5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs






As a personal anecdote, I have found that extensive tempo work is more than just active recovery or fitness training. Whenever I replace tempo running with bike or pool tempo (usually due to achilles issues) my top speed drops quite dramatically within a few weeks’ time. My guess is that the added volume of running I get from tempo work assists with tissue stiffness and thus affects the quality of my foot contacts.

This is quiet different from what I’ve learned here. It seems like they’re advocating slower tempos than 75% speed and all to make it less intense…

This is from Derek Hansen

How Fast?

For extensive tempo runs, it has been recommended to keep your running velocities at 70% of your best time for a given distance. Theoretically, this makes sense in terms of minimizing both peripheral and central stress on the athlete. However, if you are taking a best running time for 100m from a competition setting on a synthetic track in full spikes and transferring that performance to a natural grass soccer field in training flats and full sweats, the actual time of your 100m tempo run would be much slower than 70% of your best time. For example, a 10.00 second 100 meter runner would not be expected to run 13 second 100m reps for his extensive tempo runs. Given the environmental factors outlined above, I would expect runs of 15-16 seconds for that particular sprinter over 100m tempo runs.

In many cases, I recommend that coaches and athletes shoot for a 60-65% effort to be on the safe side, particularly for newcomers to the technique who have yet to find their tempo ‘groove’. It is important to convey to athletes that running faster for extensive tempo will have no positive impact on their sprint performance and can even have a detrimental effect in terms of fatigue. It is very important to make sure the velocity of all your runs is consistent right through all sets. If an athlete is getting slower through the repetitions, their starting velocity is too high or they are simply out of shape and require a lower volume of work at that particular time in the season. The intent of tempo runs is to build an athlete up, not break them down.

Your tempo 100’s probably should be 18-20sec.

Interesting… What was your frequency, volume, and speed of runs per session?

Usually 2x per week and 1200-1500m per session as a masters athlete. Used to do up to 2500m per session during GPP when I was younger. Speed was around 75% of vmax.

that actually makes sense, difference in running surface, shoes, and where you are in the prep cycle, etc. makes it so that 75% is not really 75%.

Thanks for the resource

75% high end… I normally don’t time my shorter tempo runs 100-200 because they are usually slow mainly to break a nice sweat and elevate hr.

Just remember slower is better. If it’s too easy try doing 25 situps - stride 100 - 10 pushups - stride 100…

I just finished an extensive tempo workout about 30 minutes ago. Here is what I did on grass:

3x6x100m; 30 sec rest between reps; 2 min rest between the three sets

My PB is 10.81, while I’m coming off of a SB of 11.21 (I only ran a couple meets). I ran each 100m between 17-18.

You could argue that I was a little on the fast side when hitting 17s, but given that I’m in GPP right now, my other demands aren’t as great. Therefore, I believe it’s ok to be closer to the 75% pace with tempo work at this stage. Conversely, when you are in your competition period or truly pushing maxV limits, slower tempo is probably the best approach.

The workout was tough, but I was able to complete all reps in about the same amount of time. That’s how I’ve judged the appropriateness of the pace and workout setup. My basic parameters are usually something like:

1200-2400m of total work
1:2 work-to-rest ratio within a set
2:1 set-to-break ratio
intervals of 100-300m

Good stuff… You 200-400m guys have that natural endurance.

You’re right, thanks for reminding me of that

Here are 5 things

Most people run tempo too quickly all of the time.

Most people think that faster is better and really do not differentiate speed from tempo.

Most people don’t accept that less is more

Most people can’t take simple fricking ideas and REPEAT them. They must be sugar coated, dipped in chocolate with some extra treat at the end.

sponsored material is just that. Pandering to what? Quality? Not likely.

You are welcome. I have kept this information around but you have to pay attention and not listen to all the grandstanders who have accomplished what?

Keep asking yourself. what did he or she produce, create or maintain when it comes in that order regarding athletic development.

I don’t see John Smith or Bobby K writing books telling us all about how they do it or how they did things.

Not much more for these guys to discover or say on sprint training models that has not already been said.
Nex steps should be scientific fact around biological testing.
Optimum sprint distance for athletes bio type.
Optimum type of training model to be applied.
Analysis of best types of non sprinting training (wts etc). At the moment rather empirical.
Recovery - beyond HRv to easy CNS and DOMS monitoring.
Relevant personality testing.

I think it’s difficult doing some of this training alone. I’d argue it’s not the same or it’s impossible to replicate unless you have done it over and over again on your own.

there is feeling you get from doing tempo properly. I can see when someone is performing tempo properly but it’s also not so easy to tell people how to do it correctly without a certain amount of experience doing it.

Don’t forget the part you need to finish as you began. ( easier said than done) and it’s nice to have someone on the clock as a guidance only but the eyes from the coach will do the deciding.

Never, ever want to repeat anything poorly. Even tempo. THat’s why bikes and pools come in handy.

Yeah, Oldbloke you are talking once again about how science trails actual experience.

I think a simple description would be great.

  1. How should you feel during?

  2. How should you feel afterward?

  3. What are heart rate ranges immediately post rep and where should they be before starting the next rep?

  • Personally, a quick heart rate check using 15 seconds has served me well in checking where I need to be in other sports.

I’m calling it “learning the new me”. After taking off 5+yrs from formal sprint training, I knew how much/what types of training I needed before but now I’m learning what and how my body handles training now. At my current age (body type) I’m starting to think ext tempo isn’t needed as much once you have a base of general fitness in place. There’s a fine line between tempo runs for recovery and general fitness. Let’s be honest - in my case I don’t need tempo runs for recovery - the best recovery for me is rest or a 20-30min walk with my son and stretching. I do like tempo runs for early general fitness and body comp. I think the master sprinter would better be served to focus on tempo runs in gpp even if this mean only doing 1 speed day. After this phase I think the specific work should be the focus and maybe a 4 week block of int tempo working on more high end fitness. Once I get into spp I’m thinking about dropping all tempo to once a week and rest after each speed session - m-w-f = speed, sat= tempo, t-th-sun = rest. Like i mention earlier I’m currently learning the new me - so these thoughts may change in 6 months.

With the history of cardiac issues with my family and blacks people in general, I think it would be smart to always keep some form of tempo running in my life.

I think a simple description would be great.

  1. How should you feel during?

  2. How should you feel afterward?

  3. What are heart rate ranges immediately post rep and where should they be before starting the next rep?

  • Personally, a quick heart rate check using 15 seconds has served me well in checking where I need to be in other sports.

I think a simple description would be great.

  1. How should you feel during? you need to be able to finish the sets of tempo the same way you began it. If you run too quickly you will not be able to maintain the runs evenly. learn to time the runs yourself or have someone watch and time you that knows how to time and raise your hand so whom ever is doing the timing knows when to start and stop the watch. Each part of the tempo needs to be monitored and controlled the same way you do so in other areas of your training. I used to time everything so I had check points of how i felt at varied times of the workout. 10 minutes into the warm up I feel better than when I started. If I am not feeling substantially better by 20 minutes as I am about to begin Power Speed there might be something off or wrong and maybe I need to re evaluate what I do that day.

My favorite part of tempo was when it was over. ( wink) Most people start tempo too quickly and stop before the work gets done. Generally speaking we never did less than 6 x 100 if you were struggling but most sprinters of 200m or less ( including hurdlers) need 2 sets of 10 x 100 with regulated breaks and regulated speeds ( finish as you start and if that is a struggle there is a fitness issue or maybe athletes is not well/ has cold/ flu)

The best you will likely ever feel doing tempo is in season when you are very fit and strong and fast and tempo is fun. Tempo in the spring and fall is hard work as you are doing lots of work on all areas.

Common to feel tired in a good way after tempo but that feeling goes away soon as you are on your way to having prepared your body to accept more work.[/b]

Really? Not exactly sure I agree with that but I’ll tow the party line for a few more decades I suppose.