Surprised, shocked and sulking ☹!!

Surprised, shocked and sulking ☹!!

Starting to realise I have become over confident having graduated 16 weeks ago from Couch to 5k! Managed to run 10k several times, even a 13k and so on impulse I booked for a half marathon in September, 32 weeks to complete the BUPA 12 week intermediate programme should be pretty easy I thought.

Today was a 5 minute warm up and cool down with a 20 minute tempo run. I didn't really know what a tempo run was. It is described as a run that is just beyond comfortable - a mere 20 minutes, might even run for 30 I thought - WRONG!

I found a pace that was a challenge for me (6 mins per km) and no matter what the ground, just tried to maintain a real effort. I was counting down the minutes and when I reached 20, ground to a halt and walked dejectedly home. My average pace is usually around 7 mins per km so I think I got it about right but it was pretty horrible, all I can hope is that tempo runs are in the programme for good reason. Same time next week to torture myself 😮

I am so used to doing what I want, at the speed I am comfortable and going as far as I want. Feeling like a spoilt brat that I am finding it so hard to do as I am told. Any one else tried a tempo run, followed a half marathon programme after being free running and found it hard? Julie

26 Replies

  • Have you tried the beginners plan Joolie rather than the Intermediate ?

    I think it will be a bit more gentler and not as intense .

    Good Luck in what you decide to do ! :-) xxx

  • That is a good question but when I looked at week 1, on paper it looked easy but in reality it has been harder than I thought. I will look at the beginners programme, feeling suitably humbled LOL

  • No need to feel humbled at all :-) Some of the intermediate plans are really full on I have found, so I always go for the beginners now just in case I crock myself trying to do too much xxx

  • I will compare it, don't want to end up cricked,math at sounds very painful!!

  • You can calculate your tempo here:

  • Hey that is a genius link, thank you so much, and I have calculated mine and made a note of them. Good job I now know because long run on Saturday again I would have gone way too fast.

    Based on that, I ran too fast today for a tempo run (6 min per km) and should have been around 7.02! I ran more at a speed pace for my current ability. This is going to be a huge help to me, slow down Julie! Think now I know I will stick with my current plan. Rest day tomorrow (just as well) and Thursday is 40 mins cross training (maybe cycling)! So I think it will live to tell the tale (just)!


  • All the best!!! Aaaand... slow down :-)

  • Thanks for posting this link, it's brilliant. Who knew I should run so slowly most of the time? :)

  • I can't get the link to work, would you be kind enough to tell me what your targets are? We're about the same speed... message me if you like. thanks Carrie

  • Thanks for this. I'm doing my easy runs too fast!

  • Thanks for this ViaM - I've been wavering between thinking that I'm taking it too easy on my longer runs, but not also wanting to increase pace all the time because of losing the enjoyment factor. In actual fact I'm running them too fast anyway, so I can slow down without guilt !!

  • Pleasure! Very glad that you found it useful, it was an eye opener for me too! It has made my long run very enjoyable :-)

  • That's a great link, Via ! Thanks for sharing :-) xxx

  • You are welcome! :-)

  • Thanks wise friends for all the amazing advice. Great to know the pace details - learnt a lot today. Having compared the Intermediate and Beginner plan, I can see that the beginner plan is more realistic and will make training more fun too. Goals need to be realistic and I am too young to die!

  • well done, I am not surprised you felt exhausted that is a huge jump from your average pace..... I have never followed training place as i find all the jargon quite tricky..... Are you aiming to improve speed or distance? I would suggest focussing on increasing distance rather than speed but I am no expert!!

  • I was just increasing distance and managed some 10ks and then a 13k at a comfortable pace around 7 min per km. however have entered a half marathon and thought I would try a programme because C25k worked for me. The BUPA is a combination of slow, medium, fast runs plus some cross training (maybe cycling or aerobics or perhaps swimming)! Already my knees feel a bit sore and unsure I can do it this way.

    Feeling my confidence has been knocked because one week in and I'm feeling less able even though I was making good progress my own way. I am only 7 k away from a half marathon doing it my own way, unsure what to do 😔

  • Do it your own way! If it works for you, then stick with it. You can always ask for advice on here if you hit any problems. (This is just the opinion of someone who's never done a HM, of course ;) )

  • Thank you for that. I feel I don't want to be in a "programme" again when I have so much freedom. Of course, I need to follow the sound principles I have learnt and I did learn some good ideas from the programmes - and I am sure they do work but maybe I am a rebel! I have written myself a plan with one longer run a week increasing my runs by 1km per week, will see how it goes. I feel that is the right thing

  • just looked at that page. very interesting. I do parkrun at tempo (apparently) pace each week. Trying to get round in a decent time without pushing for a PB. I also do a long run at a nice slow rate. It's the other runs that I find difficult.

  • Tempo running is hard. Harder still if you're not ready! You have to be fit, so part of the progression has to be getting yourself fit, which you can do along the way. You can't get there straight away of course. It takes time. These things always do. It's like weight loss. No quick fix

    Unless you have a training plan you have no idea what you should be doing so attempt to wing it. You can wing it but it could mean that you run too much. I downloaded a plan but unfortunately it was too hard so I scaled it down but it was still too hard. You see where I'm going with this. Start modest and work up. It's safest. The last thing you want is to get hurt

    The training is fun! Or at least it ought to be. Run 3 times a week and see how it goes. You could always chuck in a fourth now and again. I tried 4 times a week and it was soon clear that I couldn't hack it so I dropped it back to 3 times. Even then I ended up with shin splints, which is why I say to take care

    Good luck x

  • Well that's quite an interesting link. I seem to normally run between my suggested tempo and Vo2 max rates. It's a bit hard as I don't have a garmin, so I just run with no idea what pace I am doing and check the splits afterwards. If I had a watch I think I would just keep looking at it every few yards!!.

  • I did the Asics plan but I did the beginner one on the MyAsics website. On the beginner plan there were no tempo runs. You input all your times and distances and it formulates a plan that is more on your own pace. Towards the end of the plan I couldn't keep up with the pace so I just went out and did the runs. All I wanted to do was complete the HM and I did. I don't think I could of coped with a speed training element as well. The most important thing is if your really not enjoying it find a plan that suits you better, it's all about the fun. Happy running.

  • I realise I am a rebel, going to do what I want when I want. I know my goal is surviving a half marathon in September, the plan is all mine!!!

  • I have followed a programme only loosely. Have managed to increase distance on long runs, but not really done the tempo or intervals as recommended. Partially because it interferes with the enjoyment of running, but also in part because I find them difficult to fit in. E.g. over the past 1-2 months I regularly do a run to work in the morning or a run at lunch time once a week. Those are not very suited to anything "special". In the mornings I want to get to work without being absolutely knackered and similarly at lunch time. Then recently I have struggled to get out more than twice a week due to weather....I am now planning on doing one run per week as "something different", which could be either intervals or a run in our woods with some hill repeats. I think in the end being able to go the distance is a definite requirement for HM training, everything else is a bonus and will clearly help performance and make it easier, but there's a balance with keeping running enjoyable, so what's best for you will depend a bit on how serious you are about a good time etc. In your case you have plenty of time of course and you can mix and match. I only have 6 weeks left, hence I do need to do a bit of the "extra" stuff :-(.

    Regarding pace I have a similar problem. I just did the calculation again and apart from the fact that I am not sure what to use as basis for it (my fastest 5k or my usual time), I never run my long runs as slow as I should.

  • Thanks for that! I love running and tried a 10k programme before but it did not work out. Running for fun and my own level of challenge has been working well for me. This last week of tempo runs and all the rest has been pretty horrible and it has knocked my confidence in myself. However, I take heart from all you shared that enjoying running and being flexible around our other commitments is a good path to follow. I had a running rest day today (cycled and my legs feel good as a result), will rest again tomorrow (just a walk) and then on Friday will do a long run, feels very exciting to be back

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