tempo run - advice please

started running in jan 

running around 25-30 miles a week now

mostly steady pace runs around 9 min miles (5 mile runs and 5k ones ) 

long runs are now up to 20k and 11:30-12 min miles - my last LSR i got slower at the end  - maybe too far too soon ? 

i did a 10k run in march time: 54:34 

my first HM is june 9th  so wanted to concentrate on focusing training better rather than just running 

i tried a tempo run today  - 3 laps of 2.5k lake 

1st lap 14 mins

2nd lap 13 mins

3rd lap 14 mins 

i tried really hard to run faster in the middle , but after i had timed it, didn't seem much faster 

does this seem okay for starters ? any tips on how to make my tempo runs more efficient if needed  - or general tips on fr next few weeks towards the HM 

i would love to get sub 2 hour for my first HM but may be ambitious given my 10k time 


  • A tempo run is meant to be a run at a fast but consistent pace, so 'trying really hard to run faster in the middle' isn't the objective - a better goal is to keep every mile split, or every lap time, the same.
    A 2hr HM requires about 9:05 minute/mile pace, so that's what you ought to be looking to sustain on these tempo runs. If you can't do it for a few miles, don't aim to do it for 13.1.

  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    It does sound okay though - 7.5km is about 4.66 miles, and you ran that in 41 minutes, which comes in well under 9 minute miles. As Pethead said, though, try to pace it evenly rather than speeding up in the middle. Also, you might find it helps to have a much slower warm-up and cool-down on either side of the tempo run.

    Have you looked at http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/ ? You can put your 10k time and your half marathon target time in and it will calculate a range of training paces for you.

  • thanks guys  - i think i have got the wrong idea of tempo runs then  - i thought you had run slower at the start and finish and faster in the middle 

    i did the calculator thing to help work out pace/timing for my LSR 

    i just seem to run all my runs at around 9 min miles apart from the LSR ,

    not sure i'm really getting the most out of training now i have the hang of running regularly - i didn't want to try anything too advanced with speed work  and cause an injury though 


  • literatinliteratin ✭✭✭

    I think you DO run slower at the start and finish, but that's because you're doing a super-slow warm-up and cool-down! The middle bit can be nice and fast. image

    Have you been following a half marathon programme at all? If not, it's not too late to find one that's covering about the same mileage as you're up to at the moment, and using it as a guide to different kinds of training you might do. I don't think you'll injure yourself doing speedwork if you make sure to warm up, cool down and stretch; it's not the same as just going outside and zooming off as fast as you can, and in any case you'll be running at paces based on your current ability, so not more 'advanced' than you can handle.

  • Warming up, doing a run at a fast pace and warming down is perfectly normal. I'd definitely recommend warming up/down either side of a tempo run.
    But the tempo run itsself needs to be even-paced, like (I hope!) your race will be.

  • i'm not currently following a set plan, as my shift work messes it up a bit  - but i need to sort out something out so i'm not just running my mid week runs at same paces  - or i think i will not reach my sub 2 hour goal 

    i will re-attempt a tempo run next week doing the warm up/ cool down shorter and running faster for much longer  - makes sense 

    i will look for a plan/guide  - i can change days around  -

    i did the 10k quite evenly 

    i have time still to work on technique and some pacing , i know its my first HM but i don't want to mess it up too much  - so glad for the advice 

    i'm also doing the MK HM in july too which is 4 weeks after 

  • Based on your 10k time, your tempo zone is roughly 8:40 - 9:00.  This could be interpreted that you are running all of your runs at tempo pace.

    I suspect what is more likely is that your 10k time is quite soft.  It could be that poor running technique is holding you back rather than fitness.  Have you tried incorporating 'strides' into your routine?

    Try them towards the end of one of your 5 milers: accelerate gently to 90% maximum pace for about 20s then slow and jog for 40s.  Repeat 5 or 6 times at first but gradually build up the number to 10 or 12. When you are doing them try to concentrate on your form: keep your head up, pump your arms forward and backwards not side to side. lead with your knees.

  • thanks lou , i just saw this reply now, i will try this , and back on it next week now my nights have finished and my ankle not hurting

    my running tech is deffo not great , which i s why i think i pick up niggley injuries , my fitness is pretty good i think , i have always exercised and cycled , my cardio is fine , stamina not bad , i need to get to grips with learning to run properly 

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