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Tips For Running Faster: Tempo Training

By Edited Jan 9, 2014 0 3

Have you reached the point in your running that you feel that you are ready to go a bit faster, and maybe start racing? Or maybe you have just competed in your first 5k race, and would like turn in a better time for your next race?

There are many methods and tips for running faster, but what they all have in common is that they train the body to function more efficiently while working a little bit harder than before. I often recommend a bit of variety in your running workouts, to allow your body to grow stronger in a well-rounded way as it adapts to a variety of techniques. But for the goal of learning to run faster, I will change gears a bit and recommend repetition!

Tempo Training
Downhill Tempo Training

One of the best running tips I know for ramping up your running speed is called tempo training. This is where you train your neuro-muscular system to respond and react at a faster pace than before. You are literally speeding up the tempo of your muscles' reactions.

Downhill Repetitions

One of my favorite methods of tempo training is by running downhill repetitions. Find a hill that is at least 400 meters long, but not too steep. Start your workout with a thorough warmup, which is especially important for this type of training because of the faster speeds involved.

Run your first repetition downhill, a little bit faster than your desired goal pace. It will seem easy, because you are, after all running, downhill. But what is happening is that your muscles are learning how to respond and contract at a faster tempo. For recovery, you jog slowly up the hill, then do your next repetition.

Reverse Downhill

I like to reverse this workout every other week by running the quick portion up the hill and taking the recovery downhill. With this variation, you start by running uphill with short, quick steps, then jogging slowly down the hill to recover. Keep your uphill steps quick but don't be concerned with your pace moving up the hill. Here you are mostly working on the speed of your turnover, so these repetitions don't need to be timed.

Training Diary

One of the most effective running tips found at Running Tips 4 All, which you need to get the best results from tempo training, is to keep a training diary. You can then refer back to previous workouts, times, conditions and so forth, so that you can change future workouts until you find the ones that work best for you.

Have fun and happy running!



Jun 26, 2010 1:54am
Interesting, I have a completely different view of what tempo running was. What I’ve always regarded as a tempo run was something between 5 and 8 miles at a pace faster than you normally run. Yet still a pace that you could hold and hit each mile. I did enjoy your article and I may try to incorporate some of this stuff into my training.
Jun 27, 2010 10:19pm
Thanks for the great article!
Jul 21, 2010 9:14am
A training diary is essential. It is hard to progress in training (and therefore improve overall racing success) without setting goals and steadily working toward them!
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