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Run a Faster 5K

1. Interval Runs:

Interval runs are used to up the runner’s anaerobic threshold levels, endurance levels and build muscle strength.

One minute intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with one minute of hard running, and one minute of recovery – repeat 8 sets of the same. Relax by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.

Two-minute intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Follow with two minutes of hard but with controlled effort running, and one minute of walking and one minute of jogging for recovery – repeat 6 sets of the same. Cool by running with an easy effort for five minutes followed by a three-minute walk.

1-2-3 Intervals:

Start off with a pre-warm up by walking two to three minutes, warm up with a ten minute run at an easy effort. Then repeat the following steps three times –

One minute of hard running but with controlled effort and one minute of an easy walk or jog for recovery.

Two minutes of hard running and one minute of jogging and one minute of walking for recovery.

Three minutes of hard running and one minute of walking and two minutes of jogging for recovery.

2. Tempo Runs:

Tempo pace is completing a workout at speeds approaching 5K pace and maintaining it for a significant period of time. A tempo race is typically three to seven miles of distance to cover at a pace that is 30 -45 seconds slower than your 5K race pace. This workout is intended to be a hard effort, but not an all-out effort, which means that at no point in time should you be in oxygen-depleted stage whilst at tempo pace.

3. Hill Repeats

Hill repeats are a workout which will improve your efficiency by coaching a proper stride during fatigued legs. The concept is to run up an adequately steep hill for 40 to 60 yards, walk back down to the base of the hill and recover by waiting it out for two to three minutes before going at it again. Once a week, head for a hill repeat, taking in at least eight to ten sets each time.

4. Taper:

Tapering refers to the reduction in your intensity and mileage before your race. In the case of a short race like the 5K, your taper would also require being short.