Is there a specific pace/heart rate that will give the most out of the workout?
I always thought tempo was around HM/10K pace but came across articles that say closer to 5k pace, but that just seems too fast to hold for 5 ish miles. I've been doing most of my tempo workouts "uptempo" and gradually getting faster. Is this the best type of workout?
Hm pace is about 6:00 ish per mile and 5k I'm not sure cuz it's been a while lol. Thoughts?
As someone already said, "tempo" is a non-specific term that has lots of different meanings and interpretations.
To answer your question, it depends on what you want to achieve with a particular workout. Daniels vDOT T-pace is a good starting point. You might just try it for a few workouts and then make adjustments to suit some specific goals.
I always go based on feel, fast enough I could do another mile at the end if I needed to. I don’t worry about pace especially the first mile. If I feel good I cut down. If I still feel good I go longer. I call anything from 6 down to 4:50s a “tempo” and can be anywhere from 4-16 miles. Just run baby. Listen to your body not your watch. 8 miles at 5:30 is better than 4 miles to hard at 5:15 and having to stop short. Remember tempo is just a word!!
The best way to describe a good tempo run is that it's hard, but you're always in control. Meaning, the workout is painful for at least the second half, but you could always run faster at any point if you wanted, or like you could have continued after the workout is done. It should feel like an 8/10 on the effort scale, if that helps.
Run a few tempos without a prescribed pace - but not faster than at least a minute slower than 5k pace - and see what's comfortable. I asked someone what they thought a good 20 min. tempo pace for me would be an I blew up and had to take a break 10 minutes in. If at any point you feel like you're going all out just to hang on to the pace, then that means the workouts over or you need to take a break (and if you take a quick break and hit the wall within a couple minutes then the workout is really over) and reassess for next time. Hope this helps!
There is the threshold pace, which is for most people the pace you can hold for around 60 minutes. And there is the tempo pace which is slower than that, typically Marathon/HM pace. So there is a difference between 10k and HM pace.
All these workouts train the aerobic system and make the fast twitch fibers more aerobically to shift the LT2 level to a higher pace. If tempo or threshold pace is more effective is highly debated, but you can do more volume at tempo pace, however threshold pace is more effective but you can't do so much volume there.
If you get gradually faster, keep what you are doing.
I tend to run tempos around marathon heart rate. I averaged 155bpm in my last marathon, so I aim for that after around a mile. If it climbs a bit from there, that's fine, but if it climbs much above 160 it's getting too hard and I back off a little. It's a balancing act. The pace is whatever comes out - it has been as fast 5:55 and it can be 6:40 (recent marathon pace is 6:05). Tempo is term that works better as a description of effort than it does pace imo.
Yes, you shouldn't be able to hold 5k pace for 5 miles. There's a place for a fast 20:00 tempo @ 10kish race pace. But I like longer tempos, straight or broken, in the 30:00-40:00+ range. Threshold (1hr race pace) to marathon pace. In my experience, I see a lot of people take their tempo runs too fast & not get in a good amount of volume -- probably because they're taking their tempo runs too fast & they're closer to race efforts.