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What is a tempo run? (Read 2835 times)

    This is a bit of a tempo question.

     

    I have a Half coming up on July 31. Been logging ample miles, but no longer tempo runs. In fact, I cant remember doing one longer than three miles recently. Will I have the strength to pull off my projected HMP from McMillan or a similar calculator? Or should I be adding longer tempos in this week and next? That said, I cant say this is a goal race. So, I would be just as happy with a good workout as with a goal time.

     

    Second question.. similar to the first. I'm training for a 5k. Is it better to have shorter harder workouts at faster paces or longer workouts at a slower pace. For example, is a 20-25 min tempo at 10k pace better than a 30-40 min tempo at HMP? Or, just incorporate both into the training?

    Dont call it a comeback

      This is a bit of a tempo question.

       

      I have a Half coming up on July 31. Been logging ample miles, but no longer tempo runs. In fact, I cant remember doing one longer than three miles recently. Will I have the strength to pull off my projected HMP from McMillan or a similar calculator? Or should I be adding longer tempos in this week and next? That said, I cant say this is a goal race. So, I would be just as happy with a good workout as with a goal time.

       

      Second question.. similar to the first. I'm training for a 5k. Is it better to have shorter harder workouts at faster paces or longer workouts at a slower pace. For example, is a 20-25 min tempo at 10k pace better than a 30-40 min tempo at HMP? Or, just incorporate both into the training?

       

      You realized training for a 5k and training for a half marathon quite a bit different especially in the final 4 to 6 weeks.  Without knowing when your "tartget" 5k is, it's hard to say if running a half marathon at close to projected time (per McMillan's calculator) is good or not.  Assuming your target 5k is still way to go, meaning you are still in the first half of the whole training program where you should be working on your stamina, hence a half marathon, first of all, I would throw McMillan's projected time out the window.  His format will tell you what you can expect IF you train for a half marathon and, if you're running a half marathon in 2 weeks time as a part of your training, you shoudln't even be worried about your best time.  Suppose this is your situation, running a half marathon as a part of training is a good idea for training for a 5k.  There's a time for doing longish "tempo" type workout and what's better than actual race setting?

       

      Again, depending on where you are in the bigger scheme of things, it may be a good idea to do a longish tempo run at easier pace for 5k preparation; it may be better to do a shortish tempo run at faster pace, or even sometimes even shorter distance/duration than your actual 5k race and do it faster is necessary. 

       

      There's no set one answer to say; "for a tempo run, 45 minutes is the best" or "do tempo at 20 seconds per mile slower than 5k pace" or "15 seconds faster than your 5k pace" or whatever.  It all depends on what you're trying to achieve, where you are in terms of entire training program.

        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 

         

        For my last marathon I was doing 7:20 to 7:30 tempo runs of 7 miles, easily.  Then I went on vacation, did a half, moved house, and sat around, so I can't do the 7:30 anymore.  I was doing mixed intervals of 3, 4, 5 and 7 minute sets, ranging from a 7:04 to a 6:44, like two of each, varying speed, never the same so that I wouldn't get bored.  Those 3 min ones were easy, 7 less enjoyable - until it was over.  I would do 6 sets, plus warmup/cooldown.

         

        I'd like to get my intervals under 6:30 pace, at least for the short ones, for my next marathon.  I'd like to get my tempo back to 7:30, increasing to 8mi (ideally).  Who knows, I'm never overly stringent, it's just a pie in the sky goal. 

         

        Last night I did a made-up tempo of 2 miles at 7:54, half mile recovery, 2 @ 7:48, half mile recovery, 1 at 7:42.  I figure in 2-3 weeks I'll be back to 7:30 for at least 5mi by following this logic, as it's worked before.  I don't typically do a recovery in the middle of a tempo, my basement was freaking hot and this is my first tempo in a month and and half - probably more. 

         

        I understand that you're much faster than I am and likely always will be, but aspect in particular shows my lack of stamina and speed?


        Consistently Slow


           aspect in particular shows my lack of stamina and speed?

           2 months with over 300 miles logged. If you lack stamina the rest of us are in serious trouble.Smile

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            For my last marathon I was doing 7:20 to 7:30 tempo runs of 7 miles, easily.  Then I went on vacation, did a half, moved house, and sat around, so I can't do the 7:30 anymore.  I was doing mixed intervals of 3, 4, 5 and 7 minute sets, ranging from a 7:04 to a 6:44, like two of each, varying speed, never the same so that I wouldn't get bored.  Those 3 min ones were easy, 7 less enjoyable - until it was over.  I would do 6 sets, plus warmup/cooldown.

             

            I'd like to get my intervals under 6:30 pace, at least for the short ones, for my next marathon.  I'd like to get my tempo back to 7:30, increasing to 8mi (ideally).  Who knows, I'm never overly stringent, it's just a pie in the sky goal. 

             

            Last night I did a made-up tempo of 2 miles at 7:54, half mile recovery, 2 @ 7:48, half mile recovery, 1 at 7:42.  I figure in 2-3 weeks I'll be back to 7:30 for at least 5mi by following this logic, as it's worked before.  I don't typically do a recovery in the middle of a tempo, my basement was freaking hot and this is my first tempo in a month and and half - probably more. 

             

            I understand that you're much faster than I am and likely always will be, but aspect in particular shows my lack of stamina and speed?

             

            This is neither here nor there, but when I went to your log, I saw lots of empty days and lots of days with repeat entries on the same day of the same distance and same duration, exactly.  Is this accurate or are you having an importing problem?   I can't imagine that you would "miss" that but just in case thought I would ask

              ew, I just spotted those duplicates.  I've had to reinstall my Garmin files a couple of times and obviously this is from me having difficulty getting the sucker the connect and upload.  The gaps are what I explained as time off, if you look at the date of my last marathon, my runs and schedule in the weeks leading up are summarized in my blurb in this chain (55mpw on average), but should be also in there accurately.  I wasn't using my garmin all that often so there shouldn't be dups.

                I understand that you're much faster than I am and likely always will be, but aspect in particular shows my lack of stamina and speed?

                No, I don't think so.  I think you're doing much better than me at the moment!! ;o)   Of course some troll claimed that "PR" stands for Personal Record and it wouldn't matter WHEN you actually posted it; so if that the case, yes, I was a tad faster than you but it was 25....pounds ago!!

                 

                For my last marathon I was doing 7:20 to 7:30 tempo runs of 7 miles, easily.  Then I went on vacation, did a half, moved house, and sat around, so I can't do the 7:30 anymore.  I was doing mixed intervals of 3, 4, 5 and 7 minute sets, ranging from a 7:04 to a 6:44, like two of each, varying speed, never the same so that I wouldn't get bored.  Those 3 min ones were easy, 7 less enjoyable - until it was over.  I would do 6 sets, plus warmup/cooldown.

                 

                I'd like to get my intervals under 6:30 pace, at least for the short ones, for my next marathon.  I'd like to get my tempo back to 7:30, increasing to 8mi (ideally).  Who knows, I'm never overly stringent, it's just a pie in the sky goal. 

                 

                Last night I did a made-up tempo of 2 miles at 7:54, half mile recovery, 2 @ 7:48, half mile recovery, 1 at 7:42.  I figure in 2-3 weeks I'll be back to 7:30 for at least 5mi by following this logic, as it's worked before.  I don't typically do a recovery in the middle of a tempo, my basement was freaking hot and this is my first tempo in a month and and half - probably more. 

                 

                Okay, so let me try to put all these pieces into perspective...  I really think you did a great job with your last marathon--3:38.  That's pretty darn good.  And that was 8:18 per mile pace.  So for that, you were doing 7 miles of 7:20~7:30 and felt easy.  So let's look at it this way; do you really think that workout helped you achieve your 3:38 marathon?  That's quite a bit shorter and quite a bit faster too.  So you KNOW that you have very little trouble running 7:30 pace which is almost a minute faster per mile than your marathon pace.  If your answer was not a quick straight-foward "YES!", then why are you continuing to do intervals and trying to run 7:30 pace? 

                 

                My second question is; so you know that you took some time off and now you're "not in shape" and so you can't run 7:30 pace as easily as you used to.  So you seem to understand WHY you can't run 7:30 as easily.  Now think back and try to remember what you were doing before you got to the point where you felt easy doing 7 miles of 7:20 pace...  Were you also trying to squeeze those 7:20~30 pace one after the other?  Well, if you WERE, that's fine; you're on the right track then.  But you see what I'm trying to get at?  That's what "evaluation of training" is all about, isn't it?  I know you are not the one to try to stick with some sort of silly physiology stuff; but just remember how going back and study what worked FOR YOU is so important--more important than trying to follow some general concencus on what's going on inside of your body that nobody has actually seen in action and, the truth is, nobody knows for sure--still quite a bit nothing but a theory. 

                 

                You know, Australia produced, along with NZ's Arthur Lydiard, a great unorthodox running coach who preached to throw shoes and stopwatch away and just get out and run around the sand dune.  You don't have to be that excentric but that spirit is something to be-hold.  Particularly if a marathon is your goal, don't be bothered too much with what your Garmin might tell you about your pace. 

                   2 months with over 300 miles logged. If you lack stamina the rest of us are in serious trouble.Smile

                   

                  All due respect, Clay, stamina, to me, is the ability to hang on to the certain effort for a long period of time.  When you look at her times, she seems to drop her pace from a mile to 5k; then to half marathon and to the marathon (actually, her 3:38 marathon showed a better "stamina").  If stamina is the ability to log many miles within a certain period of time, sure, she might have good stamina.  But if one can't show it in the actual race, it wouldn't matter even if you run 500 miles or 1000 miles.  Otherwise, it's nothing but an impressive log book.

                    Nobby - Okay, so let me try to put all these pieces into perspective...  I really think you did a great job with your last marathon--3:38. 

                     

                    Gen - well I think I did too.  I wanted a 3:45, and with my intervals and tempo work I had taken 15 minutes off my marathon.  I also took 11 minutes off my half, both in a year.  I still feel like I can do better, and I didn't hit the wall, so life doesn't get any better than that.

                     

                    Nobby - That's pretty darn good.  And that was 8:18 per mile pace.  So for that, you were doing 7 miles of 7:20~7:30 and felt easy.  So let's look at it this way; do you really think that workout helped you achieve your 3:38 marathon? 

                     

                    Gen - absolutely, like I said, I took 15 minutes off my marathon time, and I really didn't do a bad first marathon.  Without a doubt, it was the speed work that had me improve that much over a year, no other year have I improved that significantly.  That 7:30 I had pulled from the FIRST principles, and we both know how many different guides there are.  It was the whole 'to qualify for Boston' formula, and if no one else in my age group applies I will qualify (as I beat it by 20 seconds). 

                     

                    Nobby - Were you also trying to squeeze those 7:20~30 pace one after the other?  Well, if you WERE, that's fine; you're on the right track then. 

                     

                    Gen - Yes and no.  I had this pie in the sky goal of the speed and distance guidelines of the FIRST principles of qualifying for Boston.  I mapped it out in Excel with speed increases every 3 weeks and it was so many months off I wouldn't focus on how long it would take, and I didn't stick with it stringently, but by the time I finished it had me at that speed about 10 weeks before my next marathon.  Sound logic in my mind to get your speed up and then get your mileage in, not both at once.  So when I say yes and no, where I was semi comfortable at a pace and needing to go up, it wasn't uncommon for me to mix in that faster speed into my workout as I transitioned to the faster speed on my treadmill. 

                     

                    Nobby - You know, Australia produced, along with NZ's Arthur Lydiard, a great unorthodox running coach who preached to throw shoes and stopwatch away and just get out and run around the sand dune.  You don't have to be that excentric but that spirit is something to be-hold.  Particularly if a marathon is your goal, don't be bothered too much with what your Garmin might tell you about your pace. 

                     

                    Gen - oh I agree, I'm one of the people on here guilty of looking for the magic formula, and there's a lot of genetics and long years of running that go into it too.  Having said that, I did pull my 6:30 interval time and 7:30 tempo from runner's world's guide on getting a 3:30.  Aaah 3:30, how amazing does that sound?  Not quite as good as 3:15...maybe one day that will be a goal. 

                      All due respect, Clay, stamina, to me, is the ability to hang on to the certain effort for a long period of time.  When you look at her times, she seems to drop her pace from a mile to 5k; then to half marathon and to the marathon (actually, her 3:38 marathon showed a better "stamina").  If stamina is the ability to log many miles within a certain period of time, sure, she might have good stamina.  But if one can't show it in the actual race, it wouldn't matter even if you run 500 miles or 1000 miles.  Otherwise, it's nothing but an impressive log book.

                       

                       

                      ok so I'm confused.  Where is my weakness here?  I'm not saying I don't have them, but I need you to spell it out.  Am I just lacking some years, some base mileage... some genetics?  I've had numerous people tell me (a while back) that I'm going to fast in my speed work and wasting my time, but I swear it's the only thing that keeps me sane, it's such a cleansing, powerful feeling once they're over. 

                       

                      And shoot, you can't look at my hospital hill half and compare that, that sucker is the hilliest race in town, everyone finishes with an extra 10 minutes on their PR  Blush

                      Shoe


                        ew, I just spotted those duplicates.  I've had to reinstall my Garmin files a couple of times and obviously this is from me having difficulty getting the sucker the connect and upload.  The gaps are what I explained as time off, if you look at the date of my last marathon, my runs and schedule in the weeks leading up are summarized in my blurb in this chain (55mpw on average), but should be also in there accurately.  I wasn't using my garmin all that often so there shouldn't be dups.

                         

                        Oh, I don't have any desire to question your training. It was just what I noticed; I read people's logs sometimes just to see.


                        Our times aren't really that different..   My bests are slower in the mile, about the same in the 5K, and faster in the 10K, half, and marathon.  I run higher mileage than you and probably less short speed and more tempo type work, so that's probably no surprise.  Smile  And just read your other comment, none of my courses were extraordinarily easy or extraordinarily difficult, just convenient - hills but no monsters.  As for the intervals, I always figure that we're not going to win anyhow, we should make sure we continue to enjoy running, and part of that is doing what you enjoy.  Sure, temper it with reason if you want your best in a certain event, but you can't give up everything you love about running.

                        KRR


                          Lots of great advice here and if it helps to simplify, a tempo run is no more than a run that coordinates the arms and legs at a greater than easy pace.  depending on what energy system the tempo run is targeting, i.e. stamina, strength, speed, or threshold, the pace will change. here's a helpful workout calculator to help you with your specific paces.   have fun and get it done!  

                           

                          Personalized Workout Calculator

                            

                          Courtesy of Coach Ken at 5 Speed Running Coach

                            ok so I'm confused.  Where is my weakness here?  I'm not saying I don't have them, but I need you to spell it out.  Am I just lacking some years, some base mileage... some genetics?  I've had numerous people tell me (a while back) that I'm going to fast in my speed work and wasting my time, but I swear it's the only thing that keeps me sane, it's such a cleansing, powerful feeling once they're over. 

                             

                            And shoot, you can't look at my hospital hill half and compare that, that sucker is the hilliest race in town, everyone finishes with an extra 10 minutes on their PR  Blush

                             

                            Well, let me just spell it out for ya; I think your problem is FIRST program!! ;o)  Just kidding....well, sorta.  First of all, I don't like FIRST probram especially when people skip the cross training part (which a lot of people seem to do) and simply make it a 3-days-a-week training regime.  And, to be honest with you, I guess your "pattern" don't look all that bad--I guess I was looking at your mile--5k--10k a bit too much; your half is not that bad at all.  I thought the drop of 7-minute pace of 5k to 8:21 of 10 was a bit steep.  The pace ratio is not that bad at all but, according to our VO2Max calculator, which is pretty close to McMillan's, your predicted half marathon time, based on your mile and 5k, would be 1:37 and full marathon 3:23.  And, according to our other chart, your mile interval pace should be about 7:11 pace based on physiology and statistics. 

                             

                            I'm sort of curious, you seem to be quite fast; have you run something like 100m or 400m?  That would actually give us a better indication but, just because you like to run fast and running fast feels good, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to be doing???  I don't know; I don't know enough about you to make a judgement but perhaps your weakness might be "discipline" then???

                               2 months with over 300 miles logged. If you lack stamina the rest of us are in serious trouble.Smile

                               

                              possibly there was a lot of double entry going on?  I see at least 4 days with 10+ mile runs on the same day with identical times. 

                              In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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                                yeah I had a day of frustration with my garmin data, but that period of time it doubled shouldn't be huge.

                                 

                                My last marathon was...uh...April, and the data was clean and consistent before then.  I was around 55 miles per week consistently. 

                                 

                                Ha Nobby it's you!  You're the guy that sells running programs right?  I've been looking for you.  I saw you post your email address in another post, look at for me in your inbox.

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