Tactical training warfare meets blitzkrieg.
Nowadays, most distance runners — even 800-meter specialists — regularly incorporate tempo runs into their training, either during pre-competitive phases or year-round. Alternatively called lactate-threshold runs or anaerobic-threshold runs, these are workouts done at a pace you could hold for about one hour going all-out, and typically range from about 20 minutes in duration for track and shorter-distance specialists to 40 or more minutes for seasoned marathoners.
It’s also not uncommon for specialists at various distances to perform time trials, either at the beginning of a training bout to establish baseline fitness or as a goal race looms to engender confidence and mimic competitive conditions. There are close to all-out in terms of intensity, but in most cases are limited to about two-thirds of the goal event distance.
Taking a close look at each of these types of sessions invites what seems an obvious question: Is there any way to combine these efforts into a single workout, and if so, does such a workout serve a useful purpose? The answers are yes and yes.