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Thursday Tempo

Sessions are held every Thursday and we meet outside the Millennium Arena at Battersea Park at 7:15 for a 7:20 start where the session leader will carry out a briefing of the session.  To use the lockers and changing rooms at the Millennium Arena, it costs £3.20 (as of May 2018) and you will need an old £1 coin (refundable) for the locker.

Please ensure you are warmed up before starting the session to avoid the risk of injury.  This should typically be 15 minutes of easy running with a few strides.


What is Tempo?

Tempo running is often referred to as Lactate Threshold running and is usually over 20 minutes in duration at your tempo pace.  This type of training is beneficial for all runners and can help you improve your times from 10k up to the marathon.

What is your Tempo (Lactate Threshold) Pace?

The best estimate of your Lactate Threshold or Tempo pace is the pace you can run at for 1 hour.  For faster runners, this tends to equate to the time they can run 10 miles / Half Marathon in.  For slower runners, this is equivalent to about 20-30 secs per mile or 12-18 secs per km slower than your 10k pace.  

The pace should be comfortably hard but still controlled so not flat out (as if you were racing a 5k or Parkrun) and at the end you should feel as if you could have run a bit more.  A good gauge is that you should only be able to utter a few words during a tempo run, not a full conversation.

Sessions – May 2019 to August 2019

The sessions below are suitable for all abilities and are beneficial no matter what races you have planned during the spring months, whether it be a spring marathon, a half marathon or a 10k.

The sessions are subject to change and will be updated accordingly here and on the weekly Facebook group post.


In terms of pacing, 10 secs per mile is 6 secs per km for those that run in kilometres.
Focus during the year
  • During the winter / spring months (January to April) the tempo sessions tend be longer in duration (anywhere between 40-60 minutes continuous running) and more continuous in nature (with fewer static recovery periods) as runners tend to focus on longer events such as half marathons and marathons.
  • During the summer months (May to August) the tempo sessions tend to be slightly more interval based (both time and distance) with a mixture of short and long intervals and also changes in pace and effort with the aim of improving your speed over shorter 5k and 10k distances.
  • During the autumn / winter months (September to December) the tempo sessions will be a mixture of intervals and longer continuous tempo runs with the aim of building strength and endurance for the cross-country season and into the spring marathon season.
  • The tempo sessions have been planned to complement the Tuesday Track and Wednesday Hill sessions.  However please do not feel you have to go to all three sessions or run them all flat out – be selective.

Groups and Pacing

The Tempo sessions are suitable for ALL runners regardless of their ability or speed.  Runners will be split into 4 pace groups (depending on your Lactate Threshold or Tempo pace) to ensure that everybody runs with those of similar abilities. 
  • Group 1 - Sub 6:30 per mile or 4:02 per km
  • Group 2a - Between 6:30 to 7:00 per mile or 4:02 to 4:21 per km
  • Group 2b - Between 7:00 to 7:30 per mile or 4:21 to 4:40 per km
  • Group 3 - Between 7:30 to 8:30 per mile or 4:40 per km and 5:17 per km
  • Group 4 - Slower than 8:30 per mile or 5:17 per km

Lap System

In order to ensure that all runners finish and take their recoveries together, the sessions typically follow either  an "out and back" or a “lap system” of Battersea Park.  All sessions will start at the Central Avenue (see map below):

  • Groups 1 & 2 – Large lap (1.75 miles or 2.8km) - Follow the Carriage Drive all the way around the outside of the park
  • Groups 2, 3 or 4 – Medium Lap (1.5 Miles or 2.4km) - Run up the Central Avenue, turn left, returning to the starting point
  • Groups 3 and/or 4 – Small Lap (1.25 Miles or 2km) - Run up the Central Avenue, turn right, returning to the starting point