Guys! I did not intend to go MIA but work was really busy last week (I’ve been saying that a lot, huh?) and I’ve been staying late and then have just been fried when I’ve gotten home. Plus, I had fun dinner plans on Monday, Thursday, Friday and again tonight! Anyway, I’ve been excited to share some of my running workouts.
Inspired by John’s running coach (Chuck Engle), I’ve been shaking up my running routine too. I’m not doing exactly what he’s doing because, well, I can’t – I’m not as fast as he is! But I’ve been making adjustments to my own running. I typically just do steady pace runs or treadmill fartleks or intervals without much thought or structure. I have the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and Raleigh Half Marathon coming up in April and I really want to train diligently this year.
One thing I used to be really diligent about in training was tempo runs. In fact, I can distinctly remember 6 years ago that I always did my tempo runs on Thursdays and Kanye’s song “Gold Digger” was on my playlist – ha!
What are tempo runs? Basically, tempo runs are runs done at a speed that is comfortably hard and last about 20-30 minutes.
Technically speaking, according to Runner’s World, tempo runs are done at “threshold pace, [which] 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. … This pace is about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace.”
How do I do them?
When I do tempo runs, I do a warm-up, usually about 1 mile, before I start counting the 20-30 minute portion of work. My last 5K pace was about 6:30 minute/mile (based on what I saw on my Garmin and the race course was messed up). Since I hadn’t done a tempo run in a while, I didn’t want to go out too crazy, so I listened to my body and ended up doing negative splits. By the end, I was close to where I should be for tempo runs – about 30 seconds slower per mile than my 5K pace. Easing into tempo runs like this is a good way to get your body used to the demands.
- 1 mile warm-up @ 7:47 (I probably should have done my warm-up at a slower pace
- 1 mile at 7:19
- 1 mile at 7:13
- 1 mile at 7:08
- 1 mile at 7:03
- 1 mile cool down at 8:00
Why should I do them?
It’s important to train your body to hold a speed out of your comfort zone to work on getting faster at longer distances. Intervals are great for speed too, but you need to do tempo runs to train speed on distance. You can do these outside, or you can do them on the treadmill, like I did. If you do them on the treadmill, just be sure to add 1.0-1.5% incline.
This workout kicked my butt and I was huffing the last mile. You can still do this workout, even if you don’t run the same pace as me: Just look at your 5K speed and aim to run for 20-30 minutes at a pace 30 seconds slower than your 5K pace. And, always listen to your body. Ease into it with negative splits, like I did, if you need to.
Do you regularly do tempo runs?