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Tempo Workouts (Read 236 times)

Nemesis


    What do all of you believe the most effective tempo workouts are? In the past I've done a lot of tempo miles with 1 minute recoveries, but it seems to me that the straight 4 or 5 mile tempo run would give you more benefit. I'm probably going to start throwing in tempos occasionally and would like to hear all of your thoughts. Thanks.

    MJ5


    Chief Unicorn Officer

      I do both kinds. I don't go over 4 straight miles at tempo but I train mostly for 5K. I'll do 3 minutes on, 1 minute off if I'm struggling that day, sometimes I do 10 minutes, then off for 3, then on for 10, or 2 x 2 miles with a 3 minute break (that's probably my favorite one to do). I can't really explain how the science of one is better or worse but I've still made gains doing them this way.

      Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

        20-25 min at lactate threshold/fast tempo pace  25-30 sec slower than 5K pace

        40-50 min at marathon pace/moderate tempo or around 50-60 sec slower than 5K pace

        4 X 1 mile at half marathon/fast tempo effort effort with 90-120 sec rests

         

        I these work outs have similar effects on conditioning and offer variety. The problem with 20-25 min fast tempo work is that most of us think we should run them faster than necessary or accidently go out too fast. With the cruise intervals, you have time to regroup. I personally like the 4 X 1 mile or 5 X 1 mile if a very high milage runner.

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

        J-L-C


          I really like the 5-6 miles at marathon pace. My first year I was trying 8 miles at hmp and ended up almost pring in training to the detriment of racing. 5-6 miles of mp in the middle of a regular training week seems like a very good fit for me.

           

          I also do 15-20 minutes at ~hmp-15k pace from time to time, usually with some shorter, faster stuff added on. I think those are very good, too.

           

          Basically, anything and everything can be very good. It's just determining how much and how often that can leave hurting.

            My favorites:

             

            4 mile tempo on the roads

            3 x 8-10 minutes at LT / 3 minute recovery

            3 x 2000m on the track / 1 lap recovery

            3 mile tempo (around a lake) followed by 5 x 2:30 hill repeats.

            Runners run.


            And in the end...

              I really like the 5-6 miles at marathon pace.

               

              I've seen this quite a few times recently.  Can you explain to me how that improves LT, which is the primary focus of a tempo run?  5-6 at marathon pace would do very little to improve the body's efficiency at processing lactate.  It seems a few coaches call a marathon pace run a 'tempo', but most simply call it a Pace Run, or MP run.

               

              Oh, and I also do both steady state tempo runs of 25-40 minutes.  I go to the fast side of tempo pace range on the 25min and the slower side on the 40min.  I'll also do tempo intervals occassionally just to change it up.  Those are usually included as part of a longer run with more easy miles on the bookends of the intervals.

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              The GITM is moot.

                MattM, lots of things besides running at exactly LT can improve LT (which in running terms is not the body's ability to process lactate, but the pace at which lactate enters the bloodstream at the same rate it leaves the bloodstream.) In fact for runners who are currently running less than about 50 miles per week, the single biggest thing they could do to improve LT is to simply add mileage.

                Runners run.


                And in the end...

                  MattM, lots of things besides running at exactly LT can improve LT (which in running terms is not the body's ability to process lactate, but the pace at which lactate enters the bloodstream at the same rate it leaves the bloodstream.) In fact for runners who are currently running less than about 50 miles per week, the single biggest thing they could do to improve LT is to simply add mileage.

                   

                  I'm talking about the specific term 'Tempo' and how it is applied in training... and while I agree that LT can be marginally improved by mileage, what does that have to do with the specific references to '5-6 miles at MP' as a tempo workout?  Why not call long runs a tempo run, too?  Or recovery runs?

                   

                  How does 5-6 miles at MP, specifically, contribute directly, as a primary stimulous, to impoving LT?  It doesn't.  It's good stuff, but it's a MP run that is primarily used to improve running economy at that specific pace.

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                  The GITM is moot.

                    I don't think that the word "tempo" is directly associated with lactic threshold. Folks were running tempos before the physiologists got interested in LT. The way the word is being used on this thread is the way I have always understood it to be used: continuous runs (or longer intervals) at moderate "comfortably hard" paces.

                     

                    The primary purpose of tempo running is to bring faster paces into the zone of relaxed running.


                    And in the end...

                      So, Jeff, 5-6 miles at MP is comfortably hard?  I'm in the camp that it's closer to 25-40 mins at 1 hour race pace.  That's comfortably hard for me.

                       

                      And yeah, google 'Tempo Run' and read every definition that is returned.

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                      The GITM is moot.

                        So, Jeff, 5-6 miles at MP is comfortably hard?  I'm in the camp that it's closer to 25-40 mins at 1 hour race pace.  That's comfortably hard for me.

                         

                        And yeah, google 'Tempo Run' and read every definition that is returned.

                         

                        Try it some time. I think what  you'll find is that the variety of intensity and duration will stimulate improvement better than just doing the same type of "tempo" run every time.

                          So, Jeff, 5-6 miles at MP is comfortably hard?  I'm in the camp that it's closer to 25-40 mins at 1 hour race pace.  That's comfortably hard for me.

                           

                          And yeah, google 'Tempo Run' and read every definition that is returned.

                           

                           This is the way I was taught to think about tempo runs. I understand that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of tempo being associated with a range of efforts and stimuli, but running is a vague art, and for that reason sometimes vague terms are more precise than precise ones. Smile


                          And in the end...

                             

                            Try it some time. I think what  you'll find is that the variety of intensity and duration will stimulate improvement better than just doing the same type of "tempo" run every time.

                             

                            I'm not saying that running at marathon pace is bad.  I'm asking why people call it a tempo run instead of a marathon pace run.  I'm asking about the semantics of it, not it's value in training.

                             

                            From all I've read, the actual term 'Tempo Run' came from Jack Daniels running formula work.

                             

                            For instance:

                            Here’s his definition, taken from Daniels’ Running Formula (Human Kinetics): "A tempo run is nothing more than 20 minutes of steady running at threshold pace." (He goes on to say that 20 minutes is ideal, but may be varied to suit the needs of a particular course.) Without getting too technical, threshold pace is the effort level just below which the body’s ability to clear lactate, a by-product of carbohydrate metabolism, can no longer keep up with lactate production. Daniels states that this pace is, for most people, about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace.

                            Exercise physiologist and coach Pete Pfitzinger adds: "For very fit runners, the pace is between 15K and half-marathon race pace." For those fond of using heart rate monitors, Daniels notes that tempo runs are done at 90% of maximum. However, most runners seem to find it easier to use running speed as a guide.

                             

                            I'm just not sure why it's important to say "I do 6 mile tempo runs at marathon pace" vs. "I do 6 mile marathon pace runs."

                             

                            Why is it called a tempo run, when it's clearly not related to the idea of running at or near LT effort?  Doesn't matter.  No one is going to change their opinion so I'll hop off the bus.

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                            The GITM is moot.


                            And in the end...

                               

                               This is the way I was taught to think about tempo runs. I understand that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of tempo being associated with a range of efforts and stimuli, but running is a vague art, and for that reason sometimes vague terms are more precise than precise ones. Smile

                               

                              I've read that and don't disagree... but, again, I'm talking the semantics of it.  To me, a marathon pace run is a marathon pace run... and I run them to improve running economy at that pace.  No matter, it's all just running...

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                              The GITM is moot.

                                 

                                I've read that and don't disagree... but, again, I'm talking the semantics of it.  To me, a marathon pace run is a marathon pace run... and I run them to improve running economy at that pace.  No matter, it's all just running...

                                 

                                I gave an answer to the semantics: the term was used to denote a variety of paces and durations of moderate running before Dr. Daniels associated it with LT paces. For folks who don't think that association was definitive and see value in a vaguer term for this vague art, they continue to use the word in this vaguer way. Some people find this confusing, and I can see why.

                                 

                                I don't think this has to be an argument, but if you want an answer to your question about semantics, I think that's about it.

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