5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 9

Run a 5k 8Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 9

By the end of week eight, you ran 23 minutes straight. Nice job! This week we’re going to add to that total. We’re also adding an optional speed workout. Just as your body makes adaptations to running (increased endurance, better aerobic fitness, structural changes to your bones, joints and soft tissue), speed work improves the way your body processes oxygen, and increases your stamina by raising the lactate threshold, that point at which your body has built up lactic acid and needs to slow down. (Missed week one? Click here to get started!)

This week will start off by repeating your 23 minute run from last week. In addition to your three key workouts, you may add the optional speed workout. If you choose not to do so, just do the active recovery workout.

Remember, all workouts start with an 8-10 minute brisk warm-up walk. On your rest days, feel free to do some strength training, yoga, Pilates, etc.

Run_a_5K_Program.JPGDay One: After your warm up, run for 23 minutes. Cool down, stretch ice.

Day Two: Active recovery. After your warm up, run for 10 minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat. Cool Down and stretch. Optional Speed Work: Warm up, then run for two minutes at your normal pace. For the next minute pick up the pace (think effort level of about 8-9 on a scale of 10). Slow down to your normal pace for two minutes. Repeat four more time (a total of five fast intervals). Cool down and stretch.

Day Three: Warm up, Run for 12 minutes. Walk for one minute. Run for 12 minutes. Walk for one minute. Run for three minutes, then cool down.

Day Four: Rest.

Day Five: Warm up, then run for 26 minutes. Cool down, stretch, etc.

Day Six: (Optional) Active Recovery. Warm up, run for 18 minutes. Walk for one minute, then run for three more minutes.

Day Seven: Rest.

Getting Faster

Getting_Faster.JPGRefer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts:

The Long Run: At this point in your training, your long run should be at least six miles. You can keep it at that or add another half mile. To add a little mileage to your week, add a half mile to one of your other runs (not the speed workouts).

The Interval Workout: We’re pushing it a little bit this week. Mile repeats. Four times around the track. They should be run at about your 5K pace (about 90-95% of VO2Max). Recover by jogging or walking 400 meters. Repeat two more times. Cool down by walking or jogging 400-800 meters. Stretch (and don’t forget to ice after your workout!)

The Lactate Threshold Workout: On the road for this workout. After your one mile easy warm up, run two miles at slightly less that your 5k pace (about 85-90% of your maximal effort). Cool down by jogging a half mile, and finish with a stretch.

Getting_Faster.JPGRemember, in addition to these workouts, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week nine is complete. Just think, just three weeks until your race! See you next week!

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 6

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Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 6

You’re going to love this week. After five hard weeks of gradually increasing your running time, we going to take a little break this week. Oh, yes, you will be doing some running, but we will cut back a bit on some of the effort. This will serve to give your body a rest, which will help you get stronger when we resume training next week.

By the end of last week, you were running 20 minutes with just one short break. This week, you will be cutting back on the time and taking an extra day off. Strength training, etc., is still okay on your rest days, but I’d suggest one day of complete rest during this week. (Did you miss week one? Click here.)

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Remember, all workouts begin with an 8-10 minute brisk walk, and finish with about a five minute walk, stretching, and icing.

Day One: After your warm up, run for five minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat two more times.

Day Two: Warm up, run for seven minutes. Walk for a minute. Repeat.

Day Three: Rest.

Day Four: Run for six minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat two more time.

Day Five: Rest. Completely.

Day Six: Warm up, run for eight minutes. Walk for a minute. Repeat.

Day Seven: Rest.

Ah, recovery. Feel rejuvenated after your light week. Take care of yourself and get ready for week seven.

Getting Faster

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Refer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts

The Long Run: After your cutback last week, you are going to add that half mile back in to your long run.

The Interval Workout: We’re climbing the ladder this week, one of my favorite workouts. We are on the track. After your warm up, run 200 meters at your goal pace. Jog or walk 200 meters (that will be your cool down between each interval). Run 400 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 800 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 1600 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 800 meters. Recover for 200 meters. Run 400 meters. Recover. Run 200 meters. Cool Down. Remember since your goal is to run at about your 5k pace, or around 95% of your maximal effort, you should plan to run each interval at the same pace. So don’t blow yourself out on the 200, then have nothing left when you get to the 800.

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The Lactate Threshold Workout: Back on the road for this workout. After the warm up, run one mile at 85-90% of your maximum effort. Jog for four minutes. Repeat two more times. Cool down.

Remember, in addition to these workout, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week six is complete! Halfway to your goal. See you next week.

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 5

Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 5

Well, you can call yourself a runner now! By the end of last week, you were able to run 20 minutes with only a couple of very short walking breaks. Nice job. (Did you miss week one? Click here.)

This week, you will continue to increase your running time and decrease your walking. You will have three key workouts this week, plus two additional easy running days (one of which is optional). Plus your off days, of course, which can be total rest, or where you can do some strength training, yoga, etc. Listen to your body and give it the rest that it needs.

Remember, all workouts begin with an 8-10 minute brisk walk, and finish with about a five minute walk, stretching, and icing.

Day One: Repeat last week’s day five workout: Warm up. Run five minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat three more times. Cool down.

Day Two: An active recovery day. After your warm up, run for four minutes, walk for one minute. Repeat three more times, then cool down.

Day Three: This will be a challenge because it your third day in a row, but remember, you’re a runner now! Warm up. Run for five minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Run for seven minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Run for eight minutes. Cool Down.

Day Four: Rest

Day Five: (Optional) Active recovery. Repeat day two workout.

Day Six: We are completely taking out two of the walking breaks! Warm up. Run for 10 minutes. Walk for one minute. Repeat. Cool Down.

Day Seven: Rest.

Nice job. Take care of yourself, eat right, stretch, ice, and of course, rest. Next week we get a little breather.

Running Faster

Refer back to this post for information on whether you’re ready to add speed to your workout, how to find your goal pace, reasons for each workout as well as the first week of workouts to add to your training.

The Workouts

The Long Run: This week we are actually going to cut back the distance of the long run by one half mile. You’ve been steadily increasing your mileage for the last four weeks, and this cut back is intended to give your body a break.

The Interval Workout: Mile repeats this week. Three of them, on the track. You will be running at 90-95% of your maximal effort, with a goal to run each interval at the same pace. After your warm up, run four laps. Recover by jogging or walking 200 meters. Repeat two more times. Cool down.

The Lactate Threshold Workout: Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning “Speedplay.” A Fartlek workout can be done in a variety of ways, with the focus on fun We’re going to hit the road again for this workout. After your warmup, using targets such as telephone poles, street lamps or trees, pick up your pace to about 85-90% of your maximum effort and run to the next pole. Drop your pace until the next pole. Keep repeating this workout for about a half hour. It doesn’t matter if the distances are not the same. After all, this is for fun!

 

Remember, in addition to these workout, you can run another one-three days during the week, nice easy, shorter runs (recovery runs). A sample schedule can be found in this post.

Week five is done! See you in a week.

5k Friday: Your 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 2

Run a 5kYour 12 Week 5k Training Program, Week 2

It’s time for week two of 5k Friday! This plan will help you train for and run (really run!) your first 5k! (Missed week one? Click here to get started!) I hope that you are feeling pretty good. Any aches and pains? If so, make sure that you are using that ice I recommended, and also be sure to stretch those hamstrings, quads, calves, and hips after each workout. As promised, at the end of this post I will have some advice and workouts for runners who have some racing experience and would now like to run a little faster.

At the end of last week, you were (after your walking warmup), running for 90 seconds, alternating with walking for 90 seconds. This week we will both increase the running time, reduce the walking time, and increase the number of cycles. Don’t worry, we won’t be doing all of those things in the same workout.

Run a 5k 2

Day One: Following your warmup, run for 90 seconds, then walk for 60 seconds. For the second cycle, run for two minutes, then walk for 60 seconds. Repeat both cycles. For the last cycle, run for 90 seconds, walk for 30 seconds, then run for 60 seconds. A little complicated, but you are pushing yourself here a little, with less rest and more running. Finish with your five minute walk and don’t forget the stretching and the ice!

Day Two: Repeat day one with one change. Repeat the first two cycles one additional time (total of three), then finish off as before.

Day Three: Rest. We’re not adding any more running days this week, so your rest days will be the same as last week. Some strength training or Yoga, or just some simple stretching is fine, but no running.

Day Four: Here is a bit of a challenge. Warm up. Run for two minutes. Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat four more times. One additional cycle is optional. Cool down, stretch, ice.

Day Five: Rest completely.

Day Six: Repeat day four. This time, do that extra cycle.

Day Seven: Rest day, although like day three, you can do some weights, Yoga, Pilates, etc.

Week two is now complete! Hopefully, you have purchased some good running shoes by now (if not, do it now!). Have you found that goal race?

Running Faster

CIF

This is for those of you who are still basically beginners, but you can run at least three or four miles (or even more), have run a few races, and now would like to improve your time, possibly even earn a medal in your age division.

To help you run faster, we’re going to add three workouts to your running schedule. One of these will involve adding extra mileage. For example, if your longest run is currently three to six miles, this week, following the 10% rule, you will increase the distance by a half mile. This workout will increase your endurance.

The second workout will involve some interval training. This will entail some short to medium distances of really fast running, which will improve your VO2 Max, which is a measurement of your body’s ability to use oxygen. (Google it if you want more info.) Although there is a lot of hard work involved, you will see your overall running speed improve as if by magic.

The third workout is not quite as intense as the interval training, and will vary from week to week, but basically can be called a lactate threshold run. Your lactate threshold is the point at which your body has built up enough lactic acid and responds by needing to slow down or rest. This workout will increase your stamina, your ability to run fast for a longer period of time.

(This is a very simplified description of the science behind the above workout types. I will give you the workouts, you will get faster. To advance from that point, there are many resources that you can use to continue your progress.)

The Workouts

It is helpful to pick a “goal time” for your race. Be realistic. If your current time is around 27 minutes, aim for a 5k time of about 25 minutes. If your goal time is 25 minutes, then your goal pace per mile is about 8 minutes per mile. if your current time is 24 minutes, you may have a goal of 22 minutes. That would make your pace about 7 minutes per mile. Remember these times (calculate by: goal time divided by 3.1)

The Long Run: As mentioned above, increase your current long run distance by one half mile on one day of the week.

Run a 5k 3

The Interval Workout: Preferably, you will do this run on a track, so head on down to your local high school. Warm up for four laps. Run one lap at your goal 5k pace (divide your per mile pace by four). This should feel hard. Or even very hard. Walk or jog for 200 meters (half lap). Repeat three or four more times. Finish with a half mile cool down and stretching.

The Lactate Threshold Run: Back on the road for this one, warm up for a mile. Run the next half mile at a pace about 20 seconds slower that your goal 5k pace. Recover for about a quarter mile. Run another half mile at the faster pace. Finish with about a half mile of cool down and stretching.

In addition to these three workouts, you can run another two to three days during the week, basically an easy to moderate paced run. Try not to run two hard workouts in a row. A sample workout week could be something like this (adapt for your own schedule):

Sunday: Long Run
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Lactate Threshold Run
Wednesday: Easy Run
Thursday: Interval Run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Moderate Run

Okay, now you have it. Get out there and get going. Next week’s workouts will increase your running time and distance (for beginners) and add a couple interesting speed workouts for current runners. Stay tuned!

This post is revised and updated from a beginner 5k program I created several years ago.