Mastering the Tempo Run

A lot of people may be wondering, what is a tempo run? And why should I bother making running harder than it already is if I’m getting my miles in? Well, here (and here) are two handy articles courtesy of Runner’s World detailing the benefits of doing a tempo run, or a long run done at a faster pace, and elevated effort. A few helpful excerpts:

“By increasing your LT, or the point at which the body fatigues at a certain pace. During tempo runs, lactate and hydrogen ions—by-products of metabolism—are released into the muscles… The better trained you become, the higher you push your “threshold,” meaning your muscles become better at using these by-products.”

“That’s exactly how tempo pace should feel. “It’s what I call ‘comfortably hard,'” says Pierce. “You know you’re working, but you’re not racing. At the same time, you’d be happy if you could slow down.””