A World Champion Triathlete Shares How to Nail a Tempo Run

Non Stanford is a British Olympian in triathlon who excels in working. A fundamental tempo run is a key exercise for her, however t.’s lots that goes into an excellent run past simply the exercise. In addition to the exercise (which is listed in full under), t. are many different components to contemplate, together with: “primer” classes within the days main in, activation and mobility workout routines beforehand, fueling and vitamin (each earlier than, throughout, and after the exercise), psychological preparation, and the entire gear and gear concerned. Stanford provides us the entire particulars that assist her carry her greatest to this tempo construct run.

The Exercise


30 min. straightforward working to heat up, sometimes round 7:30-7:45 min/mile tempo
(Fast rest room cease, change footwear, take some layers off, and many others.)

Fundamental set

60 min. construct run as: 20 min. . 6:10 min/mile tempo; 20 min. . 5:50 min/mile tempo; 20 min. . 5:30 min/mile tempo


15-20 min. straightforward . 8 min/mile tempo

* After all, not all of us can run 5:30-6 minute miles, so a straightforward solution to translate this session is constructing from a reasonable effort to a reasonable/sturdy effort, finally ending with a robust effort that ought to really feel uncomfortable, however “tempo,” i.e. you will have one other gear left to go to if wanted. Stanford provides her recommendation on how greatest to sort out this exercise within the Teaching Factors & Ideas under.

The Objective

“The target of this exercise is to enhance my anaerobic threshold and endurance, each bodily and mentally,” Stanford says. “It’s an excellent session to assist get you comfy with being uncomfortable, the truth is, it’s truly my favourite session. I really like working and my physiology lends itself to working properly on this zone; threshold is my candy spot!”

The Day Earlier than

“I often do that session on a Saturday morning, so typically may have had a straightforward Friday the day earlier than with an extended cardio swim and fitness center session, though that’s my routine whatever the session I do. I don’t do something particular the day earlier than to organize. It’s a key session mentally for me greater than something; it provides me confidence that my health is in a great place if I get it proper. However finally it’s simply one other brick within the wall and has its place amongst the remainder of the coaching I’m doing within the week.

“I’ll observe this exercise with a gentle 2-2.5-hour bike trip on a Saturday afternoon. It’s at all times powerful getting the legs going, however when you’re away I feel it helps the restoration.”

Pre-Exercise Mobility & Activation

“I do know I in all probability ought to do pre-workout mobility, however that is my downfall,” Stanford says. “I hate foam rolling and faffing round earlier than a session, so I typically sit on the couch with my breakfast and watch the morning information. It’s possibly not one of the best bodily prep, particularly harm prevention-wise, however mentally I feel it’s higher to not overthink classes and solely tune into it once you arrive to fulfill the group.”


“I heat up in my New Steadiness 880s; they’re my go-to mileage shoe, however I’ll swap into the New Steadiness Gasoline Cell Prism for the principle work out; they’re a lighter weight shoe and ideal for tempo runs.” Relying on the climate, Stanford will probably be carrying a number of New Steadiness’s run attire from shorts and vest to lengthy sleeve jackets and tights.


Stanford says that because of the quantity of the session (she often hits round 15 miles) she tries to eat a great high quality, excessive carbohydrate meal the evening earlier than, after which one thing straightforward on the abdomen like a bagel or toast within the morning earlier than she heads out.

“I at all times take a calcium complement earlier than a excessive quantity session like this, together with UPerform collagen to assist assist my tendons and ligaments. I’ve a reasonably in depth harm historical past so I attempt to be proactive quite than reactive now that I’m slightly older,” she say. “I’ll typically sip on water earlier than the session, however don’t drink throughout the principle set (until it’s tremendous sizzling and I’m fortunate sufficient to have a assist bike with me), and instantly after ending I’ll have a UPerform restoration shake to prime up the collagen shops and start the restoration course of as shortly as attainable.”

As soon as dwelling and showered, she stated she has a giant brunch, “scrambled eggs on toast with avocado and bacon is my go-to.”

Psychological Focus Factors

T.’s little question that it is a demanding session, no matter whether or not you’re a world champion or a newcomer, so psychological focus is vital to staying as relaxed as attainable. Stanford says: “I feel extra about holding my kind because the tempo will increase, together with the fatigue. I typically discover the primary couple of minutes of a tempo improve are the toughest; I’m a rhythm athlete so as soon as I’m in a groove I’m candy, however getting t. can typically be the toughest half. I’ve to remind myself at these factors that it’s going to really feel comfy once more quickly and to work by this era. I concentrate on my respiratory and retaining it calm as a result of as soon as I lose management of my respiratory I typically discover every thing spirals and it’s exhausting to get again on prime of it.”

And her recommendation to somebody making an attempt this exercise for the primary time?

“I might recommend specializing in kind and actually listening to what your physique is telling you,” she says. “For those who’re forcing the tempo, or if the primary 20 minutes feels fairly exhausting, then you definitely’re in all probability working too quick and wish to regulate your paces. A superb gauge of effort is that once you end you’re able to cease, but when somebody advised you you needed to hold going for a number of extra minutes you can.”

Find out how to Expedite Restoration

“That’s easy,” Stanford says. “Good meals, good naps!” She additionally stated she will get sports activities therapeutic massage and physio as soon as every week, however they’re not particular to this session.

Teaching Factors & Ideas

“For me, it’s about getting by this session as ‘simply’ as attainable,” Stanford says. “I do know I’m getting fitter once I end this run feeling like I may do extra, or go quicker. If I used to be into heart-rate information then I suppose I might be on the lookout for a discount in coronary heart charge for a similar pace because the weeks progress. The intention is to not end the session working as exhausting as attainable; it ought to be powerful however not uncontrolled. The primary 20-minute block ought to really feel comparatively straightforward, however it’s a must to be disciplined as a result of in the event you push on too quickly you’ll solely endure afterward.”

For these trying to sort out this session, Stanford recommends constructing as much as it. She stated: “We often begin the block with quarter-hour as 5/5/5, and every week construct slightly, e.g. 21 minutes as 7/7/7, half-hour as 10/10/10, 45 minutes as 15/15/15. It will make it easier to gauge higher what your paces are so once you lastly get to the massive one it’s best to really feel assured in what it is advisable to do. Bear in mind it’s a tempo run, not a time trial, so it’s best to really feel drained on the finish, but additionally like you will have slightly bit left within the tank.”