How to Choose the Right Tempo Run Speed

Choose the Right Tempo Run

Anaerobic threshold training is an effective form of training for distance runners. The main goal of tempo running is to increase the anaerobic threshold, improve the ability to maintain the pace for a long time.

Knowing your pace and anaerobic threshold, you can choose the optimal competitive pace for different distances. So, for the “average” 10k runner, this will be a pace slightly faster than the threshold, for a half marathon – a little slower, for a marathon – even slower.

Why do you need running tempo workouts?

Physiological benefit – the development of the ability to maintain an increasing intensity of the load for an increasingly long time by improving the system for removing lactic acid (lactate), increasing endurance.

We recommend using our calculator – pace converter min/mile to min/km will allow you to quickly convert miles to kilometers for your training or race.

Psychological benefits – pumping the ability to endure and maintain an even and high enough pace for you.

  • The number and size of mitochondria increases
    Mitochondria are responsible for aerobic energy production in the muscles. With their increase, the muscles are able to produce more energy aerobically. Oxygen consumption at the ANP level increases, the same happens with the pace.
  • Increased activity of aerobic enzymes
    In human terms, this means that you are able to generate more energy in a shorter time.
  • The density of capillaries increases
    We pump the transport system, which is responsible for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells and for the removal of by-products.
  • Myoglobin rises
    This thing is responsible for transporting oxygen from the cell membrane to the mitochondria. More myoglobin in the muscles – more oxygen is delivered to the mitochondria for energy production.

What are tempo workouts?

  • The intensity of training is comfortable-heavy. It’s hard, but tolerable.
  • Before tempo work, a warm-up in the form of an easy run is required, after a hitch.
  • It is advisable to conduct tempo workouts on a flat surface with good coverage. The purpose of tempo running is to maintain a constant intensity of the load and a uniform pace.

The two main types of threshold training are tempo runs and cruising intervals.

Tempo run

Continuous running at the pace of ANP or a little slower for 20-40 minutes.

Cruise intervals

  • Segments at threshold pace with a short rest (jog) in between.
  • The duration of the segments is from 3 to 15 minutes, the duration of rest between them is at the rate of 1 minute for every 5 minutes of running.
    • For example: 6×5 ‘/ 1 ‘ (6 reps: 5 minutes of running at a threshold pace after a minute of jogging);
    • 3 x 10’/2′ (3 reps: 10 minutes of threshold running followed by 2 minutes of jogging).
  • The total duration of the exercise is at least 30 minutes and up to 10% of the weekly mileage.
right tempo run speed

How to Determine your Threshold Pace

laboratory method

The most accurate, but not too widely available method is functional testing using a gas analyzer. A step test is performed, in which the running speed is gradually increased, blood is taken from the finger to determine the concentration of lactate. The pulse is also measured during the process. As a result, a graph of changes in the concentration of lactate depending on the speed is constructed, by which it is possible to determine what pace and heart rate correspond to the level of the anaerobic threshold.

Heart Rate Tests

It is believed that the anaerobic threshold pace usually corresponds to a heart rate of 83-87% of BO2MAX or 85-92% of maximum heart rate.

Competition result

The least technologically advanced, but quite accurate and at the same time affordable method. We use VDOT tables: P-pace.

Why you should not run faster in tempo training, and when to increase the pace?

The main goal when doing ANP training is to run at a pace at which lactate begins to accumulate only slightly. If you do this more slowly, then there will be no training effect in the form of an increase in the anaerobic threshold. But even at a faster pace, the necessary adaptations will not occur, because. The best lactate excretion system trains at or slightly below the threshold pace – at a sufficiently high, but constant level of lactic acid concentration.

It is necessary to increase the Anaerobic threshold pace when the form improves: when it becomes noticeably easier to perform the same work. It makes sense to recalculate according to the results of fresh competitions or tests. You can also increase VDOT by one unit every 4-6 weeks.

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