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Pace vs. Tempo???? (Read 1125 times)


Think Whirled Peas

    Hey everyone! I just found the site today and am really happy I came across it! Tons of useful stuff in here! First a little background on my running story, and then I have a question for those "in the know"! Dec '06 I weighed 303 lbs and smoked 1/2 pack a day...I wasn't 34 years old yet I couldn't climb a flight of stairs w/out significant effort. Jan 18, '07 I quit smoking, started working out, and started controlling my caloric intake...which got me to where I am today...still in the 240 lb range, but able to knock out some miles too! The plan is to get to 220 by November, and at my current rate I should make it no problem. What's helped me along is that I was able to start running in late-April and have gradually increased my mileage to where I'm able to comfortably put in 18-21 miles/week now. I'm training for my first 1/2 marathon in October (Detroit 1/2 marathon) and the goal is to finish. If I'm being completely honest though, I would like to bring it in at or just under 2 hrs...I'm following a novice program right now that doesn't really distinguish between "types" of runs. It is meant for someone to just go out and run 3 or 5 or 7 miles, at whatever pace their comfortable running. One program that I'm thinking of going to does differentiate between runs, and the two that have me confused are "Pace" and "Tempo" runs...what is the definition of each and how would one incorporate them effectively into training? Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for your time!!!! Q

    Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Pace Runs are generally done at your goal pace for the distance you're preparing for. So, with your goal of under 2 hours, the Pace Runs would be done at about a 9 min mile pace. Tempo runs are a little more difficult to describe. The basic concept is that they are generally done at a higher intensity than your others, but not an interval or sprint pace. The actual pace or intensity to run tempos at varies greatly depending on who you are talking to/reading. Some say they should be done near your 5K race pace, others say your 10K-15K race pace. The format can vary, too. Some people say it's a warm-up, followed by whatever miles at tempo pace, then a cooldown. Others incorporate the tempo run into a longer run. If you're doing 10 miles, you might do the first 4 at an easy pace, the next 3-4 at tempo pace, then the remaining as an easy pace. http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm http://mysite.verizon.net/jim2wr/index.html http://www.runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=8287&page=4&c=82 http://www.runningtimes.com/rt/articles/?id=11033&c=82 In case you're bored.
      RunFree7


      Run like a kid again!

        Q: First let me say wow. You seem like a person motivated right now. 60 pounds in 7 months is an impressive accomplishment. Without being able to see your current log I would have to say that getting under two hours will be tough for someone who has done as little running as you. Have you run any 5K's or 10K's to see what your pace is? I think finishing a half marathon at any pace right now would be awesome. I'm not saying you can't do it but just be careful so you don't injure yourself. The last thing you want right now is a major set back when you are doing so great. I think scout gave you information you were looking for about pace vs tempo. In honesty I get them a little confused myself. I try to make things simple. I have pace/tempo runs, speed and easy runs. I would skip speed workouts for now. I don't know how many days a week you are running. If it is 4 or more then I would do two tempo runs a week. One short and then a longer one at tempo pace. Make the other one's easy. I can't tell you how many times I have heard the following: 1.) You have to have easy days so that your body knows the difference between easy days and hard days. 2.) Don't have more then two hard workouts a week. With all of this said I have never heard of two runners who have the same plan. You should see some of mine Wink Just two weeks ago I met a guy 51 years old who runs a 3:35 marathon who only does about 30 miles a week and they are all at Race Pace. He has never been injured. I do believe in a few basic priniciples though and thow two above I think are important. Good luck with your training. I hope this helped in some small way.
          2011 Goals:
          Sub 19 5K (19:24 5K July 14th 2010)
          Marathon under 3:05:59 BQ (3:11:10 Indy 2010)


        Think Whirled Peas

          BearCat and Scout: Thanks for the information!!! I really appreciate it. I was starting to get a little frustrated trying to figure it out on my own. I know that 2 hrs is pushing it, and I honestly am shooting for the finish line this year...next year though...WATCH OUT!!!! Big grin Oh, and I figured out how to share my log too... Blush

          Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.


          Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

            If you want to know more than you ever cared to about tempo running and intervals, then I wrote pretty extensively about them a couple of months ago: What is a tempo run? What is interval training? A tempo run and a pace run may not necessarily be any different from one another. A pace run is more often than not just a tempo run that is at your goal race pace. If you want to finish in under 2 hours, then you need to run faster than a 9:10 pace, so I would recommend using that as your baseline. If you are going to do a tempo run that is only 3 or 4 miles long or less (not counting the warm up or cool down) then you might want to pick up the pace to something quicker, like maybe an 8:40 or 8:50 pace. Anything where you are planning on doing the "tempo" part of the run for longer than the 3 or 4 miles, though, and you will want to stick to 9:10 pace (or 9:20 pace to start if that is too quick for you). I would mix in some interval work. Peter Snell's research came to the conclusion that interval training has more benefits than tempo training. The best plans, of course, include a mixture of the two along with some recovery days (be they rest or easy jogging or cross training.) The easiest way to being doing interval work is a fartlek run. Get a good warm up in, and then pick up the pace for 30 seconds or so. After the 30 seconds ends, then run easy for a minute or two. Then pick up the pace for another 30 seconds. The times are arbitrary, but you'll want to start on the easier end to begin incorporating the interval work. Check the article above about interval training for more details. Great job with getting in shape and setting a half marathon goal! Very impressive, and 2 hours is a great pace. Good luck!

            Run to Win
            24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)




            Think Whirled Peas

              Great articles RTW! Thanks for the information. The more I learn about running makes me want to learn that much more!!!

              Just because running is simple does not mean it is easy.

              whonicca


                How would be the appropriate type to enter for a normal jog? Easy? I wouldn't say my workouts for me are "Easy" yet. I'd say their more towards Medium difficulty.


                Blaine Moore (MM#2867)

                  How would be the appropriate type to enter for a normal jog? Easy? I wouldn't say my workouts for me are "Easy" yet. I'd say their more towards Medium difficulty.
                  If you go into your options, you can create different categories. I've added "warm up" and "walking" as additional options in my list. You could add "medium" if you wanted. If it is not necessarily easy but not intervals or racing, you might want to record it as a tempo run.

                  Run to Win
                  24 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)



                  whonicca


                    Thank You