Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

4 weeks to your best 5k

Thinking of running a 5k? Here’s a method for increasing your speed. If you know your desired race pace (e.g. an 8 minute mile) set that as your target and work up to it with this 4 week plan.

Weeks 1 and 2 focus on building your strength and stamina with uphill running, while beginning to work toward your desired speed. Week 3 increases distance at race pace, while week 4 relaxes a bit just before your big 5k. You can do this 4-week plan outdoors or using a treadmill. My method is to not run on days back to back – always rest (or cross train) at least 1 day in between each run, and take a full rest (no gym!) 2 days before the race.
Week ONE (30-40 min): 3 times per week
–2 minute brisk walk
1 mile jog (about 1-2 minutes per mile slower than race pace
–2 minute brisk walk, increase incline on last 30 seconds
1 mile uphill (at jog pace)
–2 minute brisk walk
1 mile at GOAL race pace (If you cannot complete one mile, do as much as you can then slow to a jog or walk. You’ll get there!)

Week TWO (30-40 min): 3 times per week
–2 minute brisk walk
0.5 mile jog (about 1-2 minutes per mile slower than race pace
–1 minute brisk walk, increase incline on last 30 seconds
1 mile uphill (at jog pace)
–1 minute brisk walk
1.5 miles at GOAL race pace

Week THREE (30-40 min): 3 times per week
–2 minute brisk walk
1 mile jog
–1 minute brisk walk
2 miles at GOAL race pace
–1 minute brisk walk
1 mile jog

Week FOUR (30 min): 2 times (full rest 2 days before your 5k)
–2 minute brisk walk
1 mile jog
0.5 miles at GOAL race pace
1 mile brisk walk
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2 comments on “4 weeks to your best 5k

  1. ulla
    April 12, 2010

    Hi- I was reading your suggested training. I have been training for about a month and my 5k is saturday. My goal is not speed but distance. This weekend i was able to complete running totals of 7 min long. Today I don’t know how but i managed to increase the straight running time to 11minutes which was a mile for me and i did 2 sets of those. With 5 days remaining for my first 5k What can i do this week to make me go the distance on saturday?

  2. thegymcoachblog
    April 13, 2010

    Hi there! Wow what a GREAT accomplisment! You’re doing great. With 5 days remaining, there is not a lot of endurance strenght you can build. The body takes a long time to build stregth. Keep doing what you are doing, it’s now about mindset! Here’s what I would do:
    Tuesday-Thursday: Walk 5 min, Run 5 min, Walk 5 min, Run 10 min, Walk. DRINK WATER! This will get your endurance up and hydration in line. Friday (the day before your race) – REST… eat pasta for dinner (bonus of running a race!). Stretch through the day and take a walk. Saturday (morning of) – eat toast with peanut butter or jam and butter (a little!). During the race, WALK when you need to. Do not strain your body just to say you ran the whole time.. walking is OK!!! Good luck!

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2009 by in Cardio, run.
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