How to Improve Your 5km Time*

Tuesday, 14 May 2019, By Alex Allegrini

How to Improve your 5km Time

 

  • A good honest test.

Get outside and have a good honest crack at 5km on a similar course as your eventual goal track. A lot of the training will be focussed on your desired Race Pace and we need a good metric of where you're starting.

 

  • Set a goal and Race Pace

I would recommend a 10-20% improvement on your test 5km. If your test 5km was 30mins, a goal time of 25-27mins is very realistic.

In order to find your race pace, divide your goal race time by 5. Therefore, a 25min goal would equate to 5min/km Race Pace. This is important as it builds the basis for many of your training sessions. A good website that helps calculate your Race Pace is https://www.mcmillanrunning.com/

 

  • Weights Weights Weights

2 x week there needs to be some leg dominant resistance training. A weights session that has 2-3 leg exercises, especially unilateral (1 leg at a time - this mimics the required movement in running). It also makes sense to increase the repetitions - somewhere in the range of 15-50 per set! Some examples of exercises are:

Dumbbell Step Up

Static/Walking Lunges

Single Leg Deadlift

Deadlift

Squats

Glute Bridge

 

  • Hills

Hills are a great way to stimulate your muscle mass to grow and change. They need to be loaded up in a short amount of time to tear muscle fibres - similar to Weights training. Do this 1 x week.

Do an easy run of 3-4km then add the below on at the end:

3 x 10 seconds HARD hills (out of breath, couldn't go any longer) with a 60 second rest in between each effort. Gradually build this up to 10 x 10 seconds with a 60 second rest in between each effort.

 

  • Tempo

Build your endurance by running 5-8km 1 x week at a pace that is 30 seconds slower than Race Pace. We need your body to be totally comfortable with the distance. Use this to also practice any nutrition (before, during or after).

 

  • Intervals

Maybe the most important session of the week. This is 1/week and a good hard honest session.

 

Weeks 1-3: 400m @ Race Pace with 200m rest (slow jog or walk) x 12

Weeks 4-6: 600m @ Race Pace with 400m rest (slow jog or walk) x 8

Weeks 7-9: 800m @ Race Pace with 400m rest (slow jog or walk) x 6

Week 10: 1000m @ Race Pace with 400m rest (slow jog or walk) x 5

 

  • Eat!

The point of this short, hard, intense training is to rip and tear muscle fibres and stress your cardio system. This means that you'll actually be weaker after each session and in order to repair and grow, you'll need to be eating an adequate amount of protein and calories overall. The macronutrients in your program should be adequate, but it will be detrimental to under (or over!) eat.

 

An example Training Plan

Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

1

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 5km

2

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 5km

3

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 6km

4

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 6km

5

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 7km

6

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 7km

7

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 8km

8

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 8km

9

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Xtrain or Rest

Tempo 7km

10

Weights

Intervals

Rest Day

Hills

Weights

Rest Day

Race Day

 

Improving your 5km time has a multitude of benefits and following this plan is sure to help you get faster. Good luck!

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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