Hey there, Coach Kyle here!
Recently I told a runner “No need to go faster than the prescribed paces for tempo miles or shorter reps :)” and it made me think of this post below from my friend and fellow coach Andrew Richter.
Take my recent workout that I did, for example. I was to do 5x1mile at 6:35-:45 pace. I did 6:40’s going out uphill into the wind for the first three and 6:30’s going with a slight downhill headwind. I could have gone faster and harder, but doing that would have been a waste of effort. If I would have done 6:30’s going uphill into the wind I probably would not have been able to close the final two at 6:30’s or would have had to work damn hard to do it.
I told another client recently that the goal is often to do as little run training as necessary (to reduce risk of overuse) to still reach our running goals. If 30 miles per week will be enough, do that and use the extra time and energy to do strength work, drills, etc.
But the same is true for effort. I’d rather see an athlete run on the slower end for all of the prescribed distance repeats or tempo run and feel GREAT for the entire duration….feel like they could run 1-2 more miles or repeats without expiring because they paced properly with stamina left in the bank.