Tempo Runs: Speed Without The Track

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What are tempo runs and how can they help my marathon training?

Tempo Runs: Speed Without The Track

If you want to work some speed into your marathon training but you don't like running around a track or don't have access to one, try working some tempo runs into your distance runs. Check out the short distance section for an example of a more intense tempo run, but you can create a less regimented version. Here's how to do it:

  • During any medium distance run during the week, simply pick a point on your route or a time on your watch, and pick up the pace for 5 minutes.
  • Don't sprint; keep the pace at about 80 percent of your maximum effort.
  • Then slow done and run at a relaxed pace for 10 minutes, then do another 5-minute pickup.
Not wearing a watch? Pick up the pace until you reach the end of the street. Create your own tempo runs; pick up the pace for 3 minutes, or 10 minutes, or even 20 minutes, during the middle of a weekday run. But when the schedule calls for an easy run, keep those runs easy. Tempo runs are the equivalent of a track workout or hill workout.



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