I know there are several threads on tempo runs, so apologies for adding another.
I recently ran a 10k in 77 mins, and have a target of running the next 10k (Sept) in under 70 mins. I'm also running a half a month later.
I've looked at the McMillan calculator and it says my tempo pace should be 7:48-8:08 min/km. What I don't understand is why I should run tempo runs at this pace, a pace I know I can already complete a 10k in, rather than practicing my target pace, which I guess is 7min/km.
Because this is the pace at which presently your body hits a certain level of fatigue to which it needs to respond by adaptation. As it adapts over the weeks at this pace, it will begin to feel easier to do sessions based on this pace. This means you're improving.
Running sessions at target paces means your body reaches a different level of fatigue, often much sooner, and the aim of the session is upset and the session overall becomes useless. Perhaps not useless if you turn it into a session aimed at shorter, faster races, but you would need to know what this kind of training session looks like in order to do that on the fly. The other output if you should attempt to complete your set session at the higher target pace is that you place a much greater, less tolerable amount of stress on your body leading to breakdown if you sustain it.
Ah, that makes a lot of sense now.
Thanks for the information.
I did push as hard as I could on both 10k races, but would like to think that I'm running better now as I've increased distance.
I might get a heart rate monitor and see if it helps.
Also Ran, you only started in Jan, that surprises me, you look like you've been around 20years or so, with that epic photo!
Jane, a good week of training usually consists of 3 standard big sessions, a long slow run, a speedwork session and a "tempo" run.
Now, that word tempo is loosely described by many as anything faster than easy all the way through to the faster paces. Strictly speaking, I think of it as your 10mile race pace....which is a pace I find very hard to keep going for more than 2miles in training.
My weekly "tempo" run though, is one I'll often do at Marathon Pace (MP). 6miles at that pace is a medium hard work out and works a different zone to the speedwork and slow runs.
As a breakdown, my MP comes out 25secs slower per mile than the tempo. I simply wouldn't be able to do 6miles at 10mile race pace in training, whereas the 6miles @ MP is a good workout.
A-R, I'm impressed, a marathon within your first 6months, and sounds like not that easy a course. Yet you smashed it, with a great time. I can sense you have some great potential, and will have a good few years ahead. If you're talking GFA, presuming you're in the V40 category then? A few years building up, and you'll probably be pushing for podium positions if you pick the right races...
To be honest for speedwork and Tempo stuff, I always pick as flat a course as possible. You're looking to keep the speed to a certain pace, so the easiest way to do that is on the flat.
I've never messed around with heart rates and all of that to be honest, but a lot of people swear by it. For me though, that sucks a bit of joy out of things, and surely is affected by other aspects like how you're feeling on any given day.
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