So you have a goal of running your fastest 5k, but you are not sure where to begin? Speed, hill training, resistance training, and the other methods of training can help you to run your fastest 5k. Wouldn’t you like to know how to plan this week by week? As a competitive racer and certified trainer, I run hundreds of races but more importantly have trained countless clients to run their personal best racing times. Now I am here to help you with 7 weeks to your fastest 5k:
1. Week 1 - Set Your Goals
Before you begin your training, you should list out your running goals, as this will help you create a schedule. Also if you have high ambitions to be super competitive, your training will differ from someone with just a goal of completion. Your first week of training is all abut getting in the right state of mind for determining your goals. This will help you to run your fastest 5k!
2. Week 2 - Create a Schedule
Now that you know what your goals are and where you want to be, create a schedule that helps you get to your fastest 5k time. I recommend running four days a week and cross training two days. Your two cross training days can be swimming, the elliptical or any other cardiovascular exercise. On your cross training days you should also lift weights for resistance training.
3. Week 3 - Run Hills
In your third week of training you should begin running hill repeats once a week, on one of your running training days. I recommend looking for a hill repeat of at least a quarter to a half mile long. Repeat this for 4-5 times to build the strength in your hamstrings and quicken your 5k time.
4. Week 4 - Head to the Track
In your fourth week of training, you should head to the track and introduce mile repeats to your training schedule. Mile repeats are when you run as fast as you can for one mile, then take a 200 yard rest of jogging or walking and repeat. I recommend doing this for 3 times, trying to stay within 10-15 seconds of your goal race time (per mile time). This will help you get stronger and be able to run your fastest 5k. Make sure you also run your hill repeats this week.
5. Week 5 - Go for a Tempo Run
Now for your 3rd run of each week and your fifth week of training, go for a tempo run. An tempo run is a faster paced run, usually run at 85-90% of your maximum effort. I usually take my per mile race pace and add 20 seconds and this is my tempo run. This comfortably hard run will help you push your body to a whole new threshold! Make sure you still run your hill repeats and mile repeats this week.
6. Week 6 - Run a Trial 5k
Now that you are in the sixth week of your faster 5k training, run a trial 5k on the roads to see where you are at. You should see a vast improvement because of the diversity of all your training. Hope you will be happy with the improvement. Continue to do all your training as well.
7. Week 6 - Run Your Fastest 5k
Now you are you ready to put all your training and energy to the test, get out and run your fastest 5k. Just remember to not go out too hard or you will be in oxygen debt. Focus on proper form with your arms at your side and stay at the head of the pace or ahead of your time so you can run your best race. Stay positive because this is 60% of the battle.
Hope my tips have helped you to run your fastest 5k. You can do anything you dedicate yourself to. Put in the work and just believe. So tell me, what are your 5k training goals?