With spring just around the corner and weather conditions becoming more favourable, it’s time to test that winter fitness and see how you feel running at a variety of race paces.
The progression tempo is as simple and straightforward as it sounds. It’s a type of tempo run in which you aim to maintain an increasingly quick pace for a set distance or time with no breaks or recovery in between.
The total time and length of the workout can vary but should be at least 20-30 minutes in order to provide a good training stimulus. Choose at least three different paces, usually those from popular road race distances between 5K and the marathon. You’ll begin at the slowest of the paces and progress to finish at the fastest pace.
Be sure to warm-up and cool-down both before and following the workout.
Begin by running the tempo at the slowest of the race paces (marathon or half) and then after a set time or distance – at least five minutes or about 1K – increase your pace to a faster race pace (10K, 15K or 10M) and maintain that for the same time or distance. Finish the tempo by running at the fastest race pace (usually 5K or faster) that you can.
By time: 15-minute warm-up – 25-minute tempo, including five minutes at marathon pace, five minutes at half pace, five minutes at 15K pace, five minutes at 10K pace and five minutes at 5K pace – 15-minute cooldown.
By distance: 3K warm-up – 5K tempo including 1K @MP; 1K@HMP; 1K@10M/15KP; 1K@10KP; 1K@5KP – 3K cool-down.
The idea of the progression tempo is to recognize and feel comfortable running at a variety of race paces while also providing a good training effect and improving the body’s ability to run efficiently at race pace. This type of workout can also be used during long runs and specifically for those training for the marathon in order to build speed while also developing endurance.