speedwork advice for 5k and 10k races

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Double 14 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #1372


    My hope is to break my records in the 10k (43:25) and 5k (20:43) this spring. So far this year, I have been running mostly base miles; my monthly mileage totals were 135, 132, 143 miles. I have not done just 3 track workouts (with one lap jog recovery):

    Wed. 3-24: 8 x 800 (avg. 3:16.28)

    Wed. 3-31: 5 x 1200 (avg. 4:55.43) + 1 x 400 (1:21.70)

    Fri. 4-02: 4 x 1600 (avg. 6:37.35)

    Do you know any workouts that are better for 5k and 10k training? I would appreciate any advice regarding track speed work.

    Last Sunday, I ran a 10k in 45:02 without tapering (and running a little over 6 miles the day before); my only other race this year was a trail half marathon. I have races scheduled on 4-18 (10k), 4-25 (5 or 10k), and 5-9 (5k), although I might sign up for more.


  • #14046


    Someone will give better advice than I can but at first glance it looks like you aren’t running your intervals fast enough. I mean a 6:37 mile is like your 5k pace isn’t it? Maybe just slightly faster but not fast enough.


  • #14047

    Jeff wrote:
    …at first glance it looks like you aren’t running your intervals fast enough. I mean a 6:37 mile is like your 5k pace isn’t it? Maybe just slightly faster but not fast enough.



    You’re basing your answer on his 5k PR. However, if you look at his recent 10k time, it looks like he’s probably in more like 21:30 5k shape. When determining workout efforts you have to base them on your current fitness, not on what you hope you can run.


    My first thought is to plan out the rest of your summer before you hit the track anymore. Determine exactly what races you want to do your best in. If those are in May or June you’re probably okay with doing speedwork. If your main races are in Aug-Oct, then you may want to continue working on your base and train through the races you listed.

    As for workouts, I think you need to focus more on shorter stuff like 200s, 400s and 800s. Maybe go up to 1000s or 1200s at the most. Daniels says you shouldn’t do intervals that last more than 5 minutes. So only “elite” runners will be able to do mile repeats. One thing I highly recommend is adding some strides to the end of 1-2 of your easy runs EVERY week. They can be as simple 6-10 x 20 seconds with full recovery, like 45-60 seconds between reps. Keep them around mile pace and focus on your form and quick strides. This will help you develop the leg speed you’ll need to run solid 5ks. Plus they’ll prepare you for the those track workouts.

  • #14048


    As far as the strides go, they can be as simple or as structured as you want them. Personally, I like to just do a few bursts of about 30 seconds in the mid to late miles of a couple of runs per week.

    I do agree with Zeke, though. Speedwork, other than those strides once or twice a week, is something that should be well planned and thought out and you can’t make those kinds of plans without first having at least an idea of when you want to peak.

  • #14049


    Honestly, I think it’s all about the miles your running a week/month. I always have had incredible race improvements just from logging the miles. I’m not opposed to a few strides or anything, but I’d recommend building the miles. Get up to 200 miles a month for two months. You’ll see improvement.

    And don’t be afraid to go long once a week. Running 3-7 miles a day just doesn’t get it done. Mix it up a bit.

    Sun = OFF

    Mon = 5

    Tue = 8

    Wed = 10

    Thu = 8

    Fri = OFF

    Sat = 14

    Work up to a version of that. If you have specific days you like to take easy, then plan them in. I prefer something like that for performance over the basic 6,6,7,5,6,10,0 stuff.

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