One-Hour Workout: Tempo Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so here’s a tempo run workout that’ll get you gobbling up the miles at varying intensities.

There will be Turkey Trots taking place all over the U.S. on Thanksgiving this Thursday, but for those of you who would prefer to bank a training run instead, we have just the workout for you. Progressive runs like this Tempo Turkey Trot are great for learning to control speed and intensity—and you can also gauge your effort on how your body is feeling on the day. Tired from a tough workout the day before? Then dial it back. Ready to go full throttle? Then go for it!

Begin with a 15-20 minute build warm-up, spending the last five minutes of it starting to “open up your engine,” which means gently nudging your effort level to 6-7/10 RPE (rate of perceived effort) and preparing your body for some work to follow. Add some 20-30 second “pick-ups” during this final five minutes if you would like to, which are short accelerations.

You’ll then begin the main set, which is three rounds of nine minutes, progressing effort every three minutes as follows: 6-7/10 RPE for the first three minutes, 7-8/10 RPE for the next three minutes, 8-9/10 RPE for the final three minutes. Take two minutes easy recovery between each nine-minute round and then repeat. The key to executing this workout well is not starting out too hard and gently progressing effort throughout each interval. Try to hit the same paces for each three intervals. This is a great way to learn to pacing, patience, and moderating effort.

Wrap it up with an easy 10-minute cooldown and head home to enjoy Turkey Day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tempo Turkey Trot


15-20 minutes build warm-up, with the last five minutes at/around 6-7/10 RPE.

Main Set: Tempo Turkey Trot

3 x 9 minutes, progressing effort every 3 minutes from 6/10 RPE to 9/10 RPE.
2 minutes recovery between each of the 9 minute intervals.


10 minutes easy running