training for the 5k

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  alexander19 9 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #11575


    hey guys,

    i have a plan, my next 5k is on december 19th, i want to run  PR there. This year i have only run  pr ( IN THE MILE 5:29), my 5k time is only 20:32, this year i ran 20:53, i have to admit, that this year i haven't built a base , i ran a half marathon on june 28th (1:51:46), i came disapointed with my time, but  that was my firs half marathon, so i need to accept it, i want to run a PR in that 5k on december, so my plan is :

    start building a base from now till late september or beginning of octuber and then do 8-10 weeks of speed work. what do you think??

    i have a doubt, when i start the speed work i dont know where to start with the repeats, long repeats and then turn them into short repeats when the race nears , or start with short repeats ( R and I pace ) and then turn it into tempos and long repeats(1 -2mile repeats and 5-6k tempos) as the race nears. i need some help

  • #27951


    It seems that you want to take the periodization approach – that works in most situations. 

    What kind of milege are you running each week?  You must have some sort of base going.

  • #27952


    yeah, in fact i have done the periodization approach, but this year i just wanted to do intervals all year long to see if i could improve my performance , but its not casuality that this year i am running 1 min slower in my 10k and 20 seconds slower in my 5k time, plus 11 seconds slower in my 2 mile time, i run 6 times per week about 35-40 miles per week.

  • #27953


    Depending on how long you have been doing six runs per week at 35-40 miles you might have enough of a base for a 5K.

    You have about four months of good training time until your race – correct?

    Does the 5K course have hills?  If so then you'll need a good deal of hill training.

    Form drills like strides help improve your leg turnover ratio.  Intervals are good but they shouldn't be your only speed training.  I know most people feel 800's are overrated but they really helped me improve and nail down a good half marathon.

    I would mix in form drills and a small amount of hill work along with the intervals.  Also, fartlek (speed play) is something I like to use near the end of a run when I am good and tired – it helps build mental toughness as well as knowing what it feels like to push when the legs are spent.

  • #27954


    the race is totally flat.  its out and back course

  • #27955


    Then I wouldn't suggest hill training – if getting a PR on this 5K is your goal for the year.

    I would be concerned that only doing intervals might lead to mental fatigue – mix it up with several types of speed work.  But do not forget about a cutback week to allow for optimum recovery before pushing the paces for the following several weeks. 

    You need to cut about 30 seconds from your current 5K time to get a solid PR.  That is 10 seconds per mile (give or take).  I would increase the pace of your interval runs by about 5 seconds per mile in each of the next four months. 

    For example, your current interval pace is 7:00 minutes per mile, next month run them at 6:55s, third month at 6:50s, last month before the race 6:45s.

  • #27956


    Even without hills on the race course, hills are great for improving your form, strength, and a host of other things. I've always done hills, even when training for track races.

    As a very rough outline, your idea sounds pretty good. Training for a 5K, I might even be open to a longer race prep phase if your base is well established in time. There are several things I would keep in mind, though. I'm going to throw out a handful of them but don't consider this a comprehensive list, just some things that come to mind right away.

    • Base training does not mean all slow running, especially when training for the 5K. Mix in some strides, tempo runs (or, as mentioned in another topic recently, progression runs), fartlek, etc. Keep in mind the focus but don't shy away from all speed.
    • Form drills can be great as part of a warmup for speed workouts.
    • If possible, get in some tune-up races in October and November. There is no workout that perfectly simulates a race except another race.
    • For a 5K race, I'd probably start my workouts long and slow and build up to short and fast but different people will follow different strategies. The most important thing is to have confidence in your plan.
    • Always train to your current fitness level. You'll burn yourself out trying to train to your goal before you're fit enough for your goal.
  • #27957


    thank you guys,

    the last advice of ryan impressed me, since i dont know how, but i did 5 x 1k (3:45,3:46,3:51,3:49,3:47) with 3 minute recovery , i thought that i was ready for a PR in the 2 mile(12:26),  but in fact i ran 11 seconds slower(12:37), and i have always have trained based on goal pace races, not my recent fitness pace, as i said , my PR in the 5k is 20:32, but my v02max workouts always are in sub 4 min per km, i remember before a 5k in december where i did 20:37, the same week of the race i ran 1k intervals in (3:55,3:53,3:49,3:51 and 3:34!!!) with that last interval i thought that i was easily sub 20 min shape , but during the race i was running that goal till the half way point (9:54) , then my goal slipped away and i finished with last 2kms in (4:20,.4:12) respectevely, i was so frustrated, so the idea of training at my recent pace avoid frustration, but how do i know that i am improving if i run the repeats at my recent fitness?

  • #27958


    I am always confused by the “train at your level” idea – if you are not pushing a bit more (increasing effort) where do you improve?

    A gradual increase of pace over four months shouldn't create burnout – as long as cutback weeks are in there.  

    But I'll find this out for sure – after Saturday I am training specifically for Al's.  My goal is to race well, possibly score (or be a good back-up score) for Team Hillrunner/InStep and just because times are easy to measure – sub 33:00.

  • #27959


    another thing i forgot to mention was that i ran a PR in the mile 5:29( 3:25 per km), so 3:50 per km, feel somewhat easy with full recovery during intervals, but at races it cost me a lot of work to maintain that pace, i thought that was in shape to to run 12:05-12:10 in the 2 mile given my new MIle time, but only ran 12:37, 11 seconds slower than last year where my mile PR was only 5:37, and had run 5:44 a month before that PR in the 2 mile.

    running is complicated sometimes. things don't click the way we want to.

  • #27960


    A) basework….a combination of three things in a one week schedule
    1) long run
    2) tempo blow tempo pace or acceleration tempo egs 15mins below-10mins at tempo pace
    3) easier fartleks that get up to 20mins

    B) transtion/pre comp doen in a 10 day cycle
    1) long run
    2) hill session once per week (20min)
    3) fartleks (2 types one of longer harder sections egs 25mins of 3mins hard-2min easier) and a shorter fartlek (egs 15 mins of say 30-30 or 60-60)and intro to long reps at 90-95 % Vo2 max pace  or slightly slower to race pace (egs 3-5 x 4mins off 2mins)
    5) pure tempo session per week of 20mins, 6 x 3mins off 30 sec

    C) specific prep…

    IMHO your km reps have far too much rest and/or u need to up the reps length egs 5mins

  • #27961


    First, remember. There's a difference between training at goal pace and training to your current fitness level. Done relatively sparingly until near goal race time, I think goal pace workouts are good. However, they have to be built around your current fitness level by adjusting the duration of the repeats and recoveries accordingly.

    As for training at your current fitness level, that doesn't mean you're not pushing. It means you don't do a 5 minute miler's training when you're a 5:30 miler. Doing a 5:30 miler's training will still leave you pushing it if you're doing your workouts right but won't leave you running yourself into the ground on a regular basis like if you were trying to do a 5 minute miler's workouts. Remember, workouts aren't supposed to be races. You're supposed to be pushing it, working hard, but you're not supposed to be doubled over in pain after the workout – at least not most of the time.

    As for base training workouts, today I was running with someone who was a good collegiate runner back in the 80s and he mentioned his coach's off-season philosophy. Forget the watch. Just get out and run every day. If you're feeling good, run faster. If you're not feeling so good, slow down. If you feel like going longer, then go longer. Honestly, that doesn't sound like a bad base training philosophy.

  • #27962


    That sounds like a very good base training philosophy.

    I get what you are saying now about training at your level –

  • #27963

    you need to do the exercises for a basic training program:

    easy run
    long run

    and the day of the race mind positive (without limit)att.pupil

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