Unintended Tempo

I had intended to rest and not run for a few days, but I changed my mind for several reasons. Firstly I feel great today; secondly it is a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky, but it is a pleasant temperature of 18°C; thirdly my hung-over boyfriend was monopolising the computer and finally I just wanted to run.

The course that I ran today is just a straight route up the canal, out and back. It is a path that I have travelled, at least in part many times before. This was the trail that I started running the Couch to 5K Running plan on, but now it just extends for another mile or so further than it did back when I started that run-walk plan. It is not the cleanest or most scenic place to run but it is relatively flat, just a gentle incline as the canal goes up through 6 locks up to this point. It also has the added advantage of being traffic free, except for one point.

The idea was to just make this an easy run, but once I got out there, with the heart rate monitor on my Garmin keeping me in touch with my pulse I though, why don’t I just push it a little and see if I can cope with running at 85% or my maximum heart rate (MHR) for the duration.

Well I did and it wasn’t as hard as I though it was going to be, although it wasn’t easy especially after the third mile. I ran the 4 miles in 41:08 minutes which is an overall pace of 10:16 minutes per mile. If anybody is interested my splits are:

Mile 1 10:32min 79% MHR

Mile 2 10:44min 85% MHR

Mile 3 10:09min 85% MHR

Mile 4 9:41min 87% MHR

I guess before I got my Garmin I was working far harder than I should have been, or that the runs where just shorter as my pace has definitely dropped. At 85% MHR I could speak a couple of words, if I had too, but I certainly couldn’t have spoken a full sentence. In the last mile I did make a bit of an effort to keep my MHR above 85% and was definitely working that bit harder than in the first couple of miles.


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