Tempo run pacing (Read 135 times)

Pedro P Sousa

    First time contributing after many months of peeking... here goes Smile

    I am just restarting a marathon training cycle (3.Nov. marathon) and would be interested to discuss the effects from different "tempo" run paces. As far as I understand it the idea behind the tempo run seems to be an effort close enough to your current LT to produce a training stimulus; the longer the distance of course, the more distant this pace will be from say 10k pace. So for instance Fraioli on this articcle:




    discusses proper tempo pacing for different distances, from 5-10k to the marathon.


    I often find however that due to other commitments I will seldom be able to complete a training session that is hard enough according to these guidelines. More often than not I will probaby be slower 10 to 20 seconds per km (not mile) than that pace. It's partly a question of committing to it, I know, but I wonder whether the training stimulus thus produced comparable in some way to a "proper" tempo effort? Say, is  "moderate" tempo run also useful, or can you even replace a more difficult single tempo run with more frequent moderate tempo efforts ? Hope to have made my point clear. :/

      I think the author's description of what tempo pace should be is pretty solid, and it should be achievable for anyone when defined as "20-60 minutes at half marathon race effort" (or whatever he said to that effect).  Will you get a training stimulus from running your tempo runs slower than this (16-32 seconds/mile)?  Sure.  That's still way better than just running all easy miles.  But I think you would do better to crank it up to the proper effort.  That's certainly been my experience.

      - Joe

      We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

        I agree with Joe, but if your marathon is not until Nov. 3, more important than the pace of these tempos is the simple fact of them. Now is the introductory period of training, where you simply accustom the body to the rhythm of training. There is plenty of time in the next 5 months(!) to build intensity. I certainly don't think now is the time to be running at the limit -- if you are at the limit now, where are you three months from now?


        Letting off steam

          What Jeff said -- you've got time to work yourself into "proper" tempo range.  Many people have trouble hitting prescribed paces early in the cycle.  From what I've experienced and heard from others,  Pfitz programs in particular are notorious for fails on early speedwork.  It will come,