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Tempo Run - Run Series 03
Tempo Run - Run Series 03

Understanding why you do your run sessions helps motivate you to do them. Here we share everything you need to know about tempo runs.

Ben avatar
Written by Ben
Updated over a week ago

A Tempo Run is one of our weekly 'hard run sessions'. Here we are going to do a deep dive on tempo running.

How hard is hard?

We don't push the pace as hard in our Tempo sessions as we would during an interval sessions (stay tuned for more information on interval sessions). During a tempo run the reps will be longer and the recovery periods less frequent, so you spend more time running at a challenging but more sustainable pace.

Pacing a Tempo Session

The pace will typically be around half marathon effort but will also vary depending on the length of the rep. For example, you are going to run faster doing 3x 2k reps than you would over 1x 6k effort. The aim is to run at 70-80% effort. If you go any harder, you will be closer to your lactate threshold (save that for your intervals!).

Benefits of a Tempo Session

  • Improves your ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles whilst you're running.

  • Conditions the body to run faster over longer distances.

  • Improves our ability to clear lactate from the muscles.

  • You can do a tempo run anywhere, you don't need a track or flat surface, you can focus on the effort.

  • The sessions are versatile so can be tailored to suit any distance (from 5k up to marathon).

  • Less demanding on the body compared to an interval (speed) session so can recover quicker.

Coach Comment from Ben Parker

Tempo runs can be daunting, but the mental benefits of these sessions should not be underestimated. The longer reps require concentration to get the effort right, helping us to nail our pacing. Tempo runs develop perseverance when the going gets tough, which builds confidence that we can replicate the same resilience on race day.

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