Tempo training creates variation and helps you go further, faster! Tempo training can be as simple as halving your normal daily workout distance and going a little harder to elevate your heart rate, increase your fitness, and train your legs to turn over faster.
Welcome to our blog on tempo or pace training.
Tempo training is a key strategy for runners and walkers. Introducing tempo training creates variation and helps you go further, faster!
Tempo training is a great strategy to avoid plateauing and actually going slower over time.
Going slower is a very common enemy and is discussed a lot in the store. Customers talk to us about having run or walked for years and do not improve their PB (personal best) for their favorite route. Eventually not improving causes people to look for solutions that do work.
And at SHOE SCIENCE this is not good enough, because your goal is our goal. Our job is to help you achieve your fitness in your life balance.
WHATS CAUSES US TO PLATEAU AND SLOW
A common reason we plateau is our fitness program is training our body to slow. If we train at a particular pace for a length of time our body settles on that pace and cannot change gear. We become stuck in 2nd gear.
We often do not have enough variation in our training, and we are not challenging our cardiovascular system.
There is something about running and walking that encourages us to do the same route at the same pace day after day. And when we do this we plateau. See our blog on the benefits of variation of training.
TEMPO TRAINING - EASY
The most effective way to gain speed and become a more efficient runner is to train just below your aerobic (with oxygen) / anaerobic (without oxygen) threshold once or twice a week.
Tempo training can be as simple as halving your normal daily workout distance and going a little harder to elevate your heart rate, increase your fitness, and train your legs to turn over faster. For example, if you normally run 5kms, shorten that to 2.5kms and run at a consistently faster pace.
Don’t go crazy faster, just a little faster, and sit at the point of needing to focus. If you are running with a buddy, you shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation.
We recommend a flat track as it is easier to run at a constant pace and tempo. One or two of these sessions a week will help you improve.
Again, simple tempo training is half the distance at a faster pace. And build it up slowly over several sessions, so it feels right for you.
TEMPO TRAINING – ADVANCED
Without going too deep into the chemistry of metabolism, when training at a comfortable pace you are training aerobically (with oxygen). Your body is accessing stored energy using oxygen.
If you increase your training intensity a lot, you will move from operating aerobically (with oxygen) to operating anaerobically (without oxygen). You have crossed your aerobic threshold. Sprinters operate anaerobically because this energy mechanism is a lot faster, however it is very limited.
By training just below your aerobic/anaerobic threshold, you increase your aerobic capability. And most of us train aerobically for the duration of each workout. Most weekend warriors do not operate anaerobically on the weekend run.
A Heart Rate Monitor will help you do this more accurately. The aerobic threshold is often described as the zone in which your heart is working from 70-80% of your maximum heart rate.
Running near our aerobic threshold does sound a bit scary because it is a little harder to do. However, after trying this a few times you will find your rhythm and enjoy the feeling of traveling faster.
Ultimately this aspect of training is our friend!
Craig Taylor - SHOE SCIENCE Crew
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