If you don't know Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, you're missing out.
He’s a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine and a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reservists. He designed the US Air Force Efficient Running Project and has presented running workshops on over 50 military bases.
Mark has been a national-level Masters runner, completed more than 100 marathon and ultra-marathon races, and is a two time winner of the Air Force Marathon. His PR? A staggering 2:24.
He's also strongly involved in the local West Virginia running community:
Mark's new book, Run for Your Life: How to Run, Walk, and Move Without Pain or Injury and Achieve a Sense of Well-Being and Joy is all of his expertise and experience distilled into one manual for preventing injury.
He's also on the Strength Running Podcast to discuss these topics in more detail.
We're focusing on three main areas of prevention:
Tempo runs are beneficial for virtually every runner – from milers to marathoners, tempos are nearly ubiquitous.
Of course, they’re a staple for longer distance runners training for the marathon and beyond.
If you’re not familiar with this type of workout, there are three popular definitions:
1. Comfortably hard. A pace that’s faster than “moderate” but not exactly “hard.” If you have a high training age and prefer running by feel or perceived effort, this may be the most helpful definition for you.
2. The pace you could race for an hour. For some runners, their tempo pace is similar to or about the same as their 10k pace.
This definition is best used for more advanced runners.
3. 85-90% of maximum heart rate. If you train by heart rate (learn how to calculate your max heart rate here), this is a valuable way to ensure you’re in the right range for your tempo run.
More scientifically inclined runners know that tempo workouts are run at or near your lactate threshold. This is the pace at which you’re producing the maximum amount of lactate that your body can clear from your muscles and blood stream.
In other words, tempo runs are done at lactate threshold which is the fastest you can still run aerobically.