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4373 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2014 7:44 AM by ColoCorredor
nicasio3 Pro 66 posts since
Nov 24, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 29, 2010 8:24 PM

Tempo ? Marathon training

Hi everyone...I have a goal to make 4:15 marathon next March 11, what speed do you recomend me for tempo,  I been running about 25  miles for week, and I already started my training, may best time is 4:50, running speed track is not good for me because I got injury, someone recomende me tempo.

Thank you

  • Dog-lover Legend 373 posts since
    Mar 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 30, 2010 10:26 AM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training

    I've read a bunch of different thoughts on tempo paces.  Some say that running at your marathon pace for 45-90 min is a good tempo run training pace, others have you run somewhere between 10k to 1/2 marathon pace for the same amount of time.  Personally I've tried both and prefer to run around my 1/2 marathon pace and then push the last two to three miles up a bit to nearly 10k pace.  I also tried to do a race pace race just before my taper which is usually a 1/2 or 30k distance.  The McMillan running calculator can help you figure out training paces based on goal race paces and past race times.  Good luck and have fun!



    Quote from Bob Moawad  " You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you are sitting on your butt. And who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time"

    2008 - Grandma's marathon - 4:51            2011 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:46

    2009 - Get in Gear 1/2 marathon - 1:49    2011 - Green Bay marathon - 3:51

    2009 - Grandma's marathon - 4:13            2011 - Grandma's marathon - 3:45

    2009 - Twin Cities marathon - 4:02           2011 - Minneapolis Pride 5k - 21:31

    2010 - Grandma's marathon - 3:58 ya hoo!

    2010 - Twin Cities marathhon - 3:55

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Nov 30, 2010 7:52 PM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training

    Tempo runs and pace runs are generally better for marathon training than interval sessions (though intervals still have their place).  The McMillan Running Calculator already mentioned is great for figuring paces for tempo and interval runs. (  Try to use a recent half-marathon, 10-mile or 10K to figure your tempo pace.  The longer races are better but a 10K will do.  Try to work up to the occasional longer tempo runs if you can, where you're doing maybe 6 miles at tempo pace.  Do tempo runs no more than once a week.  You could also try tempo intervals.  Read here for an explanation of the different runs:  "Pace runs" are what he calls "Marathon goal pace runs".  Basically a medium-long run with the last few miles at your marathon goal pace.  Do this no more often than every 3 or 4 weeks.  Adjust the total distance of both tempo and pace runs depending on where you are in your training.


    Hope this helps.




  • JasonFitz1 Legend 578 posts since
    Jun 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 1, 2010 4:45 PM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training

    Len hits on some good points, and I just want to throw in some extra advice.


    Tempo pace is scientifically your "lactate threshold" pace, or the pace you can hold for an hour, or about 85-90% of your max heart rate. In competitive runners, the pace is usually somewhere between their 10 mile and half-marathon race pace. But for new runners, it's usually about their 10k pace. Ultimately, it really depends on your current fitness level so my advice is to check out the McMillan calculator or use a heart rate monitor.


    Running tempo workouts for a marathon is a great idea - they're one of the most beneficial workouts you can do. But if you haven't been running very long then you should focus on several months of base work that could include a very short tempo, but your focus should be on easy running. I'd throw in some strides and maybe hill sprints to keep your neuromuscular system awake, but your focus is on maintaining easy volume.


    Good luck!
    - Fitz.

    Strength Running
  • ZenPacer42 Rookie 4 posts since
    Dec 5, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 5, 2010 9:41 PM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training

    If you have an injury, stay away from speedwork right now and just do easy aerobic running. You want it to heal.

    4:50 to 4:15 is a big jump (12%). THere are things you can do to help you know just if you will be capable of that

    or not. If you get to race day and you go out at 4:15 pace, and you only have a 4:40 in you, you will have one

    heckuva death march on the back end. Here's a few things:


    --first work you aerobic base. Run easy. A pace where you can converse easily. If you have a heart rate monitor,

    even better. Just stay below 70% MHR. You'll find that you will get faster at the same heart rate as you build volume.

    The easy running will allow you to build your volume much easier. If you add speedwork, you will be cruising for a bruising.

    It's the aerobic miles that will bring you the most improvement for the marathon.


    --do a regular test of your aerobic fitness. Mark Allen used a simple 8k test where he would run  at a heart rate of 180-his age. If the pace of the test was getting better, he knew he was on the right track. If it got worse, something was wrong in his training, or it was time to stop racing. You can make the test one mile or more


    --About 5-6 weeks out from the race, then add in some speedwork or tempo, but cut your total volume back. THe tempos can be at marathon heart rate or pace to wake your legs up and get them use to marathon pace. Once or twice a week on non-consecutive days is more than enough. A few tempos at 85-90% MHR, about 20-30minutes, not in the same week, is about as fast as you neeed to go.


    --run a 5k or 10k race, but not during the taper. THis will give you an idea of your overall endurance and speed. You can use the McMillan Calculator to help you ascertan weather or not you have the speed for a 4:15. It gives 26:09 for a 4:15 marathon. That is if everything is perfect like your aerobic fitness and endurance, weather, hydration, and pacing. I would say you would have to be able to run more of 25:30 5k or 53:00 10k  or better in order to make 4:15.  If you try the test Mark Allen used, then you would need about a 11:30 pace or better at 180-age heart rate.


    SO, aerobic base first, then a little speed. Test yourself in a tune-up race. Then try to pick a more correct pace based on those race times.

    Remember, it is aerobic endurance that will help you realize your potential. Turning your body into a fat-burning, aerobic machine.

  • macholasse Rookie 1 posts since
    Dec 12, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 12, 2010 1:50 PM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training


    I like tempo runs. The only problem is that they can be a little bit to tough for you. My experience

    is that you can always go for a 5K tempo run. That's not so hard for your body.


    Have you tried progressive tempo runs. With them you still go a little bit harder but you also get some distance

    at the same time and they are softer to your body.


    Let's assume your 10K race pace is 4:30/km. A 12K progressive tempo run would be:


    4K at 5:30/km speed.

    4K at 5:00/km speed

    and the final 4K at 4:30 speed.


    Good Luck!


    Lars Henriksson


    Treatment for your Achilles Heel Pain

  • ColoCorredor Pro 97 posts since
    Dec 14, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jan 7, 2014 7:44 AM (in response to nicasio3)
    Re: Tempo ? Marathon training

    Tempo Running can be great for marathon training if you are trying to work on increasing your speed. Tempo runs are similar to Fartlek in that it utilizes a variance of running paces. From my experience, this technique gives me results I can see each week. As part of your running speed training, you will need to extend the time you spend on step 2.


    It is recommended that you start out at 5 minutes, and extend that time each week by 1-2 minute intervals.

    1. Begin your run at an easy pace for 8 minutes.

    2. After 8 minutes, speed up to a difficult but tolerable pace that you can keep for 5 minutes.

    3. After 5 minutes, return to your easy pace.

    4. Repeat steps 2-3 until you have done the process for one hour.


    You can also do lunges, hills, stairs, or Fartlek workouts to increase your speed.  Happy running and good luck!!  

    Believe you can do it. Think no other way but “Yes you can.”
    The human body is capable of considerably more physical endurance than most of us realize!!

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