Training for 5k Race


Authored by Victor Roffel in Exercise
Published on 11-24-2009

The 5k race is one of the most common races that people participate in. Maybe it’s because of its achievable and reasonable distance that causes many people to believe that they themselves can compete in a high level. Whatever the case, training for a 5k race is anything but a walk in the park.

When training for a 5k race, it is important to understand that simply running the distance of the race repeatedly will not help you reach your full potential. Rest, intervals and resistance training are all part of a good runner’s workout regime. The training template below will assume that the race takes place on a Sunday. Take personal differences and individuality into account and make changes accordingly.

  • Monday – easy 400m to 800m w/f faster pace (repeat for 4 cycles)
  • Tuesday – easy 4 mile run, resistance training
  • Wednesday – easy 4 mile run
  • Thursday – easy 400m to 800m w/f faster pace (repeat for 4 cycles)
  • Friday – easy 4 mile run, resistance training
  • Saturday – Rest
  • Sunday – 5k run

400m to 800m

Intervals like this will help improve lactic acid tolerance, speed and aerobic capacity. Start out by jogging at an easy pace for 400m. The athlete follows that with an 800m run using a pace that is faster than what he uses in a 5k race. Repeat for 4 cycles and jog 400m in between them.

Easy 4 mile run

This run is to increase aerobic capacity by running a distance further than a competition 5k run. This also helps give the athlete more confidence and mental edge. Simply run 4 miles with an easy pace. Note that this should not be too easy or too hard. Find a good and steady pace and stick with it.

5k run

The 5k run is a simulation of the race. The athlete should aim for a better time each session. Using the exact same plan and strategy they will use in the race, this acts as practice and a confidence booster.

Resistance training

Resistance training will help to improve strength which is crucial for both endurance and speed. The rep scheme and split is different from how football players train. One training session would be devoted to train the upper body and the other will be a lower body session.

Upper body

  • Db bench – 3×20
  • Db rows – 3×20
  • Push up – 100 total reps
  • Pull-ups – 50 total reps

Lower body

  • Box jumps 4×5
  • Squats – 4×15
  • Bulgarian split squats – 4×12
  • Single leg deadlifts – 4×12

As the athlete is a long distance runner, it is not advisable that he/she eats a lot for fear of being too big to move. Although in most cases it would benefit if these athletes actually eat more. When training this hard, the bulk of your meals should be before and after the workouts. This will ensure proper transference of nutrients to the muscles.

Keep in mind that once the week of the race starts, the athlete should not perform any resistance training to prevent fatigue. Proper rest and recovery methods should be implemented the day before so the athlete is fresh for the race.

Go ahead and use this routine and as long as you practice hard, competing in a high level at a 5k race should be no problem at all.


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