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What is a Tempo run?

Tempo running is a type of speed workout for endurance runners. It's a moderate effort run that builds up your ability to run faster for longer periods of time! Tempo runs revolve around your "tempo" pace or threshold pace - this is usually a moderate to hard effort that you can hold for about an hour. This is a great workout to add in about once a month whether you're running a 5k or marathon. A tempo run can be a classic "run 30 minutes at tempo pace" or it can be an interval repeat workout in the middle of your run. Today's workout below is an interval tempo run.


Check out this Outside article goes more in to the science and history of the Tempo Run.


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Why?

The goal for most runners to improve isn't specifically about pace, it's more about efficiency which then makes you faster - making your faster pace a result of being a more efficient runner. Holding a threshold/tempo pace during tempo runs make your body more efficient & overall a better runner. You can have some fun and change the variation of the tempo workout as well!


Here's the structure of a tempo run with repeats:

x minutes or miles for warm-up/easy running

x number of interval repeats at tempo pace with short bursts of easy running in between repeats

x minutes or miles for cool-down/easy running


And now for the High Five Tempo workout:

10-15 minutes warmup

5 minutes of easy effort

4x5min tempo/threshold effort (a little faster than your 10k pace but slower than 5k pace) with 2 minutes easy running in between each set *should feel moderately hard

5 minutes of easy running

10-15 minutes cool down


Have some fun with it and change up the number of repeats each time you do this workout! Remember to start off your warm up SUPER easy so when you move into the easy running you're still feeling that increase in effort. It should be uncomfortably easy :)


Happy running,

Kelly

Sometimes I think about the runner I’d be today if I accepted these HARD truths the day I started training for my first half marathon back in 2011. But, that’s life. So let's learn together.


Some of these took me way too long to fully accept and it hurt my running for years. Injuries that could have been avoided, running plateaus that lasted way too long, miserable long runs and anxiety over races. You name it, I’ve been there & felt it.


5 Painful (but good) truths I’ve learned about running:


1. Nobody cares about your pace and that’s a good thing. Normalize telling people your paces without “slow” or “fast” before them. Normalize easy paces and hard runs that you finished.


2. Being skinny doesn’t automatically make someone a good runner. So stop comparing runners body’s to your own.


3. Rest and recovery is more important than you think. So many told me this but I just didn’t believe it. Now that I’ve been injuries many times, ran over by my car, and pregnant three times I know exactly what they’re talking about. Your body deserves to rest and recover.


4. Bad runs are part of the process. They suck but they have to happen. Just don’t get stuck on them. Take time to learn from there and then that’s where your growth happens.


5. The distance you run doesn’t qualify you as a runner. A marathoner is no more than a runner than one who runs 5ks. You don’t need to waste your time comparing your mileage to someone else. It doesn’t matter, just run what makes you happy.


Moral of the story: Do what makes you be and feel the best runner you can be and enjoy all the miles. We need to stop overthinking the simple act of running sometimes. It's just like the journey of life - bad days are bound to happen, low motivation will happen, and it's a wild ride.


Happy running,

Kelly

2022 is right around the corner and while I'm not a huge fan of "New Year Resolutions," I am a fan of setting realistic goals for the year.

When it comes to running, there's always so much peer pressure of doing all the races, Boston Qualifying, or running farther than you've ever gone before. If these are goals, GREAT! But, if these don't resonate with you don't waste your time saying they are your personal goal and then setting yourself up for failure.

Running goals that aren't pace or mileage related: staying consistent, adding in more strength training, improving your running form and cadence.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What are your running goals (overall, not year specific)?

  2. Which one(s) can I realistically achieve in one year?

  3. What is my reason for achieving this goal?

The key is to be specific with your goal & reasons. "I want to run more" isn't going to cut it. Try "My goal for 2022 is to run 5x each week."

Now that you know your goals, shift your focus to this question:

  1. What is needed from me to achieve this goal?

Form an action plan. Create habits & routines that support your goal. Your mind doesn't see the overall goal and know exactly what to do so you need to focus on these small systems, habits, and routine to achieve your goal.

On a daily basis, Ask yourself when faced with a decision: Will this help me achieve my goal of ____? A quick yes or no is a great way to stay connected to your goal and your why. If your goal is to run in the mornings, staying up to 2am watching shows is an easy way NOT to achieve that goal. Start acting like the morning runner now. Be who you want to be NOW & build the daily systems around that.



The first image is the order of the steps you take when setting your goals. The second image is the order of IMPORTANCE for achieving your goals.


I believe in you! Your dreams should scare you a little bit but focusing on the small habits and routines will make them achievable.

Happy running,

Kelly