Welcome to our Wild Workout Wednesday link up! Each week I link up with Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, and Sarah at Creating Better Tomorrow to bring you workout ideas, motivation, inspiration and recipes to try. Join us for a wild workout each week by reading along or grab the button and link up if you have a fitness or healthy living post to share!
I’m nearing the middle chunk of my marathon training (for my 4th marathon) where I’m getting ready to build up some big long runs. A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I plan out my long runs for what some would consider a ‘condensed’ marathon training plan.
But just focusing on the long run during marathon training can leave you undertrained and injured (yes, I’ve learned from experience!)
I’ve talked about how I loosely follow the Run Less, Run Faster (affiliate link), 3 plus 2 training plan. The book really details how 3 quality run workouts (and 2 days of cross training) can get you to your goals if executed properly. I have found the pacing charts to be super helpful–they’ve given me reassurance (Hey, the chart says I’m doing the right thing!), and sometimes they’ve given me a kick in the butt (Ahhh, the chart says my 5k tempo pace should be faster!!).
Yes, I love all the charts.
Just to reiterate, the 3 quality workouts according to the book are tempo runs, track workouts, and long runs.
Let’s Talk Tempo
A tempo run is not a leisurely mid-week run, just to get in some miles.
A tempo run is a calculated run that works on holding a comfortably hard pace for a period of the workout with the intent of improving lactate threshold.
If you Google ‘Lactate Threshold for Runners’ a slew of articles will come at you–some can be complicated. I personally feel that this article from HowStuffWorks gives a simple, straightforward explanation for the purpose of run training.
What I Do
During my marathon training, my tempo runs range from 4.5 miles to 8 or 10 miles. My first mile is run at an easy pace, then depending on the length of the workout, I will progress up to short, mid, or long tempo pace for the majority of the workout and end with an easy pace. Doing this workout (which I do sans heart rate monitor) requires knowledge of all these paces. I’ve run enough to know my exact 5k, 10k, half and full marathon paces, but the book also gives another fantastic chart (chart nerd alert!) that will provide you these paces based on a 5k time.
The most challenging part of the tempo workout (in my humble opinion) is maintaining the intended tempo pace without unintentionally slacking off, or becoming complacent. I’m always looking at my Garmin to make sure I’m keeping it up.
4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Tempo Run
1. Some people make a playlist (or use a specialized app) with the beat they need to keep the pace up.
2. I usually listen to podcasts (exciting, I know). They obviously aren’t adrenalizing, but my mind stays focused on my pacing while absorbing useful info!
3. Know your intended pace for the workout and have a way to track it (usually a Garmin or other GPS type watch).
4. Run on a course where you can focus on your workout. Try to steer clear of busy roads that distract from the workout, and (my problem) try to avoid a significant hilly course which will obviously alter your pace and all around change the goals of the workout.
I am not a certified personal trainer or running coach. The information I share here is based on a wealth of experience combined with personal research and knowledge. Please choose training plans that work best for your fitness levels, lifestyle, and goals.
Do you utilize tempo runs in your training plans?
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Also linking up with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday!
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