Sample week of 5k training

Many of us have experimented with a number different running schedules while training for a 5k.  In my opinion there is definitely not one schedule that is going to work for everyone and to some extent there are multiple schedules that are going to benefit an individual runners.  The order of workouts can be tinkered with but most runners are going to benefit from running at a variety of efforts throughout the week and particularly hitting certain paces that are related to their goal race.

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If someone were training for a 5k and were nearing their target race they would be best served by hitting as close to goal pace as possible and there are a number of ways to do that and also hit on all their systems but a sample week that will get most runners close to this is below.

Monday: Easy run + strides (distance will vary based on the runner but pace should be comfortable)

Tuesday: Intervals or tempo run (intervals are anywhere from 200 to 1200 at goal race pace, rest should be slighter longer than half the time the repetition took).  A 10 minute warmup and cooldown should be included. Tempo run is 20-40 minutes at a moderately hard pace.

Wednesday: Easy day again

Thursday: Do the opposite of what you did Tuesday

Friday: Easy + hill sprints (3-10 x 6-10 sprints uphill with full recovery between)

Saturday: Race or steady state run (similar to tempo run but more relaxed)

Sunday:  Long run of 90 minutes, give or take

Now, if the Saturday race were a big one I’d push the workouts to Monday and Wednesday for an additional easy day before the race.  There is obviously a lot of things not mentioned here such as stretching, nutrition, cooldown, strength and core work, etc. but a skeleton is in place with the week above.  It is nothing fancy and improving as a runner doesn’t depend on fancy, it is usually built on steady aerobic improvement over a long time coupled with adequate strength building to protect yourself from injury.  Adding time and mileage to your easy days over a long period of time is the way for steady growth.

Thoughts on what has best worked for you would be greatly appreciated in the comments.