Shifting Speeds For 5K-10K
Inside eight weeks of a goal race, a shift in the speed (and distance) of the weekly tempo run occurs, the specific nature of which depends on the athlete’s goal race distance. For my 5K and 10K runners, the classic 4-6 mile tempo run at roughly half-marathon pace gets shortened to 3 miles at 10K race pace during the four to eight weeks prior to a peak event. I’ll often have athletes finish up these workouts with 4-8 x 200 meters at 5K race pace (or 30 to 60 seconds at a similar effort) with equal recovery to work on turnover and simulate running hard at the end of a race.
During the final four weeks, I’ll break the three-mile tempo run into two 1.5-mile segments run at 5K race pace (7-20 minutes at the same effort) with 5 minutes of recovery in between. In addition to a separate weekly interval workout run at or faster than race pace, these shorter, more specific types of tempo runs help an athlete get race ready and firing on all cylinders at just the right time.