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Hi all, I'm new to running and recently followed the Couch to 5K training program and have now started doing the 5K-to-10K app. The 10K training app is uses the term "tempo run" could someone explain what that means? I tried googling it, but the definition I found didn't make much sense. Also, this app differentiates between Steady Run and Jog. What is the difference between those two?


Thanks.

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It's too bad no one else replied to this. You may have already found an answer by now, but I'll go for it. People have different opinions on tempo runs, but I'll state the most common method. A tempo run is basically a run at 80-90% of your max heart rate. That's approximately 24-28 seconds slower than your fastest 5k pace (per mile). Tempo runs are also known as lactate threshold runs because they are run at the pace at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in your blood. The more lactic acid you have in your blood, the more difficult it is to hold a certain pace. During a tempo run you're aren't building up lactic acid that quickly as opposed to, say, a 1 mile race. Most decent runners can hold their tempo pace for about 1 hour, but they would be pretty spent afterward if they did that. New runners should probably be running tempo runs no longer than 20 minutes to start off. Once you get acclimated to tempo runs and become more fit as a runner, you may be able to go on some longer ones. During a tempo run you should never be thinking, "this feels too hard." If you are, slow down. Tempo runs should feel comfortably hard - not too hard, not too easy. You will experience some level of fatigue, but it shouldn't be too bad. One last tip: doing a bit of speed work after tempo runs is usually a good thing. If you're feeling up to it, do some 100m strides after the tempo run. If you feel really good, you can try doing 4 x 200m at about 1 mile race pace with a 200m light jog in between. This will help you feel light on your feet the day after a tempo run.
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