Tempo runs are necessary to help you achieve your running goals. The problem is most runners don’t like them because they’re difficult. Here’s some strategies to help make Tempo runs easier.
I’ve coached a few runners who tell me that they struggle to complete tempo runs because they lose concentration. It’s especially the case when the Tempo is 30+ minutes. The following article discusses a few strategies that can overcome this challenge. Even if you’re able to stay focused, perhaps your challenge is maintaining the Tempo pace for more than 10 minutes. Or for others, the obstacle is injuries as a result of doing Tempos.
I’ve coached people with all of these challenges. I would first say that they may be running too hard. The pace is supposed to be 1/2 marathon, but the key is understanding what kind of shape that you’re currently in. The pace for Tempos shouldn’t be goal 1/2 marathon.
The author interviews Coach Pete Magill, who says “A smart way to get your tempo running in without the added injury risk, is to break up your tempo runs into 5 or even 10-minute repetitions, with a 2-3 minute recovery jog in between. The benefit with having this break is that it allows time during the recovery interval to reassess your pace. If you’re “gassed” after the first set, it’s because you’re going too fast. In order to complete additional sets, you’ll need to slow down during the next repetition.