Discussion: tempo runs
in: Orienteering; Training & Technique;
just curious as to how long and at about what pace tempo should be run at. i was guessing about three mile for length but wasn't sure....any help is appreciated.
Under Training in the menus at the bottom of the page choose 'Pace' and use results from a recent race to calculate personalized pace targets. That page has a link to Daniels' training program for rationale.
Personally... I like to run 10 minutes out on a flat trail and then turn around at 10 minutes and head back trying to negitive split. 20 min total at just about 5 k pace. total distance is about 2.7 miles.
You'll probably get as many different answers as people who answer.
Tempos are my favourite :)
I usually do 45-50min @ ~half marathon pace, usually a little slower, since you dont taper before it, and especially if you are using trainers instead of racing flats. I also make sure to find a flat and even place as to not to ruin the running flow, i.e. around an ocean is usually good ;)
Won't lie to you, it does make your legs pretty sore the next day, but its damn effective since its in great volume, good heart rate, and you stop just before your legs deteriorate. Good news, though, is that an orienteering race can typically achieve very close to what a tempo does :D
I've heard tempo is not as effective as intervals (per unit of time.)
As effective for what? Usually people have different objectives in mind when running short, hard intervals vs a long tempo run.
At improving your fitness.
yes, its true that its more effective running 3min/km intervals for 20mins, than 3:30min/km for 20mins. But since a tempo can be done for a longer period, it might not be the case. + i might add, if you do end up running a tempo for the same time as an interval, although not as effective, you will be more fresh in them legs the day after. I aint saying one is better than the other, quite the contrary, I think keeping it varied, and doing both is healthy.
theres no type of training thats most effective. the key is 1)variety 2)consistency. simples.
i tend not to do any specific tempo runs as such, but if im feeling good i'll push the pace of my easy runs up in the last few miles towards what i guess is what people would call tempo pace
My understanding is that a tempo run is a continuous sustained run on or slightly below race pace. It's something like 20-40mins of running. There are alot of misconceptions about tempo and i got put straight by Colm Rothery at one stage. So it's pretty hard to do that pace while orienteering because if you didn't have to do mapwork you'd be able to go faster in the terrain.
It's helpful to understand what the purpose of a Tempo run is. There are many good books (my favorite is Daniel's Running Formula) that go into this in detail. In short, tempo runs work on you lactate clearing systems. As such, they don't do as much for VO2Max as intervals (which are designed specifically for working that). For efforts of between 10 minutes and 1 hour, VO2Max is the limiting factor. Between 1 and 4 hours, lactate clearing becomes more important. Beyond that, it's just endurance because the race pace will be slower than your normal training pace.
FWIW, proper tempo pace is the pace you can hold for around an hour. For most folks this is 30-40 seconds/mile slower than VO2Max. Tempo runs do not target the skeletal muscles and therefore should not make your legs hurt the next day (though you'll certainly feel them - the sensation shouldn't be something you perceive as pain). If they do, you're running them too fast or too long.
In my experince from running copetitivly in a program that focued on tempo runs as workouts to build strength, the distance of the tempo run and the intensity really depend on generally what distance you would like to be comfortable racing. During cross country we would do 5.5-8mile tempos for a 5 mile race. Typicly a tempo is suposed to be an effort slower than race pace for longer than race pace. The cross country tempos for me were typicly around 5:30 pace. However the better guys on my team would do them around 5:10-5:20pm. In track when we focused on the mile we would do tempo runs on the track or on a hilly loop around 5min pace. The best way we foundto get used to tempo runs was to set a goal tampo pace. Say 5:45 pace. Start your run at 6:10 pace and each mile get faster. Try to do half your run building into that pace and then 1 quater at the pace and 1 quater faster than the pace. Its also know as a progression run. Also you have to figure out what kind of body you have. Me personaly I could not stick with any of the good runners on the team in tempo runs, but in intervals I could stick with anyone. Like Cristina mentioned above a mix is good to help you figure out what works best for you. Tempo runs are a good way to get fit and strong. If you have further questions email me. My coach trained under Jack Daniels of a few years and is very good friend with him and we used a lot of tempo/strength type workouts to get fit.
The point here being, you have to know your present fitness to run a useful Tempo pace. Erin, starting at 6:10 pace and getting faster would not work for many people, I can't even run 1 mile at 6:10!
Most people run them too fast, what Eric said is correct, and matches Daniel's ideas pretty well.
I would add it is probably the most useful run training, heads up Mikell, FOR ORIENTEERING.
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