Tempo Training

What is “tempo” training you might be asking?
This was a question my marathon training class was asking me and I thought I’d share with the masses the answer that I shared with them.
Tempo runs/training is one of the best methods to help prepare your body for racing and building up a stronger threshhold for pain for the long haul.
Different from speed work, you are still running comfortably hard and can’t talk much, and are running about 75% of your max perceived effort.  One definition of tempo is 20-30 seconds slower than your fastest 10K race finish time.  If you don’t ever run 10Ks, than play with the pace until you feel that you have hit the tempo stride for YOU (not your running partners pace – this can get you in trouble).
Here is an article from www.runnersworld.com on the importance of tempo running.
If you are training for a half marathon, for example, you may have a regular 3 or 4 miles run during the week.  Pick one day with that mileage that is not your long slow run, not your interval training day and not usually before or after on of those days.
You’ll break your tempo workout down as follows:
Warm up for the first mile
Run 2-3 miles at tempo pace
Cool down for that last mile
Marathoners do the same, only with more mileage on an average day during the week at 6 miles. 

Here is what that looks like:

Warm up for the first mile
Run 4 at tempo
Cool down for the last mile
If you go out too fast and can’t maintain what you think is tempo pace for the 2-4 miles you must log, then you are not running tempo pace and can slow down.  Maintaining a comfortably hard pace for 2-4 miles is not always easy to master the first or second time.  Again, tempo is NOT speed work/interval training.  It is challenging, yet very rewarding for your body and mind in preparation for that half- or full-marathon.
Let me know if you have any questions and how I might be able to support your running goals!
Happy running!
Yours in Transformational Success,
Lois Tiedemann Koffi
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