If you’re getting comfortable running 5 km and want to up your intensity, this is the training guide for you. Over 8 weeks, you’ll improve your speed, strength and endurance, so you start hitting new personal bests.
Training days explained
Run: This refers to running at a pace that you are comfortable with. The key is that you cover the distance.
Fast run: There is no specific definition for this speed – it just 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 run: Each weekend in this guide includes a long run. Run these at a comfortable pace – don’t think about how fast you’re going, just enjoy getting your legs moving. This is also a good opportunity to try out new courses or even go off road with some trail running.If you are feeling fatigued, take a drink break or slow down to a walk.
Interval training: This is how you improve your speed. Interval training involves bursts of running at an increased pace, followed by a recovery period running at a slower pace. For example, run
400 m hard and fast, and recover by jogging or walking 400 m, then repeat. Before interval training it’s important to warm up by jogging a kilometre or two, stretching, and doing a few sprints of 100 m. Cool down afterwards with a short jog.
Tempo run: 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 minutes faster running, and finishes with 5-10 minutes cooling down.
Rest: Rest and recovery is an essential part of your training. This training guide includes two rest days. The final week before the 5 km race is also a gentler week. Taper your training so you can hit your peak on race day.
Test: Week four includes a 5 km test, which is a timed 5 km run to track your improvement. If you don’t feel ready for this, head out for a solid 5 km run.
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. Try bodyweight exercises like push-ups, chin-ups or dips, or light weights with high reps at your local gym. Tuesdays and Thursdays would be good days to combine strength training with your easy run (optional).
Download the full guide here.