Ready to get FASTER this year?! Each month I will be giving you a different type of speed workout to incorporate into your training plan! Each speed workout featured will serve a specific purpose in your training plan in helping you get FASTER and start setting some new PRs! I will also be including some sample workouts for you to start incorporating into your training so you can start getting FASTER right away!
This month, we are talking about the TEMPO RUN!
You’ve put in the work to run your PR, now it’s time to prove that you can actually DO IT. But, do you even know what it feels like to run at your PR pace? Have you actually TRIED to run at your goal half marathon pace? Do you know if you can even KEEP that pace for 13.1 miles (or 26.2 miles, if you’re training for a marathon)?
If you answered “no” to one or more of those questions above, you are missing out on one of the key workouts you absolutely NEED to be including in your training program:
THE TEMPO RUN
“But, Coach, I did tempo runs in my training and I still missed my PR?” Well, were you running them correctly? Did you run them at your GOAL HALF MARATHON PACE? Did you progressively add mileage to your tempo so your body had a chance to get used to training at your goal pace for an extended period of time?
What is it + why do I need it in my training?
The goal of a tempo run is for you to learn exactly what it feels like to run at your goal half marathon pace. You are learning how to CONTROL your pace so that you can run by feel when you get to the starting line and don’t go out too fast and die halfway into the race. By spending time each week running at “race pace”, you will learn exactly what it that pace should feel like and learn how to hold that pace for 3, 5, up to 7 miles at a time. NOTHING will get you more prepared for your race than a tempo run.
When should you do it in your training?
Once you have a good base mileage under you (4-6 weeks of progressively increasing your weekly mileage), it’s time to start adding in some tempo runs. Tempo runs can be done every week or every other week, depending on your training experience. As you continue to build mileage and speed in your training, you should start increasing the distance of your tempo runs.
SIDE NOTE: Even if you aren’t training for a half marathon, it’s important to run your tempo at your half marathon pace or threshold pace. While your tempo will serve a different purpose (to hold a pace for an extended period of time) that when training for a half marathon, it will teach you how to CONTROL your pace and help you start understanding what it feels like to get uncomfortable in your running, just like you would at a race!
Ready to start incorporating Tempo Runs into your training plan?
Here are some sample workouts that I have my runners do in their training for races of all distances. I typically start them with the basic tempo run and as they get closer to their goal race, we start incorporating more of the interval workouts, running at their goal half marathon pace or at their lactate threshold.