Workout of the Day
10 Mile Tempo
Splits: 5:47, 5:36, 5:31, 5:35, 5:32, 5:27, 5:31, 5:30, 5:30, 5:24 = 55:30
Sara Hall — December 8th, 2013
Context & Details
Sara Hall is one of the most resilient athletes I've ever known. Her strength lies in her ability to handle high loads of work, bounce back from workouts, and to somehow, enjoy the act of running throughout it all.
In December of 2013, she was beginning her exploration of longer road races. She wasn't the marathon machine that she is now, but a runner who had spent most of her track career running 1,500's, 3k steeples, and an occasional 5k. In other words, she didn't have quite the pedigree that will predict the road warrior she has become.
But Sara wasn't your typical runner.
A half-marathon she had planned got canceled due to weather. We made the last minute decision for her to fly to Houston instead, and do a 10-mile tempo run as a hard workout.
We decided on a park in the suburbs of Houston that provided a nice 5 mile out and back trail with a few rolling hills in the beginning (and end). On a muggy Houston winter morning, the plan was to ease into the first mile and slip into a sustainable rhythm and see what transpired.
As I ran next to her mile after mile, I was struck by her ability to lock in. The early miles passed quickly as Sara settled into a 5:30 rhythm, and just clicked the miles off. Every mile or so, I'd interject, asking her a question or seeing how she felt. The answer wasn't what I was after, it was how easily, or labored, her reply came. It wasn't until the final miles that any significant sign of fatigue started to show.
As she pushed the final mile, going up and down the small, but annoying, hills of Houston, you could see the future marathoner coming to fruition. After the workout, she instantly transformed into the gracious runner that she is, taking time to talk to a young group of college freshman, and leaving an impact that they still talk about to this day.
A month later she'd run 70:50 for a half marathon and her future on the roads assured.