So you want to run faster over 5k? It’s pretty straightforward once you identify the key components of how you are going to reach that goal.
The 5k is over 90 percent aerobic and so the bulk of our training should be focused at improving our aerobic work capacity. This means that we can’t start cutting out our long, threshold and fartlek runs. All of these workouts are great ways of improving our aerobic capacity which will directly translate to a faster 5k.
Our goal is to be able to run a 10 to 15 second faster 5k time and we will try to achieve this by running 1 second faster over each 400m. This 400m split time will be our goal pace, goal pace is what we will be shooting for when we conduct our race pace workouts.
We will be using a track in order to do these race pace workouts. Some people may not enjoy using a track but it is the best option for race pace workouts. You will get much better accuracy at judging your pace on a track in comparison to using GPS for example.
5K Race Pace Workouts
The first workout that you can use is broken down into 10 x 500m with an additional 100m float after each 500m. You should run the 500m at your goal pace and then you can reduce the speed over the next 100m as a recovery, it should still be faster than a jog however.
In order to progress on this workout a few weeks down the road, instead of reducing your speed during the float portions you can maintain the same pace so in effect you will be running 5,900m at a fast pace. You will be covering the same distance but at a much faster pace thus giving a greater stimulus.
Other Possible Workouts:
• 12 x 400m taking 30 seconds rest at the end of each 400m.
• 5 x 1,000m jogging for 200m as a recovery at the end of each 1k.
This is similar to the 10x500m option so in order to progress you can increase the pace of the 200m recovery portion.
Is It Advisable To Run Faster Than Your Planned 5k Goal Pace
If you only run at your goal pace you are obviously not going to develop much leg speed and so if you want to develop this you will have to do some running at faster than your goal pace. This work is better placed on the day before your goal pace work is done for recovery and performance reasons.
As an example workout you can do 4×30 seconds at a pace that is faster than your 5k pace. Be sure to include 60-90 seconds of a slow jogging between each. As this is based on time and not distance you don’t have to do these on a track.
If you do prefer to run on a track you can do a slight variation of these and instead run 5 x 200m with a slow another 200m slow jog in between. This short simple workout will make you feel much better for your 5k workout the next day and will give you that extra kick in the last 200m of your 5k race.