Threshold or tempo sessions are important workouts you can do to improve your speed, no matter what distance you are racing.
Tempo sessions are run at a steady pace, just hovering over your lactate threshold. About 85% of your maximum heart rate if you are wearing a monitor. If you are not wearing a monitor, it is the point at which speaking would become difficult.
Do not be discouraged by these hard effort runs. Take a short break to get your breathing under control. These sessions increase your lactate tolerance, which is your capacity to exercise with high levels of lactate in your blood. These sessions also improve your ability to run faster with the same energy. Tempo training uses carbohydrates for energy rather than fat, so we burn more calories with the higher intensity.
You improve your ability to run under stress, build confidence and running economy. Tempo runs are an essential part of your running program. Try them with a buddy or in a group environment for some added fun.
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John Stanton is the President and Founder of Running Room. A best-selling Canadian author of 10 books on running and walking, John Stanton was named to Macleans magazine’s Canada Day Honour as one of 10 Canadians who are making a difference in our nation, for his contribution to health through fitness.