If you are currently running 5k comfortably and would like to transition your run fitness to the next level or improve your speed have a look at the following basic program.
Each week will consist of 3 weekly key runs. Each of these runs has a specific purpose. If time and energy permit, feel free to add another optional, short, easy-paced recovery run to your week. Run a tempo effort. This involves a 10 – 12 minute slow warm-up followed by a harder, even, continuous effort of 18 – 25 minutes. I suggest starting with 18 minutes the first week and adding a minute per week until you reach 25 minutes. The tempo segment should feel slightly “less comfortable” than your regular easy paced run, but not so difficult that you can’t speak in short sentences. Find that effort that challenges you and allows you to stay with the pace. Allow your breath to quicken and heart rate to elevate, but stay in control.
The second key run mid-week is an interval/speed session OR hill repeats.
Interval/Speed: warm-up 10 -12 minutes easy then speed up to a pace quicker than the tempo effort for one minute followed by a minute of walking or light running to recover. Repeat this two or three times. Cool-down easy. In the following weeks try adding one speed burst per session. As you feel more successful with this workout, try increasing the intensity (speed) of each interval.
Hill Repeats: warm-up 10 – 12 minutes easy then run steadily up a hill (3 – 6% grade) for a maximum of two minutes. Recover by running back down slowly. Repeat this process three or four times the first week. Add one repeat per week to a maximum of eight hills.
Try 4 – 8 weeks of hills followed by 4 -8 weeks of speed or mix and match to keep it interesting and challenging.
The third effort should be a nice easy-paced longer effort that I recommend for the weekend. Start slow. Take your longest effort to date and complete this duration at a comfortable steady pace. Each week add 10% to the duration of this base run. Be able to speak comfortably.
Things To Remember:
Key workouts are done once per week on non-consecutive days
Stretch thoroughly after each run
Hydrate and fuel your body with care and consistency
Incorporate resistance training into your weekly routine (2-3X per week)
Good luck and enjoy.
For more information please see Kim Agostino