Wow. Today, while I was perusing the interwebs for things to blog about, I happened upon this blog post, titled “Overcoming Mid-Week Tempo Fears.”
Fear? Do people fear the Tempo?
Turns out they do. A forum on the Runner’s World website features the following comments:
-“Does anyone else get stressed out before a tempo run?”
-“Tempo runs stress me out…and I have avoided them for a long time.”
-“I can’t sleep the night before.”
I fear it, too. I think about my tempo runs days in advance. Basically, as soon as I finish one I’m thinking about the next (although nothing, ever, stops me from getting sleep). I think Tempo Anxiety comes from knowing that this is the closest you will come to racing before you actually complete your race. So, every time you get out there for a Tempo, you can expect to finish with an idea of how well you will perform on race day-and that’s scary! Of course, we race faster than we Tempo Run. But if Tempos hurt, won’t racing hurt more? If I struggle on a Tempo, will I struggle too much in a race?
These questions are, bluntly, stupid. Firstly, I have run many races (and you probably have, too) and know what to expect by now. So asking if the race will hurt so much that I can’t even finish is pointless. Of course I can-of course YOU can!
These are nerves speaking. What we all might do well learning is that nerves are a clever mix of adrenaline and stress hormones. And while these things aren’t good to have lying around all the time, they are your bodies “fight or flight” chemicals and…will probably help you get through that Tempo. So embrace the fear! After all, we run fastest when we are afraid.
(Right? Bears would terrify me, and I think I would sprint away from one out of sheer terror.)
(Here’s our favorite lady looking as pained as we all do at the end of a tempo)