Winter Tempo

From November through April, we run a Tuesday tempo workout on the roads, leaving at 6 pm from the Running Works store, 89 Gordon Street. Join us!

What is tempo pace? It’s about 15–30 seconds slower than your 5K race pace. It’s comfortably hard – you can’t talk, but it doesn’t feel like the all-out effort of a race either. Tempo is also called threshold pace, the point where your system starts to accumulate lactic acid faster than it can get rid of it. Improving your tempo pace (i.e. lowering it) is the best way to improve your race times in long distance events like the half-marathon and the marathon.

A map of our regular tempo route in the city’s Old University neighbourhood is below (for a larger, printable PDF, click this link). We run on well-lit, quiet residential streets. They are mostly clear of ice and snow, except in the days following a storm. We cross the busier Edinburgh Road four times, always at pedestrian-operated traffic lights.

The run consists of a 1.5K warmup, then three tempo sections of 2K, 3K, and 2K (we regroup at the traffic lights), followed by a 1.5K cool down, ending back at the store. That’s a total of 10K, and about an hour of your time.

We recommend this route for experienced runners who can race a 5K in 18–25 minutes. For newer runners or those who race a 5K in 26+ minutes, we’ll do the same route, but with a couple of shortcuts, which brings the total run to 8K.

If you come:

  • you must wear a reflective vest, plus lights front and back, to participate in our tempo runs
  • arrive a few minutes early and introduce yourself to the Running Works staff – they’ll put you in touch with a Victors leader
  • always run on the left side of the road, and don’t run more than two abreast