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Workout of the week: Damen's 15km tempo


Picture: Athleticos

Tempo running should be an integral part of any marathon runners training program. Tempo running is also referred to as lactate-threshold (LT) or threshold running. In essence it is running “comfortably hard” . Running about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than current 5K race pace will give a good indicator to what your tempo pace is. Alternatively, you can judge your threshold pace at 85-90% of your maximum heart rate.



Max Heart Rate equation – 220 minus your age e.g 220 – age(40) = 180

Threshold Pace = 153 – 162 BPM


The beauty of tempo workouts are that there are numerous ways to run them. Louise uses a mix of straight tempo runs (at one pace), alternating pace tempo runs and tempo blocks.

“One workout that I do fairly regularly is an alternating tempo, something like 5 x 2k/1k, (15km total) which is run as a continuous effort. The idea is to run slightly above marathon pace on the 2k segments and slightly below on the 1k segments. This active recovery teaches your body to ‘recover’ and buffer any lactate in your blood at faster speeds. It’s also a great workout for simulating the surges that often happen in a race. You can run to time or distance and can adjust the length of the segments”,

Interval Workout

2 mile warm-up

2k run just slower than marathon pace

1k run slightly faster than marathon pace

repeat the efforts five times (2k,1k, 2k,1k, 2k,1k, 2k,1k, 2k,1k = 15k)

2 mile cool-down