GTN’s Tempo Run Training Guide | Everything You Need To Know

GTN’s Tempo Run Training Guide | Everything You Need To Know

– If there’s one workout
any endurance runner or triathlete should be
doing, its the tempo run. And there’s a good reason for that because you get a lot of bang for your buck. In other words you make big
gains in relatively little time. – Yeah, and the term tempo is actually thrown around quite a lot
without everyone knowing exactly what it means, so,
were gonna be taking you through what it is and how to do it. – Yeah, this is Jordanian Olympic
triathlete Lawrence Fanous now, we’ve trained a lot
together over the years and Lawrence I hate to tell you, we’re actually gonna do it too. – Are we? – Tsk, afraid so. (upbeat music) – The tempo run is a session I actually use in my
own training programme and you’d be hard pushed
to find any runner or triathlete who
doesn’t use it in theirs. – Well, that’s actually why
I’ve got you here Lawrence, because I am prepping for a half marathon in just a few weeks time, so, I’d like you to push me a
long in my own tempo run. But first of all, what is a tempo run? (upbeat music) – To explain what tempo running is we need to get a little
bit sciency for a second. Everybody has a lactate threshold, and lactate threshold
represents the point at which your body starts to
create to much lactic acid for it to be flushed away effectively. Anything over this point and
you just end up slowing down. – [Mark] So when we talk about tempo, we’re meaning a pace that is at or near to our lactate threshold. The idea of this is that
running at this pace will gradually bump our threshold up. – Yeah that’s right, so, what is this pace and how should it feel? You should off at a comfortably hard pace and as you get through
the run it should start to bite as you get toward the end. And theoretically its
actually the maximum pace that you should be able to
hold for round about and hour. – [Mark] But how many of
us are really going to do an hour run test to find this out. So a good alternative is
to work at your 10K pace and add around 10 to 20
seconds per kilometre. If you’re working by heartrate, its roughly 80 to 90 percent
of your maximum heartrate. And on a perceived
effort scale of 1 to 10, its about a 7 out of 10. But how are we going
to go about doing this? (upbeat music) – So now we know what a tempo run is, we need to decide on
a good place to do it. Me and Mark have come
down to the park today which is a great place
cause of the smooth surface and the runs to be straight on flat roads. – Yeah, but you can do a
tempo run wherever you like, but from my experience its a session that you wan to get down
into your pace with, so you want a terrain
or route that’s gonna allow you to crack on
without any disruptions. – Yeah, in terms of the
structure of session, the intervals tend to be quite long. Today me and Mark are going
to be doing two by 15 minutes tempo with two minutes toward recovery. – Yeah, but we have built up to this, and wouldn’t have been
able to do this session a couple of months back, so, if you are starting out,
you wanna go for something slightly shorter, break
it down to smaller chunks, something like four by five minutes with a long recovery
of about five minutes. – Yeah, and as you start to get fitter, you want to start to
build the interval time up or even start to bring the
resting intervals down. – So, should we crack on with this then? – Yeah, I guess we should. – Okay, first rep for tempo
at 15 minutes, let’s go. (upbeat music) – Whew! First rep down, to enter a
two minute jog recovery now, how you feeling mate? – Really good actually,
to be honest with you I’m hardly breathing. – Haha, rubbish! That is a good point, we
shouldn’t be killing ourselves from this session, actually, we should be able to
have a short conversation if you needed to, or not, but that’s more down to my company. – Oy! – Okay, second rep,
three, two, one, let’s go! (upbeat music) Three, two, one, stop. Ugh! Good session mate, thanks
for pushing me along there. – Yeah, the progress was good actually, I really enjoyed that. – Alright, lets go grab
our jackets and warm down. – Lets do it. – Well, I was actually
really lucky to have Lawrence with me today, pushing me along, because, well, we’re
quite similar on the run, but if you are running with others, and your tempo zones aren’t the same, don’t try doing your
tempo efforts together. – [Lawrence] No, it will just defeat the object of the session
and you’ll either be running far too fast or too slow,
and you won’t be moving your lactate threshold on at all which is the whole point of
doing it in the first place. – And finally, it is worth
mentioning that a tempo session is quite damaging,
you’re running quite hard for a long duration so
you should only try and do one per week or one every couple of weeks, and then, make sure you take one or two easier days of running afterwards. Now, to make sure you
don’t miss anymore videos from GTN you can click on
the globe and subscribe. – Yeah, and if you wanna
see more running and how to specifically how to run on the
track, then click down here. – And if you’d like to
see how to run a faster 5K with GTN’s Dan Lloyd, click down here.


  1. Since der r fast and slow (recovery) sessions involved here!! Is it similar to interval running or is Tempo n interval d same????

  2. I use train way too slow for my 10k time (33:15 minutes, 3:20/km), normally 10 to 15 km runs at 5:00/km as faster. I started experimenting 3x2km at 3:30/km with 3min recovery in between, trying to go faster on each repeat. But it is really painful and hard to do it outside of competition, and the next day I sometimes have knee pain. Would it be better for improving my 10k time doing longer but slower intervals, like 2x4km at 3:40/km?

  3. How would a work out for a normal person look like when training for a half marathon at 2 hours goal time? When I run at 120 heart rate, I feel like I am standing (so this is G2), running a bit faster, and I am at 150 heart rate (G4?)…any faster and I am at my max heart rate 175 (G5). Thanks

  4. I have just started running again after a 6 month injury break. I did tempo runs before in the for of 8 times 200m and an other 200m recovery ( + 1k slow warmup and cool down) . I did those 200m with over 90% effort. Is this a good approach to interval training? I'd like to get faster on 10-12k runs. My race pace was 5min/km the best and about 5:45/min during an Olympic distance triathlon.

  5. Tempo run, nicely explained and demonstrated by Mark & Lawrence! Tempo runs with a partner of equal/close ability is the way to go if possible, i.e. Lawrence & Mark. Thanks guys, GTN rocks!

  6. You need to have some idea of your max HR. My tempo run is between 80-85% of my max HR(168bpm) for 60:00 minutes which is done on a treadmill for 60:00 minutes (1.5% incline) since I don't have a training partner. Warm up for about 10 minutes and then let it reap.

  7. I've built up to run a tempo run of 800m with a 400m recovery and repeating 5 times for a good session. Hoping to nudge up to increase the distance at tempo 1200m in preparation for a 10km event later this year.

  8. You said it is 80-90% of your max heart rate then said it is a perceived effort of 7/10 surely to perceived effort would be dependent on how long you do your tempo run for. It is is an hour the effort would be 10/10 for half an hour maybe 8/10?

  9. Whats the difference btw tempo run and BIKe tempos? and threshold in run and bike? I asked because i see alot the same time ON and time oFF , and others sayin sweet spot ! i beleive vo2max is shorter time ON , but have difference btw run and bike?

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