How to Use an Elite 5K Training Plan to Run the Best 5K of Your Life (2023)

Whether you're looking for a 5K training plan for your first 5K run or a 5K workout as an intermediate runner, the training logs of top runners can help you understand what to include in your training plan. for the next race.

Because top runners are the best our sport has to offer.

In today's edition of a look at elite runner training, I do it a little differently.

Instead of looking at an elite runner's training schedule for a few weeks, I picked a progressive set of specific exercises.5k-Trainingthat occur during 8 weeks of training.


If you want to run your best, you need to do workouts that work together in a sensible progression toBuild your goal career.

How to Use an Elite 5K Training Plan to Run the Best 5K of Your Life (1)

Why you should NOT try to get faster every race (or even every week).

oft wand we do a workout, we repeat it, and then we try to run faster.

I understand that temptation and it has its place BUT that's not how you build a career.

You do this instead:

The idea is to run at your race pace and steadily increase the time you run at race pace and reduce rest periods.

The idea is to bridge the gap between what you can already do.


Everyone is different but experience has taught me that all I need to do is be able to complete a 6x800 session with a quick break of 200 jogs and I'm ready to compete at that pace on a competitive 5k to run.


For most people, I've found that 5x1k is a better performance indicator than 5k with the same 200 rests.

I've worked with a few athletes who can put in race-like efforts in training and need to cover 3×1600/mile at race pace with a quick 200 rest to ensure they time on race day, but these people They're very rare

What does an Elite 5k training plan look like?

First some background:

These workouts were done as the core or most important session of each week, but they weren't the only workouts I was doing at the time.

There would be a lighter most weekstime sessionand a shorter running distance (ie less than 5 km).

In the weeks that the Tuesday session wasn't 5k specific, I did afaster than race pace intervals.

This particular phase was the final cycle of a full workout that began with a long base and base phase during which I focused on mineaerobic and muscular conditioningand i only did a little training at a pace of 3 km to 5 km and hardly anythinganaerobic work.

Instead, the focus for many was on high mileageTimes, and a lot of short and explosive muscle work, such asshort hills,steps, diagonals and the like.

I usually advise you not to directly copy these sessions, but this week is an exception to that rule.

Here's the deal:

This can be a 5k training plan for intermediate and advanced runners as long as you likeAdjust the rhythms to your current physical condition.

Knowing what pace is achievable but aggressive enough is both an art and a science, and that can often be a big part of itwhere does a trainer come into play- but the workouts themselves are very solid and doable for most runners.

Training calendar for elite runners

Tuesday December 29, 2010

3.5 mile warm up (23:58) + steps

11 x 400 m, 1 x 600 m (100 m Rennpause)

67, 67, 68, 67, 67, 66, 67, 67, 66, 67, 68, 1:40

6100m total (5000m hard training)

3.5km cool down

11 miles total

Tuesday January 12, 2011

Na Tufts Innenhof

3 mile warm up + step,

8 x 600m no 5k target pace (under 1:42) with 200m rest

1:39, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:40

6200 m including rest (5:23 mile pace)

3 miles cold

10.5 total miles

Tuesday January 19, 2011

Na Tufts Innenhof

3 mile warm up + lunges

6 x 800 m im 5 km Tempo mit 200 m Sprintpause

2:15, 2:14, 2:14, 2:13, 2:15, 2:15

5800m total (5000m difficult)

200m Duro am 29.5

3 miles cold

10 miles total

Tuesday, January 26, 2011 p. M

No Reggie Lewis Center

23:57 warm up + steps,

12 x 400m and 1 x 200m with a 100m race break

1:07, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:08, 1:06, 32, 4

6200m total (5000m run)

3 miles cold

11 miles total

Saturday January 30, 2011

3 km warm-up

BU Terrier 5000m race, 4th place 13:56.74-PB

divisions 67.38,

800m - 2:12,84

1600m - 4:26,44

2k-5: 32,84,



Last 800m-2:11.35

Last 400m-63.98

6 miles cold

12 miles total

How can I use Elite Runner training plans to run 5km faster?

Learn your 5k race pace

I don't care what your target race is.

One thing that I think is key to properly preparing for your best performance over that distance is to run at your target pace so much that it sticks in your head.

If you areIf you're not sure what your race pace is, you can find out here.

At the beginning ofelementary levelIt should be done in small doses, with plenty of rest and a focus on feeling relaxed at the pace and being as smooth and efficient as possible at that speed and pace.

As you approach the specific phase, you should combine some sessions where you run at a pace when you are very tired, such as: B. the last 400m sprint or a pace run or some repetitions at the end of a long run.

For this reason:

This will teach your body that it can run at this pace even if it feels bad.

As you enter the specific phase, you want your body to get used to the muscular demands of running full race volume at your target pace.

You can't go out and run a 5k at your optimal pace by yourself.

If you could, I wouldn't speed up the gate. So you need to rest.

Any break you need is fine; This is your starting point.

Exercises to prepare for a 5K sprint

If you want to prepare for your job, you have to prepare yourself for the demands that the job places on you.

When I was in high school, I was dying to break nine minutes in the two miles.

Keep in mind:

I was far from the type of driver capable of pulling off such a feat, but that didn't change the fact that my goal was to go under nine minutes.

During the spring of my senior year, I repeatedly completed an 8 x 400m workout with either a 400-run break or a two-minute standing break.

At the end of the winter season, when I ran a 2-mile mark in 9:57, it took me just 68 seconds to do this workout.

In late spring I ran this 8 x 400 session with an average of 60.0.

A massive session considering my 58 second average of 400Mbps.

But understand:

I only ran three kilometers in 9:47.

I've definitely improved, but only by a little over a second per lap, while I've improved by 8 seconds per lap in my training.

What happened?

I trained myself to do a big 8 x 400 instead of doing a big two mile run.

I'm not saying that if I had started reducing the rests on my 8x400 in 1968, I would have been running from 9:00 to 9:10 by the end of the season.

Again, there was a big difference, but I think 9:20 was doable.

See how you can apply the same theory to your training?

In this training cycle I started with 400s at a target pace of 5 km with 100 jogs. I did 600 on the last rep of this rep but sometimes I do the 400 and 100 jogs plus 200 hard to simulate the end of my run but I felt strong that day and finished it at 600.


Some runners like to do a little more than their full distance, so their training volume is 6k instead of 5k.

I'm totally fine with that, but my body struggles with the work on the track, so I keep it to the bare minimum for me.

If you start this session and you don't get 100 rests and you need to mix 200 or 400 or whatever, that's fine.

The aim is to cover the volume of work at the specified pace.

The rest is as is; This is your starting point.

How to progress in training.

You have completed your first session.

You know where you are and now you have to start getting where you want to be.

This is important:

You should not return to another specific session for at least a week.

Ideally I like 12-14 days so you can fully absorb the last session.

Even in a week if you try a similar workout you will usually perform poorly because you are still tired from the last session in the specific systems you need for that session; It still hasn't absorbed enough of the Training Effect from the first session to overcome the fatigue and get an improved workout.

Remember that:

A bad workout doesn't do much to your workout and is very discouraging.

A week off is a great spot for a 3k or 10k workout, something that's pretty specific but not quite.

while following oneMarathon Training ProgramSo I tend to do a specific workout each week, but I change up the type so direct comparisons aren't that easy and the exact fatigue is a little different.

How much rest do I need between intervals?

If you don't learn anything more from this article:

The most important variable of any interval training is rest.

That's what makes the workout more than anything else.

When specifically training for 3K to 10K races, the rest MUST be a jog or run.

Is not written.

Yes, it's tempting sometimes, but:

We tend to adapt very well to standing rest and are able to make big gains in our interval performance while seeing little improvement in our sprint performance.

This is the complete opposite of what we want to see.

I was working with a runner who could run 12 x 400m including 30-45 second rests in a total of 75 seconds.

That's a 15:30 5K pace, but his best 5K took around 18 minutes.

The separation was huge.

How to do "breaks" properly

Specifically for these exercises, the run was at what I would call a slow training pace.

It's not a random run, it's a slow training pace.

This should be your daily recovery pace, but not as fast as your daily training pace.

Sometimes I like to take longer breaks but at an easy pace or even as fast as a marathon, but that's mostly a compromise for younger runners who want to keep their aerobic focus year-round for the best development of athletes. Try to run a faster 5K series that leads to a half marathon goal.


You'll notice that I jumped to 200m breaks after the 400m breaks and kept the breaks at 200m after that.

Here's the deal:

There's a big difference in 5k pace between the 400 and 600, so it's a big jump.

On a 400 rep, only the last 100 yards are really difficult; As for the 600s, the last 300s are pretty hard, so triple.

Compare that to jumping from 600 to 800, going from 300, which is tough, to 500, which is tough.

You can also do a loop where you're say 1km from the start and just cut off the rest.

Start with 5-6 x 1k at target pace with 3 min rest standing at last base and transition to 3 min run rest, 2:30 run rest, taper down to about 1 minute run less and you should be ready to rock and roll.

This is a great option for someone who has decent speed and is pretty happy with their target 5k pace but can't make it to the end.

Your last workout before the race

You'll notice a few days before the finish line that I've switched back to 12 x 400 jogs from the 100s.

I didn't speed up the reps.

My breaks were still 100m, but I managed to run them noticeably faster without really trying.

Now, the fastest few seconds per 100 doesn't seem much different in terms of training pace, but they make a big difference in terms of the aerobic demands of the session.

Consider it:

In my first 12 x 400 session, I averaged a 5:30 mile pace, including recovery runs; During this session I hit an average pace of 5:07!

The goal of this workout is to do a little rhythm practice and focus on getting familiar with the rhythm.

It's not as difficult as the other sessions, which usually end up in the final reps.

In this session towards the end you feel like you are getting to the point where it becomes a workout like you are 3/4 of a hard session or something.

It's not easy, but it's not deadly either.

One more thing:

If you push the rest tempo so hard that it becomes too hard, that's fine.

The volume is low enough and four days earlier it's far enough into your race that it doesn't leave you grounded on race day.

It improves your comfort with speed and prepares your body and mind for the pace you need to find on race day.


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