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Beginner’s Guide To Tempo Training For Running

Our guide to tempo training for running explains how you can crank up your lung capacity and teach yourself to run further and faster

Tempo training for running, combined with interval training, will help you run further, faster and increase your lung capacity.

Interval Vs Tempo Training

We’re going to get a little science-y for a second: the difference between interval training and tempo training is that the former is used to increase your maximum oxygen consumption (often referred to as your VO2 Max), while the latter is used to increase your lactate threshold.

Basically, both are well worth undertaking if you’re keen to improve your endurance-running superpowers, as a mixture of interval and tempo training will increase lung capacity and help you run further and faster without the painful lactic acid kicking in.

  • A tempo pace is one that is comfortably hard and is between your easy pace and your fast interval pace. You should be able to maintain this pace for about an hour
  • Tempo running can help your muscles get better and better at removing lactic acid from the body
  • Build up your tempo running slowly and try to find flat roads without hills so you can run at a steady pace throughout
  • The Running Bug says tempo training will increase your lactate tolerance, your capacity to exercise with high levels of lactate in the blood. Running at this pace will trigger adaptations in the blood, increase metabolic enzyme activity and improve muscle fibre recruitment. It uses carbohydrate for energy, and burns more calories than steady running.

Before you lace up your shoes and start running, check out this video for a more thorough explanation of tempo training for running. (Warning: mad accent ahead.)

Tempo Running – The Four Things You Should Know by Best Running Tips


This very simple tempo workout by Tpindell Fitness can be done at your local park or footie field, and is designed to improve overall fitness. (Remember: “end-zone” equals goal line. Silly ‘Mericans.)

Tempo Run Workout by Tpindell Fitness


If you want to get deeper into it, the pros at McMillan Running break down tempo running for beginners here. Things get pretty technical, so pay attention at the back there.

Tempo Runs by McMillan Running


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