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Improve your aerobic threshold with this pyramid tempo workout

Switch up your workouts this spring with this pyramid progression tempo designed to get your legs moving

Albert Einstein once said, “If you do the same things as everyone else, you will have the same results as everyone else.” Instead of doing a steady tempo over a certain amount of time, switch things up by breaking up the interval and speed on each rep. A tempo workout is a slight injection of speed that you can run at a comfortable level. A previous coach once told me that if you can’t answer a question or talk without feeling fatigued, then you are going too fast. 

Switch up your workouts this spring/summer with this pyramid progression tempo designed to get your legs moving and help build your aerobic endurance, so that when you run your next race, you’ve got an extra gear when you need it.

The workout

Four minutes, eight minutes, 12 minutes, eight minutes, four minutes (two minutes slow jog rest between reps)

Start the workout around 30 to 40 seconds per kilometre slower than your 5K or 10K race pace for the first four-minute section, then gradually increase the pace by five seconds per kilometre for each rep. The first two reps should feel extremely easy, with your legs beginning to feel fatigued near the end of the third and fifth rep.

Photo: Galit Gilor/YAMAJO Run Crew

By the time of the last rep, your pace should be around 20 to 25 seconds faster than the pace you started at. On the last two reps, focus on maintaining your form and staying comfortable as you start to feel tired.

This workout is ideal for all runners training for races between 5K and the half-marathon, as it increases your lactate threshold, which is particularly important because it increases the speed you can run long distances without having lactate build up in your muscles.

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