
While most everyone agrees the number one problem we encounter when we move our running indoors is boredom, that is easily remedied with a subscription to Netflix or a rockin’ music mix. But when we have a sustained hard effort, the boredom manifests itself into an epic battle of will. Time all but stands still with fifteen seconds feeling like fifteen minutes and .03 miles feeling like 3.0 miles. Negative thoughts are always a problem, but jump on a treadmill for a tempo and negative thoughts bust out their megaphones. For those of us with big plans this spring, we must persevere and work on raising our lactate thresholds, right?! The question is how can we do it and stay sane?
The trick is in breaking up the workout and changing things up. When you’re working in smaller chunks rather than one giant block of sustained same-pace miles, suddenly the workout is done, you’re drenched in sweat (thankfully you have your trusty towel handy), with your tempo workout accomplished!