Do you wish to ace up your fitness and body goal game? Well, it’s time to incorporate tempo runs into your routine! In fact, make it your new best buddy if you really intend to develop your speed and endurance. However, what exactly is a tempo run? Well, T-runs, tempo runs, or threshold runs, they all go by a variety of names. In fact, even though they are essentially the cornerstone of every training program, a tempo run is one of the most commonly misunderstood concepts in the running community.
In a nutshell, tempo runs are a highly specialized form of workout that aims to increase your endurance and allow your body to move quicker for prolonged periods of time. When we think about tempo runs, we’re not simply referring to running fast generally. Hence, here is a blog post to clarify things up. By the end of the guide, you will understand the concept of tempo runs precisely, and get an idea about the math that makes them such an important component of a training regimen. Let’s begin.
What is Tempo Running?
Tempo running is a form of speed workout. Despite the fact that they have different objectives, even fartlek and interval exercises belong to the exact same category as this one. Whether you’re training for a 5k or a half marathon, a tempo runs generally refers to a prolonged effort run that increases your body’s capacity to run speedier for longer periods of time.
The general rule is to select a pace that you can keep up for a minimum of 20 minutes, but preferably for 45 to 60 minutes. You should be quick. However, you must avoid running at full speed. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being strolling slowly, you can aim for a tempo that feels like a 6 to 8 effort. You can also consider this run to be “comfortably difficult.”
Benefits of Tempo Running
Each form of training, including intervals, fartleks, and t-runs, has advantages of its own. The optimal program for you will depend on your fitness objectives. Nonetheless, it’s time to adopt tempo runs if you want to get better at any of the following. Here are a few benefits of tempo running.
1. Increased endurance
Although not very comfortable, you ought to be able to maintain your tempo speed for a minimum of 20 minutes. The way your body reacts to tempo runs in the LT zone enables it to get stronger and better able to eliminate lactate and prevent exhaustion.
2. Faster pace
A tempo pace falls in the middle and develops both slow- and fast-twitch muscle tissue. Interval runs also aid in the development of capillary beds, which in turn, supply working muscles with oxygen and greatly increase speed.
3. Mental drive
You’ll need to exert extraordinary concentration when you work out at speeds somewhere below your all-out effort. You can build the mental toughness you’ll need for professional racing by adopting this approach.
4. Change up your training
To get the most out of your workout, you must maintain an active lifestyle. Tempo runs are a fantastic way to mix up your normal workout program.
5. Make exercise fun
It might be really intimidating to take on mile repeats. Nevertheless, the appeal of tempo runs is that you simply need to run out of the clock. There are no mile markers involved; all you have is time.
6. Contribute to the development of your lactate threshold
The fastest you can run while still enabling “lactate clearance” in your body is at your lactate threshold pace. Since lactic acid accumulates in your muscles during a vigorous workout, lactate is what creates that burning sensation and tiredness during a difficult exertion. You can run at a quicker pace for a longer period of time as you get more practice.
7. Practice makes perfect
You will eventually be able to maintain this quicker pace for longer since performing threshold exercises at this tempo helps your body become more adept at it.
8. Mental toughness
Have you ever had the urge to stop running or take a stroll break even though you weren’t yet exhausted? It is your body’s attempt to save energy and stop you from going overboard. On the day of the race, the very last thing you would want is for that voice to lure you into not giving it everything. Running at a moderate pace can help you develop mental toughness. Include it in your workout routine.
9. Preparing for a race
You may give your body (and mind) the confidence that tempo runs are a manageable challenge by routinely practicing them during your training. You’ll have a good understanding of the pace that works for you and will be aware of your threshold pace, or how far you can push yourself.
How to Incorporate Tempo Running into Your Routine?
You have plenty of options for how to approach a tempo run if you’re prepared to incorporate threshold training into your running regimen. There are different tempo runs. The only true criterion is to maintain a constant, predetermined pace for a predetermined period of time.
PSA: No matter the training program you choose, always remember to stretch to lower your chance of injury. Also, drink lots of water to avoid dehydration after strenuous routes.
- Blocks or distance can be used to organize your prolonged tempo run program, but the twist is that you can’t take a rest in the course of your threshold time. It could seem as follows:
- 8:00 Warm up
- Easy — 2 miles
- Tempo — 3 miles
- Easy — 2 miles
- Refresh — 10:00
- Doing a steep tempo run might help you build strength and endurance if you compete in cross-country races. The secret is to keep your effort at a level that is no higher than the tempo run pace on inclines and no lower than the tempo run pace on declines. This will call for you to alternately accelerate up and slow down:
- Preparation: 5:00
- Easy — 10:00
- Hill Tempo — 20:00
- Easy — 10:00
- Cool down — 5:00
- In the last phases of training for a marathon, marathoners could also incorporate two intervals of tempo running every other week into their lengthier runs. For instance:
- 8:00 Warm up
- Tempo — 20:00
- Easy — 1:00:00
- Tempo — 20:00
- Refresh — 10:00
Make sure you discover how to perform a tempo run program that supports your unique training objectives, whether they be to increase your short-term speed or your long-term endurance. Go ahead and try this reputable exercise regimen. After all, you have absolutely nothing to lose but a plenty to gain! Isn’t it?
How to track your progress with tempo running?
Your tempo run pace can be determined in a number of different ways. Your tempo run must be at a level of 70% to 80% effort if you run by feel. Run at 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate if you are using heart rate training. You should run at a pace that you can maintain for an hour throughout your tempo run. Aiming for a pace that is somewhat slower than your 10K race pace is a solid general rule of thumb.
You should make your tempo run shorter, faster, and more intense if you are preparing for shorter races like the mile or 5K. As a result, you may perform your tempo run at 80% of your 10K pace or 5 seconds quicker.
In contrast, a longer, less strenuous tempo run is what you would do if you were in marathon preparation. Therefore for a total of 6 miles, you may run at a pace that is 10 seconds shorter than the 10K pace or at 70% of your maximum effort level.
Wrapping It Up
Generally speaking, it is advised to include one tempo run each week in your speed training. Additionally, bear in mind that because a tempo run is a type of speed workout that involves more intensity, you should take a rest day or go for an easy run the day before and after your tempo run. All in all, if you want to improve your running speed and intensity, do one tempo run and one interval session every week. That’ll make all the difference!