Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.


Athletes often ask for clarification of what 'Tempo' and 'VO2 Max' training is. The details below from head coach Andy Carter will be helpful.

Tempo Training

Tempo pace is said to be 83 – 88% of VO2 max or 85 – 90% of max heart rate ( if you have a heart rate monitor it would be interesting to monitor ). The pace is about 10 seconds slower than 10k pace and is therefore a little slower than the pace you can manage for 30 minutes.

You must stick to your tempo pace and not convert it into some sort of race or time trial.  Your tempo pace will be best for you and you must resist doing it quicker or indeed slower.

As stated above you must not be tempted into running faster than the agreed speed, the workout should become easier which indicates that you are fitter, if we are doing a race or time trial then that is different. So you must keep to the pace, save the proof of improved fitness level for your races and not for your tempo runs!

Remember that more is not always better and you need a mix of running paces and tempo is one of these, you will be doing tempo based work at least once a week !

 Tempo pace can be reviewed and altered following a good period of training, perhaps 6 – 8 weeks but not during the main racing periods. It should therefore be reviewed in December.

VO2 Pace Training

VO2 pace is slightly slower than your best 3000 pace, about 2 seconds per 400.

Indicative paces :-

1500 time            3000 time           20 min tempo pace         VO2

5.30                             11.44                   6.55 min/mile               95 sec/400

5.15                             11.21                   6.44                                  92

5.00                             10.47                   6.26                                  88

4.45                             10.17                   6.09                                  85

4.30                               9.41                   5.50                                  80

4.15                               9.09                   5.32                                  76

4.00                               8.34                   5.13                                  71


A more detailed pace chart can be found here

25 minute tempo is 4 or 5 secs slower. Use these for your training.