Before you kick off a training phase with your athletes, you need to establish their set of target paces. If they have recently run a mile race or time trial, you already have what you need. However, if they have not run that distance at full effort and been timed in the past 1-2 months, you need to have them do a Time Trial. A time trial is exactly what it sounds like: a timed run of a certain distance to establish current fitness.
Once you have each athlete’s current mile (or 1600m) time, you can calculate their “5K Pace” and their “Tempo Run Pace,” which should be used throughout your training plan to put meaning to the effort requested for each workout and interval.
Use the following formulas to calculate training paces:
1 mile time + 33 seconds = 5K PACE (per mile)
- Example: A 1-mile time trial completed in 5:30 converts to a 6:03 5K PACE
5K Pace + 30-40 seconds = TEMPO PACE (per mile)
- Example: A 1-mile time trial completed in 5:30 converts to a 6:03 5K Pace, which coverts to a 6:33-6:43 range for a TEMPO PACE.
These paces might be used in the following ways when defining workouts:
Descending Ladder Track workout:
- 1200m @ 5K Pace, rest: jog 600m
- 800m @ 3 seconds per lap faster than 5k pace, rest: jog 400m
- 600m @ another 3 sec per lap faster, rest: jog 300m
- 400m @ Mile Pace, rest: jog 200m
- 200m – all out to the finish!
- 1 mile warmup
- 3 miles at Tempo Pace
- 1 mile cooldown
Need help writing your training plan for your team? We offer ready-to-go AND custom Training Plans for high school distance runners.
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