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Tempo Runs

This morning I wanted to make up for my missed workout yesterday. Even though I have a 14 miler tomorrow, I felt like I needed to get in my “up tempo” run. On my training calendar, it said that an “up tempo” run isn’t quite as fast as tempo pace but still faster than a regular run pace. Before heading out the door, I decided that my goal pace would be around 7:20. I almost considered running indoors due to the the wind advisory for NC but decided to embrace the form of resistance training. The miles going against the wind were tough but the tailwind was awesome. I’d call it a successful tempo run.

A tempo run is basically a structured fast run. There is a warm up, cool down, and miles (or minutes) in between that are run at a comfortably hard pace. This article from outlines four different types of tempo runs: the traditional tempo, tempo intervals, race pace tempo, and negative split tempo. I am the most familiar with the traditional tempo. Back when I was training for Boston, I would do 40 – 50 minute tempo runs at 7:10 to 7:15 pace. Now that I am aiming for a 1:30:00 half marathon, according to Runners World, my tempo runs should be run at 6:45/mile. Ummmm, ok that seems a little fast for me but we shall see when the times comes. For a 3:20 marathon, Runners World suggests a tempo pace of 7:10/mile and that seems quite a bit more manageable.

For 2013, I would like to focus on negative split tempo runs. Negative splits are so hard for me, and if I can learn to be consistent, I know it would be a huge mental boost for me. And if I can make it happen during a tempo run, even better. Tempo runs are probably my least favorite workout. Maybe I’ll eventually learn to love them.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: Ran .5 mile warm up, 4.5 miles @ 7:10 pace or a little faster, and a .8 mile cool down. My tempo miles were a little faster than planned but I always seem to do that. Stats are here. Let’s see how the 14 miler goes tomorrow!


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