What is a Tempo Run?
This “comfortably hard” run is key to racing your best, at any distance.
Tempo pace is a point where you push hard, however, if you push yourself any harder you would have the stop. If you have to walk during the recovery, you’re going too hard.
A tempo run can also be described as a lactate-threshold(LT) or threshold pace. These runs aren’t meant to be easy and you definitely wouldn’t be having a conversation at this pace. If I were to ask you out of 10 how hard it was to maintain that pace (1 being a walk in the park-10 being too hard you’d have to stop), I’d be looking for a 7-8. Save the 10 out of 10 for Hill Sprints.
The reason tempo runs are so important is that they train your body to sustain your specific tempo pace over a specific distance. With any of my new runners I normally start with a 1km (5-7 minute) warm up, followed by at least 15 minutes of a challenging, but manageable pace, finishing with a 1km (5-7 minute) cool down. From there we look at increasing the distance but still holding the “comfortably hard” pace.
It doesn’t matter what if you are running a 5km, 10km, Half-Marathon or Full Marathon, adding a tempo run to your training at least 1-2 times a week will greatly improve your running performance.