Steve, I'm not surprised you are finding it tough. For someone of your ability I would suggest 2-3 miles at threshold more appropriate for a weekly session.
To answer your question, you should reduce the distance rather than the pace. The reason is that reducing the pace would result in you training an energy system different to that which is (probably) intended by the session.
I'm assuming here that we mean the same thing by "tempo". Are you following a schedule?
You're right that they should be fairly tough, but you definitely shouldn't be killing yourself to finish them. I'm surprised that any schedule would prescribe close to 45 continuous minutes on a weekly basis. That's getting very close to race pace.
Good luck with your race.
If it's SmartCoach, I'm not surprised. This is one of the reason I dropped it. I had me do 6-7 mile tempo runs at just below my 10k pace. I think it's a bit optimistic.
Like Simon said- as long as you're sure that you're within the correct range for a tempo run for your ability, try to extend the distance for as long as you can, while keeping the pace. Don't overdo it though... 3-4 miles at this stage is plenty. Good luck.
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