Buying new running shoes, especially for experienced athletes, is not just a fleeting shopping moment or a purchase made on a whim. It is a thought-out, planned experience. For some, like myself, the process of buying new shoes begins months before it’s actually time to buy. For many athletes, the buying process includes researching shoes, studying their own foot type, or becoming familiar with local running stores–the act of buying new shoes is a very deliberate process.
Over a week ago my friend invited me to join her in her new shoe purchase. Like the athletes I just described she was well armed with information long before it was time to buy shoes. She knew what stores she did and didn’t like in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, she knew why she was ready to move on from her trusty Asics, she could describe her fitness level and walk/jog work-outs, and she was well versed in the different arches of her feet and the orthotics she uses to get a comfortable fit with shoes. So when we met up at the new Charm City Run store at the Annapolis Towne Centre I knew it would not be your average shoe purchase experience.
Tempo running requires focus and concentration to keep pace; just like the tango. Photo by Tango Store.
There are any number of ways to label a run and of course, you don’t have to label a run just to go running. However, in training, it’s very helpful to understand what the labels mean in order to get the most out of each work-out and maximize your performance. When I first started running the only terminology I recalled where words leftover from high school track–sprint, relay, and cross country. Until recently, my running vocabulary has been minimal at best. At some point I plan to put together a glossary of terms that I have come to understand and that seem to be an integral part of any article, website, blog, or coaching program related to running.
For now though, I’d like to focus on tempo runs. There are five types of runs on the Runner’s World triathlon training schedule and they each have a relatively helpful description. Some of the runs have the same descriptions as what one can select on many online training logs, interval and tempo for example. Even though I’ve trained for a number of races over the years, this is really the first time I am making a serious effort to follow the suggested variations in running. Rather than stick with my 9-minute pace, if the schedule tells me to run strides, I run strides. If it says hills, I run hills. And now most recently, it said to run tempo. Continue reading