Knowing your current 5K race pace is essential to plotting interval workouts.
Partnered with his brother, Kevin Hanson, Keith Hanson is one of the coaches supervising the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, a Michigan-based program that seeks to develop Olympic-caliber running talent.
With marquee athlete Desiree Davila posting the third-fastest marathon by an American woman in Boston in 2011, then landing a spot on the Olympic team in 2012 — not to mention two-time USA 25K champion and now-retired Brian Sell, who finished 22nd at the Beijing Olympic Marathon — the Hanson brothers have rapidly put Michigan on the map in the distance running world. The brothers also own and manage four running shoe stores in the Detroit metropolitan area.
Here, Hanson offers his four top tips for helping new runners achieve a 5K personal best.
1. Join A Running Group
Perhaps the best way to tap into the power of interval training is to join a running group, Hanson says. “Go to your local running store. They’re great sources of information about where to train in the community. At a group track workout you’ll be introduced to all the basics.” Photo: www.shutterstock.com
2. Find Your Current Fitness Level
“Find your current fitness level.” Race a 5K or run a three-mile time trial to record your current ability. If you run 24 minutes flat for 5K, for example, your current race pace ability is 7:44/per mile. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
3. Practice Running Race Pace
The best way to stir your systems upward in speed is to insert weekly interval workouts where you practice repeats at goal race pace, Hanson says. Given the example of the 24:00 5K runner on the previous page, an example workout is 12x400 meters, with each repeat run in 1:56. You will become faster and more efficient. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
4. Jog The Recoveries
“Jog recoveries between each interval.” As your fitness improves, you’ll likely need less and less recovery. After a month or two, re-test your fitness at another time trial or race and recalibrate your interval training speed. Photo: www.shutterstock.com