4 Tempo Run Workouts to Tune Up Your Training

Below are four different types of tempo workouts. Pick one to add to your weekly routine or mix-it-up and try a different one each week:

Traditional Tempo

Begin and end the run with a 1-mile warm-up/cool-down. Run these beginning and ending miles at an easy conversational pace. Run the miles in between at a pace that's 30-45 seconds slower than your 5K race pace. (Example: 1-mile warm-up; 2-miles at tempo pace; 1-mile cool-down)

More: Jump Start Your Training With Speed Workouts

Tempo Intervals

Begin and end the run with a 1-mile warm-up/cool-down. Run these beginning and ending miles at an easy conversational pace. For the miles in between, alternate between a 5-minute fast and a 5-minute slow interval. The fast intervals should be run at a pace that's 25-30 seconds slower than your 5K race pace. Continue alternating the fast and slow intervals until you reach the last cool-down mile. (Example: 1-mile warm-up; 3-miles alternating 5-min fast pace/5-min slow pace intervals; 1-mile cool-down)

Race-Pace Tempo

This tempo run is particularly good when training for a half or full marathon. Begin and end the run with a 1-mile warm-up/cool-down. Run the miles in between at your half or full marathon race pace. (Example: 1-mile warm-up; 4-miles at race pace; 1-mile cool-down)

More: How to Find a Race Pace That Works

Negative Split Tempo

This tempo run is great for teaching your mind and body that you can "pull-it-out" on the back-half of a run. Run the first half of the run at an easy conversational pace. Run the back-half at tempo pace creating a negative split. (Example: Run out 3 miles at easy pace; Run back 3 miles at tempo pace)

(Note: If you don't have a GPS watch to track your pace, use the "talking test." If you can easily talk during the tempo portion, then you're probably not running fast enough.)

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