This is Tuesday, November 14, 2023. This is day two, Week 11 of the RunBlogRun Fall Cross Country Training & Racing Program. Today is our third 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.

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

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.

For your Workout, 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.