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What are Tempo Runs and How Do They Help?

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Once you start running, you get a sense of freedom wherein nothing in the world can stop you from achieving your goal. But, what better way of running can intensify this feeling? The answer to that question is very simple, it is called Tempo run. If you are a runner, then you might have heard about it. However, have you ever wondered what Tempo runs actually are, what are their benefits, how many types of Tempo runs are there and who requires them? Let’s find out!

What are Tempo runs?

Tempo Runs

We all know about running and most of us love it. However, running long distance while maintaining the same speed is quite a task. Something like that requires stamina, fitness, and metabolism. And if there is one exercise, that can do all of that at once, it is the Tempo run! People who will benefit most from Tempo runs are beginner runners, runners with a long injury history, obstacle-course racing athletes and advanced runners.

Tempo run is a beneficial exercise, especially for the anaerobic, aerobic and lactate thresholds. It burns more lactic acids which helps in improving the anaerobic threshold of the body. It also helps in burning fats and carbohydrates which helps in improving the aerobic threshold. And to add to that, Tempo run enables your body to run faster with less use of your anaerobic and aerobic thresholds which then in turn, improves the lactate threshold.

Types of Tempo Runs

There are two types of Tempo runs to suit the runner requirements –

Sustained Tempo Runs: This includes one block of running at tempo pace. It may be for 20 minutes or for 3 miles, but the catch is that you can’t take a break in the middle of the effort. For example, you can have a 7-mile run with the middle 3 miles at tempo. A sustained Tempo run should be for 40 minutes.

Tempo Repetitions: Contrary to the sustained Tempo runs, Tempo repetitions generally have a break of 60-90 seconds.

Tempo variations − Making it Interesting

There are several ways to make a Tempo runs interesting, a few are listed below:

The Old One-Mile Loop: Mark a one-mile course in your neighbourhood and ask people to participate. By including your neighbours in this workout session, it not only becomes more interesting but also gives you an insight into the different levels of runners.

Hilly Tempo: For this, you need to find a hilly part of the town and mark out a course, it can be a short one-mile course or a long hilly route. Gather a group of people and run with them up and down the terrain with the same tempo.

Track Back Tempo Repeats: This is more of a group exercise. Everyone needs to have a set tempo and the faster runners need to turn back after every 5 minutes.This motivates the slower runners and inspires them to do better.

Predictor Tempo Run: Finding the right pace is the most challenging part of Tempo running. The Predictor Tempo Run gives everyone the opportunity to check how close they are to their predicted pace.

Off-Road Tempo: To make the Tempo run more interesting, you can take it off the beaten path. This mentally stimulating exercise is also a great way to increase balance and coordination.

Whether you are a runner, athlete or a running enthusiast, we hope that the tips mentioned above will help you get started and understand Tempo runs better. So, get started and let us know about your experiences. Happy running!

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