Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: High School athletes don't think, can I define tempo runs like this?
My former coach tried to use this method. Does it get you in the ball park? Sort of. It gets hairy when you compare, say, a 1:55 800 runner who can barely stay on his feet long enough to run 4:20 with a 31:30 10k guy who barely has the wheels to get down to 65 second pace for 4 laps. That said, you're looking for a down and dirty calculation. If possible, I would recommend basing tempo run pace on a 2 mile time (or longer) so you're at least extrapolating fitness across a smaller gap (2 mile to ~10k/HM is more accurate than 1 mile to 10k/HM).
Regardless, for a group of athletes who are presumably still under developed aerobically and are probably running in the 4:30-5:15 range, I would recommend adding more than a minute. In general, a 4:30 miler in HS would have much less fitness over 10k/HM than a late 20's runner who can still run 4:30 but has a 72:00 HM best. Plus, it's better to under-do the threshold efforts than over-do them, IMO.
For a group of teenagers, I would say to start at mile PR + 90 and gradually speed up to mile PR + 60 as long as it doesn't feel like the effort is approaching an interval workout. Even that might be a few too many words. Damn.
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