ladder tempo

All up this is a 10km run, so if you aren’t quite ready for that yet you could change it to:

500m easy
2km tempo
1km easy
1km tempo
500m easy

And that will be a 5km run.

Most people tend to think about tempo as an all out effort, but you don’t want it to be too hard. If you can’t talk, it’s too hard. If you can only blurt out the occasional word, it’s too hard. If you feel like your chest is about to explode, it’s too hard. The idea of tempo is that it should be controlled, it should be just under the threshold were your body starts to create lactate. In terms of effort – if you think about a light recovery jog as 60% effort, and easy running at about 70% effort – then a tempo is at 80%. Which is often referred to as your 10k race pace. But it’s really much better to go by feel. To give yourself an idea your tempo pace will usually be about 1:00 min/km faster than your easy pace. But everyone is different, so the main thing is to find something that is controlled and really just sits on the edge of being comfortable.

You can also use this workout as a tune-up for a 5km race. Because it allows you to test yourself at race pace for 5km, while giving you recovery periods in between.

Happy running!

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: Zoey Dowling

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