Run your fastest 5K in 10 weeks!
In the July issue of Competitor Magazine, I outline a beginner’s training plan to help new runners complete their first 5K. For those of you who have a few years experience under your belt and are already running well, here’s a tried and true training plan that will put you on track to your fastest 5K in just 10 weeks. Check it out!
Training Terms Defined
Easy Run: Aim to comfortably cover the distance at a conversational pace. Adding 90-seconds to two minutes per mile to your goal race pace should do the trick.
Strides: This set of six short accelerations should be performed after an easy run and as part of your warmup for key workouts as a way to maintain turnover and improve efficiency. Accelerate for 5 seconds, run at your fastest sustainable speed for 10 seconds, and then decelerate for the final 5 seconds. Take a minute between strides to get your breath back.
Warmups & Cooldowns: Precede each of your key hill workouts, fartlek sessions, tempo runs and track workouts with 15-20 minutes of easy running and a set of 4-6 x 20-second strides to warm up. Follow the workout with 15-20 minutes of easy running to cool down.
Hills: These sessions will build strength and stamina without tearing your legs apart. Find a moderate incline that forces you to get up on your toes. A 4-6% grade on a treadmill will suffice, too. Walk or jog down the hill between repeats for recovery.
X-Training: Alternative aerobic exercise in the form of cycling, water running, swimming or the elliptical machine. These are scheduled before or after your key workouts for the week and cross training for 30 to 60 minutes on your non-running days is a good way to get in extra volume without beating up your body.