Saturday, July 19, 2008

5k training table

This Blog is for an eight week period of training catered to racing two to four (5k!) miles, ideally over quick courses or track races. I recommend at least 4-6 weeks of easy running beforehand and then a race at Whitaker Woods on Tuesday. Not just because they’re free. Not because of the great terrain. No. You need an effort, to make sense of the pacing which is derived from a race pace effort (real or estimated) at Whitaker Woods. If it is a bad weather day it can be an estimated effort (what you would have done under perfect dry conditions) but be honest. This Blog is for milers who do the trail series and then want to take that great running and get some speed out of it. The fall presents many beautiful training days and perfect racing conditions.

The table is setup so that you can pick a week, or five day period, with two work outs, to be carried out a few days apart, or one larger one depending on time commitment and preference. You can pick A & B or C and racing substitutes, instead of augmenting, one of the work outs for the week. A week with a Friday 5k might have a Tuesday or Monday A work out. I recommend an A (over the B or C) work out between two and three days before an “ok” race and three or four days before an important one.

I suggest flying (running) starts to all your bouts.

I recommend, and science agrees, at least 48hrs between the A&B work outs and races 6k or shorter and at least 72hrs (and more like 5 days if you wanted to do a half marathon) between C work outs or any longer race you may do.

If this is falling on veteran runners, or people who just have a good knack for training theory, you realize that you can do substitutions. Try and look at what is really being emphasized and maintain the general gist of a week or work out. The same idea applies to extending this to a ten or twelve week period or shortening it to three or four. Remember a good Coaching plan has contingency plays all the time.
I can not foresee a turned ankle, friends coming in from out of town, a sick child and all the other setbacks which can happen to a training plan. I would say that for someone running between 4-7 days a week and 25-50 miles and who maintains consistent health and training than this would improve fitness. Is it the best way and to what degree? That depends on the individual. However, these are generally friendly work outs that stick to well developed USATF themes in their nature and periodization.




Peak 5k Training

8to12x400meters (VM) 1min(R)

3to5k(AT) 8to10min(R) 200or400(Gly)

2400to3200meters (AT) 2min(R) 3to5x800(VM) with 2min(R).

Peak 5k Training

3or4x1000(VM) 2min(R)

[Mile(AT) 2x200 (MP)] X 2to4 sets total. 3min(R) in between everything

5or6x1000(VM) with 3min(R)

Peak 5k Training

4or5x800(VM) 2min(R)

20-25min(AT) 8to10(R) 200(Gly)

6to9x800(VM) then one mile(AT) with 2min(R) in between everything

Peak 5k Training

3or4x1000(VM) 3min(R)

6to8x400(MP) 3to6min(R) in between

3000(VM) 12to15min(R) 200or400(Gly)

Peak 5k Racing

4to6 x 800(VM) with 3min(R)


1mile(AT) 2min(R) 5to7x800(VM) with 4min(R)

Peak 5k Racing

6to10 x 400(VM) with 3min(R)

2000(AT) 6to8min (R) 100or200(Gly)

4to5x1000(VM) with 7min(R)

Peak 5k Racing

8to12x200(VM) with 2min(R)


5to7x800(VM) with 5min(R)

Peak 5K Racing

2to3 days easy leading up to this, 2x800(AT) 2x800 (VM) All of this has 5min(R) in between

3to4 days easy


The training, VM, MP and AT are all done within windows of time. The following equations give the faster time for each window.

VM is VO max training and is done within a 4 second window. Take your best Whitaker Woods time and treat it as a real number pr. VM(in total seconds/400meter)=74+(pr-17)*3, so if you run a 20:39, then (20.39-17)*3+74=84to88seconds/400meters or 1:24to1:28 per 400meters.

MP is estimated mile pace. It has a window of three seconds. To get it (seconds/400meters) just take your best Whitaker Woods time, round to the closest whole number pr, and quadruple it. MP(in total seconds/400meters)=pr*4. If you run a 24:43, then it would be 24*4=96to99(second/400meters) or 1:36to1:39 per 400meters.

AT is anaerobic threshold. This has an eight and a half second window. Take your Whitaker Woods time as a real number (22:12=22.12=rn). AT(in total seconds/400)=79+4*(rn-16)

So for 22:12 it is 103.5to112(seconds/400meter) or 1:43.5to1:52 per 400meters.

Gly is Glycolytic training and is the pace you can keep up for 90 seconds. It isn’t a sprint but pretty close. Be honest with your intensity and remember low balling is safer.

R is Rest and can include anything from walking, standing, light stretching or easy running.

From these calculated 400 meter times you can extrapolate windows with acceptable paces for any of these work out distances.

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