Author Topic: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance  (Read 6436 times)

kpt4321

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Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« on: March 10, 2010, 03:13:02 PM »
Hello All.  Here is a more specific question regarding tempo runs.

As per the Tinman charts, my tempo pace is about 50s slower than my (on that day) 5k pace.  I have read elsewhere that Tom advocates a "rule of thumb" for tempo runs of 5k race pace + 60s, which I believe takes into account the difference between race pace and "date pace."

However, what should the length of these runs be?  My understanding is that a "traditional" tempo run is in the 3-4 miles or 20-25 minute range.  However, I have seen mention (in other threads) of people running 8 or even 10 miles at a "tempo" or "brisk" pace.  Obviously these runs are not done at the same pace, as 10 miles at 5k + 60s is a much more significant effort than 3 miles at the same pace.

Pfitz apparently recommends 4-6mi at 15k to HM pace and 8-10 mi at HM to M pace.  These paces correlate to about 5k + 30s for the shorter tempos, and about 5k + 45s for the longer tempos, which seems to be a good bit faster than Tinman recommends to me.

McMillan recommends "steady state" runs (25-60 min) at 5k+35s and "tempo" runs (15-30 min) at 5k+25s.  This is even a hair faster than Pfitz.

This is not to say that any of these guys is "right" or "wrong."  Rather, I am interested in the reasoning behind these different paces.

My questions, in summary:

1) For a tempo at "tinman tempo" (date) pace (or 5k+60s, which I believe should be similar), what should the approximate workout length be?

2) For a longer tempo, such as in the 8 mile range, to what extent should the pace be slowed?  Is there a rule of thumb for the distance/pace relationship?

I know that for race pace, we slow up something like 15-20sec every time the distance is doubled.  Can we use the same (or similar) rule-of-thumb for tempo running?

Moby

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 06:08:28 PM »
I have the following saved away for reference and Iím pretty sure that it originally came from Tinman although a few years ago now so he may well have refined this somewhat.

Take your 5km race time in seconds per km (so for example 20mins = 4mins/km = 240secs/km). Then include in your training one of the following tempo runs (combined with proper warm up and down) each week on a rotating basis.

Long Tempo (60-80mins): 240secs / 0.87 = 276secs (4:36/km pace)
Medium Tempo (40-60mins): 240secs / 0.90 = 267secs (4:27/km pace)
Short Tempo (20-40mins): 240secs / 0.93 = 258secs (4:18/km pace)

kpt4321

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 08:39:11 PM »
Moby, thanks for that.  Does anybody know if that 5k time is PR pace or date pace?

For a 18:30 5k (easy 6:00 min/mi pace), those factors work out to be:

93% = 6:27
90% = 6:40
87% = 6:54

Interestingly, these paces line up "better" with Pfitz/McMillan.

For what it's worth, 'Tinman tempo" for 18:30 is 6:47.  This is ~88-89%.  Tinman, did you intend for this pace to be used for runs of ~50 minutes?

ap4305

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 09:40:41 PM »
http://www.therunzone.com/index.php?topic=1190.15

See the above linked thread for some of Tinman's best explanations on this exact subject.

Linas82

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 01:46:00 AM »
Let's say both runners have the same 5k PB's of 15min and this event is the main for both of them. Does it mean that they respond same to any tempo using same speeds and lenth of tempo? I don't think that it's always the case. One can respond better to longer but slower tempo, another to faster but shorter. Even if both runners run tempo at the same speed and for one who's running 40min could be same effort as for another running 45min. Don't you think it could be the case even if they have same PB's and their main event is the same?

kpt4321

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 08:37:41 AM »
http://www.therunzone.com/index.php?topic=1190.15

See the above linked thread for some of Tinman's best explanations on this exact subject.

AP, there is some interesting discussion there.  However, I found it to be geared more towards the physiological benefits of different length/pace tempos, which I understand and do not doubt, as opposed to the relationship between length and pace.  In other words, it was more like "long slower tempos are good for marathoners" as opposed to "a good length and pace for a longer tempo is...," which is what I was looking for.  Did I miss that info in there?

The factors posted by Moby are interesting, but I'd like some clarification from somebody "in the know."  As per those factors, the "Tinman tempo" pace listed on the distance training chart is in the 88-80% range.  So, my question is, what length (distance or time) is that particular pace intended for?  As per Moby's post, it would look like you're supposed to run at that pace for ~50 minutes.  Is this correct?

Given that 90% of 5k pace is probably right between HMP and MP, I suspect that tempos at that pace should be done for 4-7 miles...

Tinman

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 09:01:28 AM »
Linas -

My time to respond at this moment is limited because I have to start work soon, but suffice to say more than one factor contributes to the answer you seek.

Briefly: I use a rule of thumb (5k pace plus 60 seconds) for general tempo running as a "safe" starting point. I found about 25 years ago that I could run TODAY's 5k pace plus 60 seconds quite often without breaking down, but going faster on a regular basis compromised the recovery-adaptation element of effective training.

The 5k pace plus 60 seconds rule of thumb is meant to generally guide runners, and it is meant to be used as a support tool in training that bridges the gap between "easy" running and intense running that elevates power. It is not neccessarily meant to be a rigid standard, nor is it meant to be a primary training tool. For a 17:30 (5k) runner, 5k pace plus 60 seconds can probably be run 45-60 minutes about twice or even three times per week, if no other challenging workouts were scheduled. When other challenging workout are schedule, 5k pace plus 60 seconds tempos should be run more like 20-40 minutes; in other works short to medium length runs that don't expend great amounts of adaptive energy.

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow I'll have more time to develop the tempo running concept for you.

In the meantime, I hope our running friends continue to contribute/provide insight about tempo running and its utility/applications.

Regards,

Tinman
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kpt4321

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 09:15:30 AM »
For a 17:30 (5k) runner, 5k pace plus 60 seconds can probably be run 45-60 minutes about twice or even three times per week, if no other challenging workouts were scheduled. When other challenging workout are schedule, 5k pace plus 60 seconds tempos should be run more like 20-40 minutes; in other works short to medium length runs that don't expend great amounts of adaptive energy.

That's the money right there.

It's interesting in that this pace is relatively "slower" than some recommendations from other sources.  This is not to say one is right and the other is wrong, just that they are different, and that is interesting.  This is almost more like a MP run.

ap4305

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 03:52:03 PM »
For a 17:30 (5k) runner, 5k pace plus 60 seconds can probably be run 45-60 minutes about twice or even three times per week, if no other challenging workouts were scheduled. When other challenging workout are schedule, 5k pace plus 60 seconds tempos should be run more like 20-40 minutes; in other works short to medium length runs that don't expend great amounts of adaptive energy.

That's the money right there.

It's interesting in that this pace is relatively "slower" than some recommendations from other sources.  This is not to say one is right and the other is wrong, just that they are different, and that is interesting.  This is almost more like a MP run.

First thing I'd like you to note is Tinman's opening clause, "For a 17:30 5k runner."  He didn't mention it explicitly here, but under the Tinman system, current fitness level plays a huge role figuring out the time/distance/pace combination.  A more common method is for coaches and athletes to set workout length based upon weekly mileage, but Tinman has found through observation and experience that current fitness is a more reliable benchmark.  You won't see many others make adjustments based on this factor, in part because they simply don't make the connection, and in part because written publication doesn't lend itself to this type of qualitative analysis.  Publishers want rules and graphs and tables (i.e. VDOT charts); not ephemeral concepts that are best understood through years of coaching experience. 

For any of the generally accepted written authorities in the running world (Daniels Running Formula, Pfitzinger's books, etc), I would take their written word as simply advisory opinions.  I say this not as a commentary on the authors themselves (obviously Dr. Daniels is a brilliant coach and scientist), but instead to point out that the charts and tables present a very incomplete picture of the analysis they employ with runners they coach on a personal level.  I know based on conversations with Tinman as well as through my own association with Dr. Daniels (my wife was briefly coached by him in modern pentathlon, Dr. Daniels' original sport), that the publishers ultimately decide what makes it into the books and how it is presented.

As far as Tinman's tempo pace being slower than what others recommend, there are a few reasons behind that.  First, as noted above, what those coaches put in the books isn't necessarily how they train their own athletes.  Writing that tempo runs should be "comfortably hard" isn't going to sell as many books as providing detailed percentages, even if most people don't understand how to apply those percentages based upon individual context.  If you frequent letsrun, you'll note that developing a "feel" for tempo runs has been malmo's crusade (George Malley, former American steeple record holder) for decades.  Tempo runs are not about exact percentages and distances.  Tinman has the scientific tools to provide some guidelines related to tempo runs, but I can tell you as someone who has run under his guidance for some time that our actual tempo runs only occasionally follow such a pattern.  Second, from a publication standpoint, you can simplify the concept of anaerobic threshold training for the masses by 1) identifying anaerobic threshold and 2) then telling people to train exactly at anaerobic threshold to improve anaerobic threshold.     

What you see reflected in Tinman's schedules (which are quite similar to classic Oregon training plans of Bowerman/Dellinger) is an understanding that tempo runs are simply one tool out of many to stimulate development along the entire continuum of intensities in the "stamina zone."  Based on his observation and the observation of other great coaches, running tempo runs closer to "MP" fits best into an overall training scheme where you manipulate the variables of duration and intensity through a variety of workouts at different paces to achieve improvement in the broad area of "stamina." 

Nothing wrong with running at "one hour race pace" as described by some of the authors you referenced (Tinman actually had me do 10k worth of one hour paced intervals this week), but the application depends upon what workouts came before and what workouts are still to follow.  "One hour pace" running is simply one pace along the entire continuum that also includes marathon pace, Tinman tempo pace, critical velocity pace, VO2 pace, 8k pace, easy pace, etc.  All of the paces support each other and it is hard to capture the general interplay of these paces in writing, especially when you are trying to individualize training.  When you have to write a book for the masses with no allowance for follow up discussion (like we have on this website), there is simply less room for confusion if you tell people "Improve your LT by training at LT pace, improve your VO2 max by training at VO2max pace, improve your distance running by doing easy long runs."  The best coaches in real life are not so formulaic, as they are able to modulate through an entire smorgasbord of workouts and intensities to achieve the desired physiological adaptations.

TrueBlue

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 05:00:24 PM »
^^^
ap4305, good job relaying the truth



Tinman

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 10:56:27 PM »
AP did a super job of contributing to this discussion.

I might refocus on one key tenet: Tempo running, at least as I see it, bridges the gap between necessary easy distance running, which builds endurance, and aerobic power running training, which is, more or less, 5k pace to about 2k race-pace.

I beileve the bridge between the two ends of the "effective aerobic continuum," which is from ~ 60% to 100% of VO2 max/peak/power, is absolutely necessary; if one seeks ultimate improvement in runnning performance. Some authors, such as Owens or Seiler claim that world class runners don't run in-between the extremes of easy and hard aerobic running (so 60-70% of VO2 peak and 95-105% of VO2 peak), but I think they are cherry-picking to support their philosophy/idea. I've talked to, been around, and read about many elite runners who, in fact, train often in the marathon to half-marathon pace range; often ad-lib, and sometimes scheduled.

I recall, as if yesterday, talking to Paul Cummings, who said that "anaerobic threshold" running is the bedrock of his training, and the training of many world class runners he knew. I asked him how fast anaerobic threshold running was to him, and he said, marathon pace." I asked was that exact and he said no. I asked him how often and he said 3 times per week. I asked him how far, and he said, "It varies." I asked what the minimum amount and frequency he used during his best racing years and he said, "5 miles, three times per week. I knew I had to do at least that."

I have go take care of my son, so I'll close now. But, just note this, based on my personal experience, as a runner for 30 years, and as a coach for 20 years: tempo runninng is a form of stamina training, which I believe is vital to a well-balanced training program that focuses on performance enhancement.

Regards,

Tinman
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 10:58:58 PM by Tinman »
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Linas82

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Re: Tempo Run Pace vs. Distance
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2010, 12:52:59 AM »
Thanks Tinman and ap. So it just confirms that there is no exact pace and length of tempo, it just varies depending on a training cycle and fitness level. As a generall guide 5K pace plus 60sec. is it pace per mile? I know you guys count pace per mile, I was accustomed to count per km. 

Here this study doesn't have anything to do with tempo, but I like it. It was short but you can make some conclutions about it b/c it's not novice runners, but well-trained.

  Effects of strength training on running economy.
Guglielmo LG, Greco CC, Denadai BS.

Human Performance Laboratory, UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil.

The objective of this study was to compare the effect of different strength training protocols added to endurance training on running economy (RE). Sixteen well-trained runners (27.4 +/- 4.4 years; 62.7 +/- 4.3 kg; 166.1 +/- 5.0 cm), were randomized into two groups: explosive strength training (EST) (n = 9) and heavy weight strength training (HWT) (n = 7) group. They performed the following tests before and after 4 weeks of training: 1) incremental treadmill test to exhaustion to determine of peak oxygen uptake and the velocity corresponding to 3.5 mM of blood lactate concentration; 2) submaximal constant-intensity test to determine RE; 3) maximal countermovement jump test and; 4) one repetition maximal strength test in leg press. After the training period, there was an improvement in RE only in the HWT group (HWT = 47.3 +/- 6.8 vs. 44.3 +/- 4.9 ml . kg (-1) . min (-1); EST = 46.4 +/- 4.1 vs. 45.5 +/- 4.1 ml . kg (-1) . min (-1)). In conclusion, a short period of traditional strength training can improve RE in well-trained runners, but this improvement can be dependent on the strength training characteristics. When comparing to explosive training performed in the same equipment, heavy weight training seems to be more efficient for the improvement of RE.
 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 12:59:56 AM by Linas82 »

 




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