“All runs are NOT created equal.”

This was a hard lesson for me to learn when I first started running. I used to go out and focus on beating my last run, even if only by 5 seconds. I felt I had to compete with myself on nearly every run. Sure it made me a mentally stronger runner but certainly not a SMARTER runner.

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I had a lot of lessons learned that first year of running and learning that each run has a purpose was probably one of my biggest. So, why are tempo runs important? These runs teach our body how to increase its ability to reconvert lactate back into energy. They extend our endurance and the ability to maintain a faster pace over longer distances. When you push too far beyond your lactate threshold pace, you prevent your body from learning how to effectively clear lactate.

Instead of becoming more efficient by handling a moderate and consistent amount of lactate, our bodies are flooded and unable to benefit from a prolonged period of lactate clearance.

If you are running 110% on your tempo run you won’t achieve what’s needed to keep you moving beyond your “walls”. You want to push walls down… NOT be stopped in your tracks because of them!

So slow down and take it all in. I promise you your performance will only improve when race day arrives! 

– Leslie