Athletics News

2023 RunBlogRun Spring Training for the Middle Distances, 800 meters to 5,000 meters, Week Nine, day 2, Tuesday is Tempo Run Time!

Larry Eder

This is Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

This is day two, Week 9 of the RunBlogRun Spring Training for Middle Distances, 800 m-5000m. Today is our second week of tempo runs. Tempo runs help middle-distance runners develop strength and endurance. Our tempo run is 20 minutes, and we ask you to run it at 20 seconds over your current average mile pace for 5k.

Tempo runs are used by athletes at all levels. Elite athletes do tempo runs at a more sophisticated level, but this writer has found that high school athletes can use tempo runs in cross country and track. Tempo runs will prepare you for some of the tough parts of distance races.

Twenty minutes is a good time for high school distance runners to concentrate on racing 800 meters to 5,000 meters. (If any of you adventuresome athletes decide to race 10,000m over the summer, let me know, and I will provide a good 10k drill for you).

So, if you are running a 5k in 16:30 now, that is a 5:20 pace, and you would run your tempo at a 5:40 pace.

Here’s another example, If you can run 18:45 minutes for the 5k, you would be racing at a six-minute pace. You would run your Tempo Run at a 6:20 mile pace.

We suggest you run the tempo on a track or an infrequently traveled road.

Workout out, warm up slowly, jog for 15 minutes, do a few stride outs, then a 20-minute tempo run at 20 seconds per mile over your current 5k race pace, move into a 30-minute easy run, stretch for the cooldown, and hydrate.


  • Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America’s first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: “I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running…

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