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Thread: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

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    Re: 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.

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    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...

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    Quote Originally Posted by kwave View Post
    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.

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    Quote Originally Posted by robin1 View Post
    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.
    Interesting.... What was your frequency, volume, and speed of runs per session?

  6. #6

    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    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.

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    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

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    Quote Originally Posted by robin1 View Post
    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.
    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.

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    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    Quote Originally Posted by kwave View Post
    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
    Just remember slower is better. If it's too easy try doing 25 situps - stride 100 - 10 pushups - stride 100....

  10. #10

    Re: 5 Mistakes Sprinters Make in Tempo Runs

    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

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