tempo runs

Yo. Let’s talk about tempo runs, shall we? This is a brand new concept to me. I’ve never had a running coach. I didn’t do track or cross country in high school. Everything I know about running I have learned from Runner’s World, running blogs and other various interweb sites.

Tempo run. I heard that term last year during my marathon training. It went in my ear and right back out. I wasn’t interested in those “fancy” runs last year since my goal was to simply finish.



This year, I’m taking my training more seriously. So I googled it. Tempo Run: That “comfortably hard” faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run (Runner’s World). “Tempo runs are an excellent way for runners to build speed and strength. They’re runs that are done at a steady effort level, usually just a little slower than your 10K race pace. Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic or lactate threshold, which is critical for running faster.” (Source

Um, my 10K race pace? It’s run as fast as I can for 10K. 

That means my tempo run? Run as fast as I can run for 6 miles… almost. This may not be the *technical* definition of a tempo run but it feels like a darn good workout to me. I’ve done a handful of these now and I’m officially addicted to those crazy endorphins. And I love the challenge.

Let’s break down how I do my tempo runs.

I find a pace that keeps me fighting for my breath and on my toes but feeling powerful for much of the run. This pace takes me to the point where I almost step off of the treadmill, especially for the last several miles. Then I remind myself that yes, this is tough but it’s also what makes me stronger and faster. Those last few miles where I am barely holding on are the ones that count the most… Mental strength people. That’s what this is about. 


From that same Runner’s World article: Many running experts believe that tempo runs are the single most important workout you can do to improve your speed for any race distance. “There’s no beating the long run for pure endurance,” says Tanser. “But tempo running is crucial to racing success because it trains your body to sustain speed over distance.”

Again, that article suggests tempo runs for marathon training should be about 8-10 miles. I’m going to need to build up to that because I’m only pushin 6 right now. It hurts so good.

stretch it out after today’s tempo run. look at that red face.


Molls got in her daily yoga

There is something I don’t love about these tempo runs. I have insatiable hunger for the rest of the day. Sure it probably burns some mad calories but it doesn’t mean I can go wild with food. I’m not interested in gaining weight, nothankyou. I need to find the best post-workout snack and meal for my body to stay satisfied longer because today, for example, I ended up eating two lunches (unnecessary).  I have a feeling the answer is that lil macronutrient, protein. Sometimes I think protein is my arch-nemesis. I’m always trying to increase my protein intake but this girl just loves her carbs. It’s a constant battle. Right now? Cinnamon life in my belly. xo, lw

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