How to do a tempo run

Tempo pace, tempo run, tempo running… what does it all mean and how can it boost your fitness lifestyle?

Tempo running is simple. Like most aspects of cardio fitness, it’s far from rocket science. All you need is a bit of know-how and some sprinkled motivation. Whether you’re running a half marathon or trying to reach your first 5k you’ll be glad to hear that tempo running will help.

So what exactly is it?

Master Class define it as ”(also called a threshold run) […] a pacing exercise in which a runner runs at the speed of their anaerobic threshold (a challenging but sustainable running pace) for twenty to forty minutes.”

So, running in between the hard and the easy level, challenging your anaerobic threshold and maintaining enough of a challenge over a certain time…

Why’s it good though?

A tempo run, tempo workouts, tempo runs – you’ll see slightly different words for it, but at the end of the day, it is what it is. And the benefits are equally varied.

Using race pace techniques to perform a tempo run will help you increase speed and endurance every time you use it. A tempo run workout really helps you to reach distance targets. Naturally, running performance will be increased every time you challenge yourself. You don’t have to commit to high-burst workouts or interval training to improve your game you only need to be in a state of challenge.

Type of tempo runs

Firstly, you could be running a sustained tempo run. This tempo workout is one of the best tempo runs going. Why? Because it contributes more so to endurance and long-term running.

This workout type contains one block of running at tempo pace. It could be 25 minutes or 31/2 miles but with no break or recovery in the middle.

Strength Running states ”A simple example is a workout like this: 7 miles with miles 3-5 at tempo pace. Here you have a 7-mile run with the middle 3 miles at tempo.”

Secondly, you could commit to tempo repetitions. This works by utilising interval workout facets but at a much slower pace.

Another example from Strength Running, ”An example is 7 miles: 3 x mile at tempo pace with 90sec jog recovery. This workout is very similar to the sustained tempo mentioned above, except we’re including a short recovery after each tempo mile.”


In any case, a mix between the two types will benefit you in different ways. Remember, it’s all about your goals and how your body works. Tempo training is great; running at a challenging pace is brilliant to increase your game without having to run hill sprints 24/7. Tempo training can be done with running partners, too, so bear that in mind. Join the tempo effort and increase your endurance and strength today!


What are the best tempo intervals to run a half marathon pace?

You should be using slower intervals.

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