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What is a tempo run? (Read 2835 times)

    I'm confused about the 20-25 minute recommendations.  The length of your tempo is dependent on the length of the distance you are training for.  With warmup miles in addition, my tempos for a marathon were 7mi, although ideally I'll be at least 8mi assuming I can motivate myself to do another one this year.

     

    I wouldn't define a tempo as something you can do every day, I lose about a gallon of sweat when I do them, and couldn't possibly do it more than a couple of days in a row.  If you can, I'd say you're not running far/fast enough for your fitness level, but that's just my two cents. 

      The longer the tempo the slower the pace. 20 minute tempo is 15K pace or so. 50-60 min tempos are marathon pace generally. They have a similar training effect but you might be more likely to do one over another depending on race distance. I would argue they both are beneficial for any race distance.  3-5 X 1 mile at 15K effort is also a tempo type work out with a minute rest between or so. Critical velocity reps are also excellent and are valuabe. This is around 10K pace but for 3-4 min or 800m - 1200m or more depending on your miles per week and level of conditioning.

      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

        agree, a lot of my running is based on how much time I'm left with to run, with things that come up.  If my 90 mins drops to 30, I try to make it a challenging run. 

          The length of your tempo is dependent on the length of the distance you are training for.   

           

          This is not necessarily true.  It all depends on what energy system you're trying to develop.  There is a tempo run you should do for a duration of about an hour; there's a tempo run you should do for a duration of about 20-minutes or so; naturally at a bit different pace.  A marathon runner would do a tempo run as short as 3k; a mile would also do a tempo run as long as 10-miles. 

           

          Whether or not you hve time to complete a 90-minute run or not should NOT dictate the workout (I mean, it will in a practical sense).  Just because you ran out of time, if you change your 90-minute run at a certain effort down to a 30-minute run at faster pace, then you'll be working on a different system and it may or may not be the right approach.  You cannot, and should not, substitute one workout for the other--it's basically a different workout even though we may call both "tempo run".

            Tempo running is an art; this is why it is hard to explain and also hard for folks to understand. You learn the art by practicing running fast with the least effort possible. Or by "running to the barn" at the end of your runs. Or those days when for no one knows what reason you've got rhythm and bounce right when you step out the door and just running easy would be blaspheming the running gods.

             

            Tempo runs work to actively recreate the conditions where you unlock your body's capacity to run fast with little effort. That's why they are run at "in-between" paces and "in-between" distances. You are looking to find your body's natural balance between effort, pace, and distance. They are important because this is the critical skill for racing.


            Mayo

              It is at a pace that if I am having a conversation with someone, I can utter a few words at a time instead of full sentences because I'm breathing too a bit hard.

               

              +1

               

              For me it's also the pace where I feel like I'm going too fast, but not so fast that I'm having to push myself or focus hard to maintain the pace - like I'm just on the edge of dropping into a hard workout.  It almost feels rhythmic. 

              MM# 4597 / HF #941



              King of Running


                A tempo run is sustained, brisk running (but not all out, though faster than your steady pace) held for a prolonged period of time, say 10 minutes.

                Wipe the sweat from your face with the hair of the scalps of the fallen competitors you have slain in your unrelenting quest for a personal best. What? How dare you say this is over the top? I challenge you to a race!

                  You cannot, and should not, substitute one workout for the other--it's basically a different workout even though we may call both "tempo run".

                   

                  I agree, was merely stating that if something comes up, I try to make the most of the time available, getting that core workout in later on in the week.

                   

                  To the last post.  10 minute tempo run?!?

                  King of Running


                    10 minute tempo runs, repeated three times with 5 minute jog recovery between each repetition can be an effective training session. The shortness of each rep ensures that fatigue does not lead to poor form or speed falling off, and recovery times will be much faster than if the session was one straight 30minute effort.

                     

                    In peak season, I would run 3 x 10 minutes @5:25 pace with 3 minute jog recoveries @ 6:45 pace.

                     

                    By comparison, I could perhaps only average 5:35 pace for a straight 30 minute tempo.

                     

                    Breaking up a run allows for greater quality and faster recovery.

                     

                    Sorry if I didn't make myself clear in my original post.

                    Wipe the sweat from your face with the hair of the scalps of the fallen competitors you have slain in your unrelenting quest for a personal best. What? How dare you say this is over the top? I challenge you to a race!

                      "The shortness of each rep ensures that fatigue does not lead to poor form or speed falling off"

                       

                      Of course, if you're not racing the reps, this shouldn't be a problem to start with...and how would you ensure in a race that fatigue does not lead to poor form or speed falling off? Stop in the middle for a recovery?

                       

                      After the first elapsed 30 minutes you'd have covered more ground knocking out straight 5:35s instead of 5:25 for 10 mins plus 3 min recoveries. (5.37 miles vs. 5.32 miles) - which all gets back to, what are you training for, and is this a "speed" interval session or a LT workout, etc.?

                       

                      Art, science...do what works for you, but have an idea why you're doing it.

                      Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                      We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes

                        well, you know how the info we read contracticts itself at times, especially when old info is all over the internet.

                         

                        Still, it more sounds like you're talking about long intervals.  But holy crap, that's fast.

                         

                        I did your definition of tempo last night, only because I couldn't hold my speed for more than a couple of miles, and I'm about 20 seconds per mile slower than I should be right now, so I'm trying to push myself back up there.  I don't discount what you're doing, especially as you're doing it so fast.  Whether you call it tempo or interval, I couldn't hold that speed for a mile+ like you are. 

                        King of Running


                          To be honest, I was under the impression that this session was one advocated by Jack Daniels - cruise intervals at a pace slightly slower than 10k pace. The actual paces aren't that important but the consistency of effort is. However, I would agree that this session is perhaps better termed long intervals and this serves to demonstrate that different runners use terminology differently.

                           

                          Note - this is certainly a tough session, but can be modified to make it more accommodating (say, 30 seconds off 10k pace, which makes it more like 10k pace).

                           

                          Besides, one straight 10 minute interval at this pace range introduced into the middle of a steady run would be an effective way of introducing tempo work to your training. You could even break it up into two five minute intervals and call it a fartlek.

                           

                          Whatever session you do, make  the tempo workout count.

                          Wipe the sweat from your face with the hair of the scalps of the fallen competitors you have slain in your unrelenting quest for a personal best. What? How dare you say this is over the top? I challenge you to a race!

                             

                            "I was under the impression that this session was one advocated by Jack Daniels - cruise intervals"

                             

                            Okay, but Daniels clearly differentiates between cruise intervals and tempo runs. But whatever. Honestly, for most hobbyjoggers (me included) the difference doesn't matter all that much.

                            Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                            We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes
                            Shoe


                              To be honest, I was under the impression that this session was one advocated by Jack Daniels - cruise intervals at a pace slightly slower than 10k pace. The actual paces aren't that important but the consistency of effort is. However, I would agree that this session is perhaps better termed long intervals and this serves to demonstrate that different runners use terminology differently.

                               

                              Note - this is certainly a tough session, but can be modified to make it more accommodating (say, 30 seconds off 10k pace, which makes it more like 10k pace).

                               

                              Besides, one straight 10 minute interval at this pace range introduced into the middle of a steady run would be an effective way of introducing tempo work to your training. You could even break it up into two five minute intervals and call it a fartlek.

                               

                              Whatever session you do, make  the tempo workout count.

                               

                              Cruise intervals in Jack Daniel

                               

                              I do those like this...

                              given a 10k pace of 45:10 - (7:16/mile)

                              1 mile at 7:25 per mile, 60 seconds rest, repeat.  (maximum 10% of weekly mileage)

                               

                              I like them... good way to get more running in at that threshold pace than the recommended 20 minutes steady pace tempo - with a little mental break.  A little easier to do with more cumulative workload-- recoveries should be no more than 1 minute for every 5 minutes of run time, to keep the blood lactate high (per the book's explanation), it changes the workout if you recover too much in between and drop from threshold effort or get tempted to push the effort too hard during the work period.  I have to do the steady state tempos too because the mental concentration makes a difference.

                                well, you know how the info we read contracticts itself at times, especially when old info is all over the internet.

                                 

                                Still, it more sounds like you're talking about long intervals.  But holy crap, that's fast.

                                 

                                I did your definition of tempo last night, only because I couldn't hold my speed for more than a couple of miles, and I'm about 20 seconds per mile slower than I should be right now, so I'm trying to push myself back up there.  I don't discount what you're doing, especially as you're doing it so fast.  Whether you call it tempo or interval, I couldn't hold that speed for a mile+ like you are. 

                                 

                                I always say that I learn just as much from a message board like RunningAhead and this is actually one of the perfect examples.  Places like this; there are a lot of fast folks and they end up being the ones who give advice because they know stuff--don't know if they are fast because they know stuff or they know stuff because they are fast...  So there's a workout like 3 X 10-minutes at, I don't know, pretty fast--I don't konw how fast Roadrunner guy actually races but let's say it's about race pace for, say, 10k???  So a young aspiring lady reads it, man, that's fast!!  And get out and do an ambitious workout thinking she'd have to train hard...  AussieGirl is, by no mean, slow with 6:11 for a mile.  But perhaps with overload of information, along with the actual ability to run well, you seem to be training way too hard (pace-wise).  For one, when you are running a half marathon at 7:53 pace, 8:03 per mile is not going to be an easy workout pace.  It's either the race performance is not to up to the par or the workout is too hard.  And, by the way, you do NOT attempt a tempo run the day after you did intervals!!!!!

                                 

                                Your level of pace is not a set thing based on your PR but it's a lot more...alive.  It changes all the time.  To set a workout definition as "do such and such workout at your 5k pace + so many seconds" or "a minute slower than your half marathon race pace", to me, doesn't mean anything at all.  If anything, this is the first step to over-training.  One of the first warning sign is "I couldn't hold that pace for a mile..."  That clearly means you shouldn't be doing a mile repeat at that pace!!  If that's the pace you THINK you SHOULD be running a tempo run at, forget about it!!  It's either your body is not ready for it (but you'll get there if you work at it sensibly) or the time you think you should be running is so far off.  At any rate, you should do the workout that you CAN manage to do; be it a hard workout or easy workout.  With the speed of 6:11 mile, you should be doing a long run at 9-minute-mile pace; mile intervals (cruise intervals) at about 7:10, "tempo run" in the early season at about 8:20.  Once you would have gone through some program of sharpening, etc., you should be then doing a tempo run at about 7:50 pace (for about 45 to 70 minutes or thereabout....depending on what event you're training for as well as the level of your fitness and background of your training, toward the end of the program NATURALLY (meaning, instead of forcing yourself to run that fast). 

                                 

                                For AussieGirl; you might be better off if you do a tempo run a bit slower, a bit shorter so you can handle it with ease; and separately to that, do some "short" intervals--and by "short" I mean more like 200m and not 2, 3, or 4 minutes.  That, to me, is getting more like medium to long intervals and, that way, you really can't be doing "speed" because, you seem to lack stamina and, because of that, you get tired as the duration goes up and, because of that, you won't be running fast any more--you'll have your hands full just to run that long and you're really not utilizing and taking advantage of your good speed.  If you prefer doing it like you did just a few days ago--more of a ladder style--then make sure you finish it with short runs of 1 minure or so so you will be finishing up with a fast run; not just a hard run.  Otherwise, you'll be running hard and getting out of breathe but, aside from breathing, you won't be contrbuting much to your speed.  By the way, with 6:11 mile "speed", you should be running 1:37 half marathon easily.

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