5k Training Schedule
A 5 Km Schedule for Maximum Performance
Regardless of your age or ability, most athletes would like to run as fast as possible. You want a training programme that will challenge you and here it is!
5k Training Schedule
Run 16 to 18km at half marathon Pace
3 x 3km @ 8km pace, with 90secs rest.
4 x 1miles @ 5km pace
10km @30 secs per km, slower than current mile time.
10 x 400 @ mile pace with 40 secs rest
32 x 500 @ 5km pace, with 30secs rest between.
Achieving maximum performance
To achieve maximum performance, you must improve both your endurance and your speed. You can do this by either running more miles, running faster, or a combination of both.
The above training programme is a much more sophisticated training schedule than that offered to novice or intermediate runners. To achieve full benefit from this programme, you should already be running 4 or 5 days per week, 25 to 35 miles per week or more, and have at least an understanding of the concepts of speed work.
The type of running required to improve your 5k times
When the schedule shows "run", you should run at an easy pace. How fast is easy? You must define your own comfort level. Don't worry about how fast you run - just cover the distance. Ideally you should be able to run at a pace that allows you to converse with a training partner without getting too much out of breath.
You should run "fast" at least once a week. How fast is "fast?" Again, that depends on your comfort level. Go faster than you would on a "run" day, to be almost uncomfortable. You should not be able to speak to your running partner.
Go for a long run at an easy pace, once per week. If you wish, you can take a partner because you can both talk. Run 60 to 90 minutes at a comfortable pace, not worrying about speed or distance. Think "minutes" rather than "miles", allowing you to explore different courses that you have not measured. The distance should be about 20% of your total weekly mileage.
It is not how far you run, but time on your feet. You should be able to carry on a conversation while you run - if not, you are going to fast. Don't be afraid to stop, walk, or stop to drink. This should be an enjoyable weekend run, not one during which you punish yourself.
To improve your speed, train at a pace somewhat faster than your race pace. The speed of the intervals depends on the length of the interval but must be faster than your race pace. Run 400 metres hard, then recover by jogging 400 metres. Run 800 metres, jog for 800 metres then repeat, say eight times. You should be completing intervals of 400 metres upwards to about 3km.
Shorter intervals are not really necessary for a 5k runner. You may wish to run some shorter intervals, say 200 metres but since this schedule is not for an 800 metres runner, it is not necessary to run intervals much shorter than 300 metres.
It has a slower start, building up at the end to a 5k race pace. A typical Tempo Run would be divided into three parts, ( easy, steady, and fast) beginning with 10 minutes easy running, building to 10 minutes steady, then 10 minutes at 5k pace. The length of tempo run may vary.
Stretch & Strengthen
An important addendum to any training program is stretching. Do not overlook it, particularly on days when you plan to run fast.
Strength training is important too - push-ups, pull-ups, use of free weights or working out with various machines at a Health Club. Runners generally benefit by combining light weights with many repetitions, rather than pumping very heavy iron.
Mondays and Wednesdays would be good days to combine stretching and strengthening with your easy run. However, you can schedule these workouts on any day that is convenient for your business and personal schedule.
You cannot train hard unless you are well rested. The schedule includes one designated day of rest (Friday) when you do nothing, and a second day (Wednesday) when you have an option to take a day off. The easy 3 mile runs scheduled for Mondays are also to help you rest for the next day's hard workout, so don't run them hard! The final week before the 5k also is a rest week. Taper your training so you can be ready for peak performance on the weekend.
Some racing is useful to help you gauge just how fast you really are. You are liable to run considerably faster in a race. Consider doing races at distances outside "your" race to test your fitness. You may be training for a 5k but a 1500 metre race on a track will certainly get you moving.
You may find you are racing more often in the summer, but too much racing is not a good idea and can put your training schedule into disarray.
The above schedule is only a guide. If you want to do your long runs on Saturday rather than Sunday, simply change the days. If you have an important appointment on a day when you have a hard workout planned, do a similar exchange with a rest day. It is less important what you do in any one workout than what you do over the full eight weeks leading up to your 5k.
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