Tempo Run


10 – 30 minutes


2.5 – 10 km

Intensity Required:


Tempo aka threshold runs, are high effort, short distance runs. Tempo pace should be maintained for a maximum of 20 minutes. Think of it as running at 80-90% of your top speed or “maximal steady state.”

Begin tempo runs with a short warm up, at an easy pace for about a km. Next, transition into tempo pace for three to eight kms. Wrap these runs up by cooling down at a comfortable pace.

Tempo runs are strenuous in comparison to other run types. Include these at a maximum of once per week to allow for recovery. Similar to interval runs and fartleks, regular tempo runs will increase your running speed, VO2 Max, and lactate threshold.


Warm up for 5 minutes. Run at tempo pace for another 5 minutes. Follow this by reducing back to warm up speed. Repeat twice. After you’ve mastered this cycle, add an addition 5 minutes to the tempo pace segment. Continue adding tempo time in succession until you reach 20 minutes.


Benefits of this Run


Boost Lactate Threshold: These runs are beneficial for improving your lactate threshold by allowing your body to clear lactate faster than it is produced in your muscles. This will allow you to run faster and longer. This is crucial for achieving better run times.


Boost VO2 Max: These runs improve how efficiently your body uses oxygen to generate running energy. A boost in VO2 max makes you a more economical and conditioned runner.


Boost Mental Tenacity: As tempo runs involve an above normal pace, they can improve your mental threshold for pushing through challenging races or long runs.



An aspirational runner who has been at it since 2013. Eric started this site to help those like him find the information they need to get started.

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