5 km advanced running guide

This training guide will get you improving your 5 km time in 8 weeks.

For runners who have finished numerous 5 km races and longer events and want to push themselves even further, the 5 km ‘Personal best’ training guide helps you reach your maximum – your personal best (PB).

To achieve your PB you need to improve both your endurance and your speed. The best way to do this is through a combination of running more kms, running faster and by also combining distance and speed.

This training guide incorporates these principles to improve your endurance and speed so that you can run your PB on race day.

Download your 5 km 8-week training guide as a pdf

Training days explained

Run: This refers to running at a pace that you are comfortable with. The key is that you cover the distance.

Run fast: There are six runs in this guide that are defined as ‘run fast’ – there is no specific definition for this other than it needs to be faster than the comfortable pace you regularly run at. Get into the habit of timing your regular runs and your fast runs to ensure you are stepping up the speed a little.

Long runs: Each weekend the guide includes a long run. Run these at a comfortable pace, don’t think about speed or distance, just enjoy getting the kms in your legs. For the Sunday runs, structure it in minutes, not kms, it is also a good opportunity to try out new courses or even go off road with some trail running.

Interval training: To improve speed you need to up your pace. Interval training involves running at an increased pace followed by running recovery at a slower pace. Run 400m hard and recover by jogging and/or walking 400m. Before interval training it is important to warm-up by jogging a km or two, stretching, and doing a few sprints of 100m. Cool down afterwards with a short jog.

Tempo runs: This training technique involves continuous runs with an easy beginning, a build up in the middle, then ease back and cruise to the finish. A typical tempo run begins with 5-10 minutes easy running, continues with 10-15 faster running, and finishes with 5-10 minutes cooling down.

Rest: You can’t train well unless you are adequately rested. The training guide includes up to two rest days and the easy 4.5km runs scheduled for Mondays also help you rest for hard workouts on other days. The final week before the 5km race is a rest week. Taper your training so you can be ready for a peak performance on race day.

Stretch + strengthen: Stretching is key to a strong, supple body and should be done daily. Strength training, particularly for your core muscles, is an important focus of this training guide. Bodyweight-based activities like push-ups, chin-ups or dips are beneficial or light weights with high reps at your local gym. Mondays and Wednesdays would be good days to undertake strength training (optional). 

The training guide is just that, a guide – it is important to make it work for you. If you want to do long runs on Saturday rather than Sunday, simply change the days. Or if you miss a run you can make it up on one of your rest days.

Download the full guide here.

Recommended reading - Tennis guide

Travel

Tennis stadiums worth travelling for

The best travel destinations for tennis lovers.

Read more
Community

Local tennis stars

Meet the everyday heroes who love to get out on the court.

Read more
Community

Tennis for kids

Teach the young ones to love the game.

Read more
Advice

Mindfulness in tennis

Play better by bringing your attention to the present moment.

Read more
Community

Covering the court

What wheelchair tennis legend Daniela Di Toro has learnt throughout her inspiring career.

Read more
Community

Tennis gear guide

Look the part on court this summer with the latest equipment and apparel.

Read more
Community

Bright young star

Winner of Medibank's Healthy Attitude Award, 10-year-old Dan Smith shows real promise on the court.

Read more
Community

How to choose the perfect tennis racquet

Finding the perfect racquet for your style, taste and goals.

Read more
Advice

6 tips for a better serve

Give your serve explosive power with tips from record-holder Sam Groth.

Read more
Advice

6 ways to improve your game

You know your way around the court – here’s how to take your performance up a notch.

Read more
Community

Tennis trivia

Be a tennis know-it-all with these facts.

Read more
Community

6 tennis Twitter accounts

Follow these players and fans and you won’t miss a point.

Read more
Community

5 books for tennis fans

Literature to get you in a tennis state of mind.

Read more
Community

Tennis on film

A look at some of our favourite tennis-themed movies.

Read more
Community

The history of the tennis ball

From wool-wrapped sheep stomachs to the yellow spheres we know today.

Read more
Community

Legends off the court

Tennis stars serving aces in the humanitarian arena.

Read more
Advice

Top tennis stretches

Stay safe and improve your tennis performance with this stretching guide.

Read more
Community

Tennis translated

Talk tennis like a pro with this handy vocab list.

Read more
Community

A day at the tennis: a survival guide

It’s a big day out – so make sure your memories are of the serves, not your sunburn.

Read more
Community

Tennis – not as you know it

An enduring source of inspiration, the popularity of tennis has led to a world of variations.

Read more
Advice

Playing it safe

Enjoy the benefits of tennis while reducing your risk of injury.

Read more
Community

Life on the court

A former pro on friendships forged through tennis.

Read more
Recipes

Ajvar recipe

This traditional Serbian roasted red pepper sauce is a nod to all-court superstar Novak Djokovic.

Read more
Recipes

Draniki potato pancake recipe

These traditional Belarusian savoury pancakes are perfect served with a dollop of sour cream.

Read more
Recipes

Iberian ham, fig and goats cheese pintxos recipe

These tasty Spanish morsels are simple to prepare and offer a crowd-pleasing flavour combo.

Read more
Community

Memphis rub recipe

To honour USA’s Serena Williams efforts on the court, we whip up a traditional American BBQ.

Read more
Community

Food for tennis

Between training, match time and recovery, sustain energy levels with a nutritious diet.

Read more
Community

Playing as a family

Four reasons why tennis can bring the whole family together.

Read more
Community

6 reasons to join a tennis club

Always loved the occasional game? Sign up to a club and make tennis a permanent part of your week.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.