Safely back in Lyon and with the Saintelyon less than a month away it is time to start getting serious about night running and, yes, a little sleep deprived running, too. The latter I’ll be doing on the weekend when I have rare couple of days entirely alone but the former I’ll be testing out this week. After a long day in the office and a few hours with the family post-work, I’ll be making the run my cool-down before bed even though, like tonight, it might be an up tempo affair.
The goal tonight was to get a nice, steady hour of tempo running in. I had done some hills in San Francisco last week and tonight, instead of heading for Fourviere, I headed for the Isle Barbe and a favorite 13km loop of mine. It’s straight down the Saone, under the bridge at the Isle Barbe, a loop around the trail to get back to the same bridge, then a straight shot home again.
This is a familiar run to me and the only real difference tonight was the temperature (6°C), the darkness (I head the headlamp), and getting the clothing right (I managed better tonight than the last time I headed out and wore only arm warmers, gloves, and a headband on top of the regular summer gear).
The last time I ran this route I managed a fairly slow 5:39 pace and spent most of the time trying to figure out if I was reading my heart rate or my cadence on my watch. This time, though, I was running a true tempo and hitting good splits from the start. I knocked over the first 5K in 24:31 and the second 5K in 23:38 for a nice negative split 10K of 48:09.
I thought about easing it off for the final three kilometers back to Jacobins and, after a hundred meters or so of rest, decided to push on and close it out properly. The final splits of 4:50, 4:42, and 4:28 represented a nice strong finish to the run with the final kilometer being the fastest of the night.
I’m probably a little behind on the distance I want to have in the bank before the Saintelyon right now but, if a sub-4:30 split to close out a tempo session can be taken as a sign of fitness, then I think I should still be in a good place as the race gets nearer.