Skip navigation

1817 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 25, 2012 10:37 AM by lenzlaw
michaelvm Rookie 2 posts since
Aug 23, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 23, 2012 1:02 PM

Running terminology for 5k-to-10K plan



I'm about to finish the Couch-to-5K plan in about a week (yay!) and I have already downloaded's 5K-to-10K Android app.

The thing is, it seems to be using some terminology that I'm not familiar with.


First of all, the C25K app would tell me to, for example, "jog for 30 minutes". But the 5K-to-10K app gives instructions such as:

* Perform a steady 20-minute run

* Jog for 10-minutes, then 3-minute tempo run then another 10-minute jog.

* Jog for 10-minutes, then alternate 2 minutes of fast runs and jogs 3 times.


So my questions are:


1) What's a "steady 20-minute run"? At what pace am I supposed to be doing this?

When the C25K app told me to jog, I basically ran at a slow pace (about 11:30 min/miles).


2) What's a tempo run?


3) What's a fast run? Is it very close to a sprint?


I know that some of these might be subjective, but I hope that someone could at least give me some basics so I would be able to follow the instructions properly.

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 24, 2012 1:00 PM (in response to michaelvm)
    Running terminology for 5k-to-10K plan

    For a tempo run, you will want to moving at about 70 to 80% of your max. effort, but start out slow and then increase your pace to a strong area and then follow that with a cool-down period where you slow the pace back down to a more comfortable area. 


    Anytime that you can increase your pace is beneficial and learning to alternate (like with interval training) will also be of benefit.  If you know your "race pace", that is a good target area to approach for descriptions of a fast run (as long as you can do that on a consistent basis without risking injury).  Steady probably means moderate pace and you should be looking at increasing the overall mileage as the plan moves forward. 


    Hope this helps and you will be completing a 10k race soon!

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 24, 2012 3:43 PM (in response to michaelvm)
    Running terminology for 5k-to-10K plan

    To jog for 10 minutes is to warm you up and cool you down before and after the quicker stuff.   It's meant to keep you from getting hurt and something you should always do before running fast.


    The "fast" pace isn't a sprint, but the pace you think you could hold in a 5K race.  And "tempo" is the pace you could hold for 10 miles.


    Google "Lactate Threshold", it's another name for 'tempo" and will explain what you're trying to accomplish with this run.


    I'm guessing "steady" is meant to be an easy paced run.  That's the pace you'd run and not be laboring to breathe.  In other words, you'd be able to carry on a conversation with another runner during the run.


    Congratulations on your progress, you're doing great!

    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Oct 25, 2012 9:09 AM (in response to michaelvm)
    Re: Running terminology for 5k-to-10K plan

    Read this...,7120,s6-238-267--11909-2-1-2,00.html  If you read my original post, I told you to research a lactate threshold run to get an idea what this run means, which is what this article does.


    At one point in the article they describe tempo pace as "comfortably hard", in another, they say it's 15 to 20 seconds SLOWER than your 10K race pace.  That translates to a pace you could hold for 10 miles to me, which is another description I've read to describe the effort.


    Anyway, click the link, like I said earlier, it'll teach you what you're trying to accomplish.


    And yes, you would jog for 10 minutes to warm up, then go into the tempo part of the run.  When you read the article, you'll find they're describing tempo runs considerably longer than the training program you're following, but I think your program is easing you into the quicker stuff, which is the right way to go.


    Good luck!

    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 25, 2012 10:37 AM (in response to Rich in NH)
    Re: Running terminology for 5k-to-10K plan

    A lot of sources would put tempo pace closer to 85%.  But keep in mind that they're talking about 85% of either maximum heart rate or VO2max.  It's a fast  (race) pace that you should be able to hold for an hour or a little more.  For some of us, that's a 10K race pace.  For others, it may be closer to a 10-mile race pace.  It's a hard but sustainable pace.


    It's also called a Lactate Threshold pace.  It's the pace where your body is just able to clear the lactate being created in your muscles.  Any faster and the lactate would start to accumulate.




More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...


  • Correct Answers - 10 points
  • Helpful Answers - 7 points