Tempo training is something that sports fans should be familiar with. Without good tempo, it is possible for us to train too slow or too fast. Accurately defining how the tempo is performed should be approached in a scientific, concise fashion. First of all, we should be aware of the purpose. With good tempo, we will be able to reduce the amount of energy or time needed to achieve specific pace. It means that we can run faster with less effort than usual. As an example, joggers may take 8 minutes to cover one mile of distance, but with good tempo training, they could achieve this 30 seconds sooner. This result isn’t only noticeable to typical joggers, but also to athletes.
The benefits of tempo training should be quite obvious. We will be able to run at specific speed at much easier effort. In this case, our previous 5K pace could be our new 5-mile pace. When it comes to tempo training, there are two separate durations that we need to consider, duration of the actual workout and the duration for the training phase. The duration for the training can be developed after three months. There are different kinds of duration we need to the actual workout, but it could be consisted of 20 minutes for slow warm up followed by 4 miles of running at specific pace and then a few miles for the cool down period.
The proper pace could depend on our overall fitness level and genetics. When performing tempo training, we should try to make it fun and easy. On easy days, we should be able to run faster, but can be slower at the other days. However, we should avoid running too fast on the easy days to maintain consistency. It can be hard to maintain a proper pace during bad day, but we should try to compensate by running faster. Obviously, there are psychological factors that we need to consider if we want to maintain our pace. Our physiology factors are also different, because our body produces energy differently depending on our current activity level.
If we want to be successful in intensity training, we should be aware of how our body works. With aerobic respiration, our body metabolized glucose to water and carbon dioxide. At higher intensity, our circulatory system and lungs are no longer able to supply enough oxygen to keep up with the aerobic metabolism. At this point, our body will switch to anaerobic metabolism as a way to burn glucose. However, we should be aware that anaerobic metabolism is very inefficient. Also, our body produces more lactic acid and this will result in numbness and pain. Our body will have significant reduction in performance.
That’s the reason why we can’t run at spring pace during a 5-mile run. The main purpose of tempo training is to find a level where our body can perform at the peak performance, while still in aerobic metabolism phase. It’s worth noting that pushing our body harder won’t increase benefit and it will drain energy needlessly.