Of all speedwork sessions I do I find the tempo run the toughest of them all. Fartleks are fast, brief and "fun" (well it does translate as speedplay). Intervals are short, controlled and measured - especially on the track. Hill sprints are likewise relatively short, although muscle zapping. Tempo runs and long ones in particular are all about the mental game of hanging on and toughing it out, fighting the desire to quit - which is some of the best race training you can get - but certainly not fun, especially before 7 in the morning. As I am close to my peak training week I reckoned Friday's tempo run should be long so I decided on 2 x 4 miles @ HM pace, which based on my last race is about 6:40 miles. When I rose shortly after 5 however I was already settling for any pace between 6:40 and 7:00, with my priority running the overall distance at a comfortably hard effort. After a mile and a half warmup I set off on the first 4 miles starting out relatively slow. Running hard early in the morning is still a bit of a shock to the system and takes a bit of time to adjust to. The first mile was the slowest at 6:48 and I got progressively faster - 6:41, 6:38 and 6:26 giving 26:35 in all (6:39 pace - on target). After a half mile recovery I was less than confident going into the return 4 miles and had thought about cutting it short or at least splitting it up especially as the pace was suffering - 6:46 & 6:50 for the first 2 miles. I half expected this due to an overall lack of tempo/endurance training. However I pushed on for mile 3 and improved to 6:38. "Only one mile to go, no point in splitting the run it's all about pushing the barrier and recruiting those hard to mobilise muscle fibres that only come out in an emergency such as miles 20 to 26.2 at the end of the month - stopping for a temporary recovery will be counter productive". The pace over that last mile got faster the closer I got to the end - in anticipation of that imaginary finish line - 6:24. 26:38 for the return 4 miles (06:40 pace - done and dusted) 3 seconds slower that the first 4. All in all a good specific endurance run and glad that I didn't bail. Todays run in the park was a relatively easy 5 miler as my calves continue to loosen up. Hopefully they will be loose enough to churn out some decent MP miles tomorrow. Friday 2nd Oct 11.86 miles in 1:23:49 (7:04 pace @ 151 HR) with 2 x 4 miles in 26:35 & 26:38 (53:13 - avg 6:39 pace) Sat 3rd Oct 5.24 miles in 41:13 (07:52 pace @ 125 HR) .