If you are looking at this plan than you have several 5K's under your belt and probably a number of other distance races as well and you are ready to take it to the next level: Improving your time. This is a natural step for many seasoned runners and the best way to achieve that PR (personal record) is to add some speed training. This plan includes both tempo runs and speed work to help hone a faster turn-over and better time. Note: I don't include any hill repeats but if this is something you are familiar with I highly recommend it, but be smart because done the wrong way can easily lead to injury. Below is an explanation of the "runners language" used in the program.
Tempo Run: Tempo runs help you develop your anaerobic threshold, which is critical for fast 5K racing. Start your run with 5-10 minutes easy running, and then continue with 15-20 minutes running near or at race pace and finish with 5-10 minutes cooling down.
Speed Workouts or Interval workouts (IW): After a warm-up – which should incl. the dynamic stretches and 1-lap around the track – if not running on a track then a 1/4mi easy is perfect. Aim to perform each interval at about 10-15sec faster than goal pace. Don’t know your goal pace? Use the link to the Runners World Calculator to find it. Each interval should be followed by a recovery run (or walk) of 400 meters or about 2-4min on the road.
Rest Days: Rest is critical to your recovery and injury prevention efforts so don't ignore your rest days. Mental burn out is also just as important so use these rest days to rejuvenate yourself.
Long/Moderate runs: After you warm up, run at a comfortable conversational pace for the designated mileage. If you know your goal 5K pace then keep this run at about 1min slower than goal pace. Make sure youcool down and stretch after your run.
EZ Day: This is an active recovery day. Your run should be at an easy, comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination.
Note: You can switch days to accommodate your schedule. Just make sure you don't do two intense workouts (speed and tempo) two days in a row.
To calculate your pace use the Runners World Pace Calculator: http://www.offnrunningsports.com/calculators/runners-world-pace
|Week||Monday|| Tuesday Tempo||Wednesday||Thursday|
|4 m run||4X800 (see explanation below)||Rest||5 m run||35 min EZ or CT|
|2||Rest||30min||4 m run||5X800||Rest||5 m run||35 min EZ or CT|
|3||Rest||30min||5 m run||6X800||Rest||6 m run||40 min EZ or CT|
|4||Rest||35min||5 m run||EZ||Rest||6 m run||45 min EZ or CT|
|5||Rest||35min||5 m run||2X1600||Rest||7 m run||40min EZ or CT|
|6||Rest||40min||5 m run||3X1600||Rest||7 m run||35 min EZ or CT|
|7||Rest||40min||6 m run||2X1600||Rest||8 m run||45 min EZ or CT|
|8||Rest||45min||6 m run|
3mi: 1mi easy, 1mi @ pace, 1mi@10sec. faster than pace w/
1/4mi finishing kick
|Rest||8 m run||45 min EZ or CT|
|9||Rest||2 m run||30min tempo||2m run||Rest||Rest||5K|