Break out that GPS watch! It’s time to introduce the tempo run!
We’ve crossed the midway point in this lactate threshold 6-week block training and so we’re switching from fartlek intervals to sustained tempo runs. And with this change, we’re leaving the trails for flight, ideally measured, paths (or you can do this in a running track or treadmill).
The tempo run should be a staple workout of any distance runner. And this 25-minute tempo is the perfect introduction.
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So this week’s workout …
25 minutes @ your lactate threshold pace (your one-hour race pace—the pace you could sustain for 60 minutes all out). Plus 3×10-second strides to complete the warm up before your tempo run.
No recovery jogs in the tempo run—it’s non-stop!
For the strides, you’ll follow each of the 10-second efforts with 1-2 minutes of light jogging or walking.
Ideally flat (or close to it), measured (or where your GPS watch works well) and soft-ish under foot (to help avoid injuries). You can use a treadmill (if you can handle it from a sanity point of view) or a running track (although tempo runs require many laps and this constant turning left can be hard on the body).
With a change to a sustained effort tempo run, this week’s workout presents the challenge of a gradual increase in discomfort levels.
So hold yourself back at the start (being sure to not exceed your target splits) and keep yourself on pace towards the end when it gets niggly.
We want your body to learn to flush out fatigue on the run and not require the rest breaks that you get from interval training.
Plus, in two weeks we’re doing a 40-minute tempo run, so this is a good step in that direction!
LACTATE THRESHOLD PACE: To calculate your pace, simply plug in a recent or estimated race time to this calculator and it will tell you your pace.
You’ll also want to be honest with yourself as you go around this pace, as things can change on a daily basis in how we’re feeling and based on weather conditions (wind and heat especially).
STRIDES: These are not sprints! They’re controlled, fast runs at about 5k race pace for beginner runners and 3k-to-mile pace for those more familiar with running towards their top end. Focus on good technique throughout!
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