Before my marathon training starts next Monday, it is useful to review and clarify for myself the different types of tempo runs that will be used in my upcoming training schedule.
Each type of workout is designed for different purpose and effect. It is crucial to know the distinctions:
- tempo – just at or below one’s threshold pace (threshold is defined a the fastest pace without lactic acid build-up; generally, 10 mile or half marathon race pace); this is the basis to build one’s speed and my focus this year
- interval – could be either distance or time
- steady – about 10 seconds faster to 20 seconds slower than marathon pace, commonly referred to as “comfortably hard”
- tempo interval – simply tempo runs broken into bite-size intervals to help one run longer at the threshold pace, or as an opportunity to run faster than one would for a normal tempo run. Concentrate on one interval at a time.
- threshold interval – faster-paced intervals at 8k to 10k paces with a short amount of rest
- rest interval, while often neglected, is key part of the workout
I will be frequently referring to these terms in the upcoming training blog.