8 mile tempo run?

I've downladed a 16 week marathon schedule from the smart coach.  It starts off with a 4mile tempo run during the first week, which seems perfectly reasonable (plus 2 mile warm up and cool down).  But then it increases to 8 miles by week 9 (10miles including warm up/ cool down).  An 8 mile tempo run?  Isn't it a bit too long?  I honestly can't see how I can progress so quickly to running 8 miles at my 10k pace in training...

 Any advice please? 

Comments

  • You sure the tempo pace is meant to be your 10k pace?

    Even 4 miles at 10k pace is a very tough session and 8 miles is obviously impossible unless they're banking on huge improvements (which may or may not come).  I imagine the problem is you've just miscalculated your tempo pace.
  • That doesn't make sense to run over 10k distance at 10k pace. If you could do that then your could run faster in the 10k in the first place. You must have misunderstood it.

  • The second to last week of my Smart Coach HM schedule has a 10 mile speed session with a wark up and cool down and  5 x 1 mile intervals at 7:40 and half mile jogs in between.  Two days later it has my last 14 mile run before race day!!

    By 10 K time is 49 minutes and at the moment I dont really think it is a realistic session. I maybe wrong and in 5 weeks time I might be up to the challenge, otherwise I might change it slightly and maybe keep the miles but have a longer warm up and cool down.

  • SmartCoach should give you the paces (well I just had a go and it gave me specific paces). The pace is suggested for the 8mi (10 inc w/u & c/d) tempo run was around my half marathon PB pace.

    What figures did you put into the SmartCoach form?

    (Not that I would do a SmartCoach schedule myself, prefer more running and easier paces than the SmartCoach approach of not a lot of running but what you do has to be at a knackering pace, but I'm old and creaky).
  • Mon77, there's no way in the world any schedule would give you 8miles at your 10k pace! That'd be a much tougher effort than running a 10k race!

    It's more likely that the "tempo" involved is something like marathon pace.

    For instance, my 10k pace comes out at about 5.45, i'd never do more than a couple of miles in a go in training without recoveries, whereas i would do 6-7.5miles at MP in a go which is 6.19 pace

  • Would ten miles at marathon pace not be the more useful work out anyway?
  • Read the Background and Specifications link. It will give you the specifications of the terms they use. "Tempo" is quite often a misused term and every runner has a different definition.

    Smartcoach definition:

    "Tempo Runs: Depending on your selected race distance, SmartCoach will give you a number of workouts labelled "tempo runs". Tempo runs are preceded by a warmup and followed with a cooldown, and can be described as "hard but controlled". You shouldn't be able to talk comfortably during a tempo run, but nor should you feel as if you are racing. The warmup and cooldown are normally one mile each, but they can increase as appropriate for you to hit your total distance goal for the day."

  • Tempo definitely seems to be a zone different for a lot of runners.

    When I'm set a "tempo" mile, i take it as in between my 10k and half marathon paces.

    For some people I've seen it pretty much used as MP or even slower.

    I'd describe MP as medium hard, and kind of hard but controlled, as you can hold it for 6/7miles nicely, but wouldn't necessarily be able to hold a casual chat!

  • I like Daniels definition the best

    The pace you could race for an hour fully rested and tapered for one person that could be 10 miles another more like 10km.
    A tempo session would be 20 mins max at that pace any further you would slow it down  otherwise it will be like racing.

    Tempo like others have said seems to have as many definitions as there are stars in the sky  no wonder people get confused by it all

  • It may not make sense, but Smartcoach does kick out some strange numbers. My last training plan had 8 miles at 7:00 miles (plus warm/cool) in week 10. (Training intensity specified as "hard", 3:15 marathon.) Now, 7 minute miles is pretty close to my 10K pb. (Though admittedly, I've run very few 10Ks, so that pb is a bit dubious.)

    Curiously, week 10 was right around where I got a bit injured. Lesson learned.

  • Pammie* wrote (see)

    I like Daniels definition the best

    The pace you could race for an hour fully rested and tapered for one person that could be 10 miles another more like 10km.
    A tempo session would be 20 mins max at that pace any further you would slow it down  otherwise it will be like racing.Tempo like others have said seems to have as many definitions as there are stars in the sky  no wonder people get confused by it all


    That's the definition I use.

    You'd have to be going some to run 8miles in 20-30mins though image

  • Pammie* wrote (see)

    I like Daniels definition the best

    The pace you could race for an hour fully rested and tapered for one person that could be 10 miles another more like 10km.


    To me this is not the definition of a tempo run but a particular type of tempo run, i.e. a lactate threshold - LT - run, i.e. the most commonly understood tempo run. But like StevieG I would consider ''tempo run'' generally to be more of a catch-all term for an extended continuous run at something significantly more intense than normal easy training pace. 

    IMO the actual pace of the run to some extent is determined by the length of the run itself, and when in the schedule it falls. So if I see a 3 or 4 mile run described as a tempo run I'll assume it's designed specifically to boost LT, because I know I'll be able to maintain ~1 hour race pace for that distance.  Half marathon pace will be maintainable for 6 - 8 miles max, any more than that you're looking at MP.  Any more than that, ''tempo'' becomes meaningless.

    I'm fairly sure that JD does refer to tempo runs beyond 3 - 4 miles but I think he advocates different intensities accordingly.

  • I dislike the term tempo because it's often not precise enough to be useful. I much prefer to talk in terms of either paces or even better % VO2/HR max which describe intensities.

    Of course if the terms are well defined by a schedule, then there's not really a problem using whatever you want (e.g. if you read Daniels then you can easily look up the appropriate pace for a 40 minute tempo run).

    The problem is they're often not and beginners suffer from thinking that when they see "speed work" in a schedule they have to run as hard as they can (which isn't an unreasonable assumption to make) or end up effectively racing "tempo" runs.

  • "Comfortably hard", "hard but controlled" - the most pointless phrases ever created as guides to intensity.
  • Thank you all for responding... I am not making this up.  I set up the smart coach to give me a 16 week schedule based on my 5k pb of 22min27s, currently training 36-49 mpw and chose 'very hard' (ok, so maybe I asked for it).  Week 9 I quote:  Tempo run.  Dist:  12ml inc warm; 8ml@7:46.  Cool.

    Ok, so maybe it's slightly slower than my 10k pb (47min 40s) but I'm a little bit off my pb at the moment so running at 7:46min/ml is just about my 10k pace.  I can sustain it for 4-5 miles but 8?  I don't think I've miscalculated it?  I did the prescribed 4ml @ 7:48 last week and just about managed- it was hard but doable...

  • According to mcmillan I should be doing my tempo runs at around 7:46-8.06 (that's based on my 10k pb) so the speed seems to be about right it's just the distance that seems a bit excessive...
  • maybe as you have got the schedule made up from your 5k time and not your 10k time.........it has given faster paces.............Your 10k time seems a bit slower than your 5k time
  • Even if you were in 22:27 shape that would be much too far at that pace. As you're not in that shape I suggest you do it again by entering a race time that reflects your current fitness. The output you get then is likely to be slightly less shit.

  • Moraghan- that was my thinking, even if I put in my 10k pb which is a bit worse, the pace seems to be too fast for the distance.  I said I'm off my pb as I've had a couple of crappy weeks but I ran my 5k pb only about 4 weeks ago so don't think that I'm in a much worse shape... Anyway, will do a parkrun this weekend and see how it goes, maybe I need to be more realistic.
  • I think training for a Marathon based only on your 5k pace at this stage is a bit counter productive. I would just get out and concentrate on getting your distance up. Speed can come a lot later.

    What is the longest distance you have done so far?

    If you're not used to long distances you're risking injury.

  • Tim- it's my second marathon and I started my 16 week schedule with 14 miles last Sunday- no problems there.  I already do around 35-40 miles per week including one track session and one tempo run/ parkrun.  When I trained for my first mara in April I ended up doing seven 20mile+ long runs and actually ran the whole distance in training.  I'm planning to do the same this time.I love the endurance and have no issues putting in a lot of miles... it's the speed I seem to be struggling with.  I used my 5k time as this is my pb and my most recent (decent) race.  Like I said I've had a couple of crappy weeks but I'm hoping it's just a dip.

  • What kind of paces does smart coach give you if you use your recent marathon time?
  • Haven't tried that... but would rather not... I don't think it reflects best my current fitness.  I did 3h52min but it was in Madrid- hot and hilly.  I think on a flatter course and a cooler day (which is what I expect in Amsterdam in October) I would be capable of something slightly quicker. 
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