The Workout of the Week (or as we like to call it, the WoW) is an ongoing feature from pro athlete Lauren Fleshman. If you missed the last few workouts or want to check in on upcoming ones, bookmark The Weekly Workout page.


We’ve flirted with our tempo pace back in week 2 with the #Switchblade, but now we’re going to pour on the charm. Working the zones slightly below, at, and above our tempo pace boosts our threshold for clearing lactic acid, which means faster running with less discomfort. Uh huh that’s right.

This workout is great for anyone, beginner to professional.

What it is: 3 x 3/3/3 progressive tempo

3 x 9 minute tempo run with 2 minute walk/jog break, progressing the pace of each 9 minute continuous tempo run as follows:

3 min slightly slower than tempo
3 min at tempo
3 minutes slightly quicker

Example from Oiselle’s Team Little Wing: 3 min at 6:00 pace, 3 min at 5:45 pace, 3 min at 5:30 pace, 2 min walk/jog, repeat two more times.

The Name: Mark Rowland is a coach of professional runners for Oregon Track Club Elite and in his career he has produced several international medal winners (including Nick Symmonds), from 800 meters up to 10k. He was my coach when I finished seventh in the World. In another life he earned the bronze medal in the Seoul Olympic Games in the Steeple Chase, and won hearts on TV when he said in a burst of genuine euphoria, “I just kept telling myself to dig, dig, dig—and I did it! I’ve got a bloody medal!”

Rowland’s coaching is known for being nuanced and creative, and he credits his coach and mentor Alan Storey for exposing him to this type of training. To me, the #RowlandTempo is one of his coolest reinventions of a boring staple for endurance athletes. The best part? It freaking works.

Variations: You can progress a #RowlandTempo from 3 x 3/3/3, to 3 x 4/4/4, to 3 x 5/5/5. You can even do 3 x 3 miles progressive if you are training for a half or full marathon. Any tempo that is split up into pieces that “rowl” through various paces fits the bill. The same paces apply to each variation; you just have to hold those paces longer. As you improve you can reduce the recovery from 2 min to 1 min if desired, but honestly, I like me some recovery so I keep it at 2 min myself.

Have fun Rowlin with your homies!

(Sorry, couldn’t help it). Let us know what you think by using #RowlandTempo on social.

Photos from Amos Morgan