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5K training program (Read 188 times)

Gustav1


Fear is a Liar

    Looking for comments/suggestions on my 5k training program. Click on bar graph over my avatar, click on training plans, then click on 5k.

     

    Thanks in advance

    I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

    J-L-C


      You don't give any training history so I'm looking at this as a blank slate.

       

      First few things that popped out:

       

      Not a lot of running and not a lot of variation in running. Are you severely limited with your time? 3 miles a day just isn't very much if your goal is to run a good 5k. Maybe some days you can do 4 miles and some days 5 miles? I'd even split your long run up into 4 miles Sunday and 4 miles Monday. Better to run more often than to do a long run that much longer than the rest of your stuff, imo.

       

      Second, your workouts seem way too hard. Too much volume for the little mileage you're running. One day you have 3k repeats comprising almost 20% of your weekly mileage. Some people don't do long runs that make up that much of their mileage!

       

      Your tempos also seem much too long at this stage.

       

      Third, you have a 30 min tempo three days before your race (I'm assuming this is your target race?). That tempo will not give you any usable fitness for your race and it's so long that it can very well be detrimental. I would limit your tempo effort (hmp to mp) to about 6-8 minutes and then do a couple of shorter 100-300m repeats at 5k pace. This isn't a workout you do for fitness, just a workout you do to keep you primed and ready to go.

       

      I also wouldn't suggest taking a rest day the day before your race. If you have a to miss a day, typically two days out is the recommended time to do that with some easy running the day before the race.

        You don't need a 5k training plan, you just need to run. Run 3-5 miles 6 days a week for the next 4 weeks and then I might think about doing some intervals. Since I'm assuming you don't have a recent race as a guide, see what your easy pace is at the end of the 4 weeks. Say it is 11:00 per mile. I would would then do 800 m (half mile) repeats at about 4:30 per once a week.  Cut back the week before the race. But I'm no expert.

         

        As J-L-C said, really tough to offer advice without knowing more about you and your running history. You might be a 16 yr old 140 lb kid who could do sub 20 in his sleep or you could be middle aged guy who has spent the last 10 yrs doing no exercise. But for any novice runner, just running consistently and easily will do remarkable things for your fitness.

        MJ5


        Chief Unicorn Officer

          What are your goals with respect to the 5K?  I agree with JLC on most of his points--your mileage is a bit low if what you're looking to do is really improve your time (if you just want to finish or maintain right now it's probably fine), your speedwork volume is a bit much compared to your overall weekly mileage (which can be fixed by increasing your easy run days from 3 miles).  I think the biggest fix will be to increase the miles during the week.  Personally, my long run varies between 10-14 miles, depending on how I feel, my everyday easy runs are between 6-8 miles, tempo runs are 20-30 minutes (sometimes broken up, like 2 x 15 minutes with a little rest in between) and speedwork total WORK volume is about 4K-6K (that excludes breaks and warm up and cool down).  This plan has you doing the same volume of tempo and speedwork that I do, but my weekly mileage is between 40-50 miles.  I think you need to adjust that ratio in your plan, like JLC said.

          Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

          Gustav1


          Fear is a Liar

            Some info: 51 yo running off and on for a little over 2 years. Also bike when possible either outside or on the trainer. Peak mileage last year was high 30's with the avg being upper 20's. I personally like to do speed work vs. long runs. I'm comfortable with LR's in the 9-10 mile range. I also like doing 5x1000 and 3x1 mile intervals.

             

            I haven't seen a 5k plan that interested me so I put this one together instead of just running with some speed work thrown in. When I think about or read a plan I look at it as a short term project that may slightly challenge usual running rules. Maybe I am wrong on this point.

             

            So when I put this together I focused on speed work that I enjoy and seems to work for me. The run intervals increase in distance and pace slows towards goal pace as the plan  goes on with the total distance actually run remaining the same. The tempo runs, depending on what the actual definition of "tempo run" is, can actually vary in length and pace - this is kind of an open point in the plan and why I look for input. I also swap intervals and tempos every other week for variation.

             

            Back to the definition of tempo. I have seen variations in length and pace. Length could be the entire mileage of the run or just the faster part not including warmup and cool down. I've seen paces described as anywhere from 10k to marathon. I think Higdon has tempo pace something like a pyramid where it progresses to a point and then slows to the end.

             

            Also my 5k PR is 22:46 , 7:20 pace. Like I said I am looking for input, help, suggestions. If it is best that I just run lots of easy miles with just strides or fartleks thrown  in, than so be it.

             

            Thanks again!

            I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

            Gustav1


            Fear is a Liar

              iPhone duplicate

              I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

              Gustav1


              Fear is a Liar

                iPhone duplicate

                I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

                MJ5


                Chief Unicorn Officer

                  I also love speedwork and hate long runs, but you have to be able to support the speedwork with a solid base in order to stay healthy and get the most from your training.

                   

                  As far as tempo running--I am never really sure when people say "I did a 6 mile tempo" if they include the warm up and cool down, either.  For me, personally, my tempo pace is roughly 5K race pace + 30 seconds per mile--so for me, around 7:05/mile.  I prefer to do my tempo runs in time periods rather than think of them in miles.  I train mostly for 5K's and my tempo runs are between 20-30 minutes of tempo running (not including w/u and c/d).

                  Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

                  J-L-C


                    Some info: 51 yo running off and on for a little over 2 years. Also bike when possible either outside or on the trainer. Peak mileage last year was high 30's with the avg being upper 20's. I personally like to do speed work vs. long runs. I'm comfortable with LR's in the 9-10 mile range. I also like doing 5x1000 and 3x1 mile intervals.

                     

                    I haven't seen a 5k plan that interested me so I put this one together instead of just running with some speed work thrown in. When I think about or read a plan I look at it as a short term project that may slightly challenge usual running rules. Maybe I am wrong on this point.

                     

                    So when I put this together I focused on speed work that I enjoy and seems to work for me. The run intervals increase in distance and pace slows towards goal pace as the plan  goes on with the total distance actually run remaining the same. The tempo runs, depending on what the actual definition of "tempo run" is, can actually vary in length and pace - this is kind of an open point in the plan and why I look for input. I also swap intervals and tempos every other week for variation.

                     

                    Back to the definition of tempo. I have seen variations in length and pace. Length could be the entire mileage of the run or just the faster part not including warmup and cool down. I've seen paces described as anywhere from 10k to marathon. I think Higdon has tempo pace something like a pyramid where it progresses to a point and then slows to the end.

                     

                    Also my 5k PR is 22:46 , 7:20 pace. Like I said I am looking for input, help, suggestions. If it is best that I just run lots of easy miles with just strides or fartleks thrown  in, than so be it.

                     

                    Thanks again!

                     

                    I still think your speedwork is way too hard and fast.

                     

                    To give you an idea, I run 65-75 mpw and have so for the last 5-6 months. My two hardest workouts that I was just able to do were 3x2k (which I didn't quite manage) and 6x1k at 10k pace. 10k pace! I tried 5x1k at 5k pace a few weeks ago and bombed it. Those are HARD workouts.

                     

                    So when I see things like 5x1k at 3k pace, then I just scratch my head. I don't think that's even possible to do, frankly. You also have the rest for that workout at 90s while the rest at your 5k paces is two minutes, which really doesn't make sense.

                     

                    If you like the longer intervals then I'd suggest slowing them down and doing them at 10k-half marathon pace. Not only will that be a great help your 5k, but it's also sustainable, repeatable work that can be done throughout the year. The problem with doing a bunch of 3k-5k work is that your body can only handle a fairly limited amount of it. And the lower your base/overall mileage, generally the smaller amount you can handle over 5-6 weeks time before stagnating or even regressing.

                     

                    I disagree that you should just run easy with some strides. That's not really very time efficient. Workouts can be done but progressing them from easier-harder is generally the better way to do it. Your third week has the hardest, most impossible workout on the schedule.

                     

                    You mention on your workout days that the distance increases and the intervals slow, but how? 5k worth of 3k pace + 4,8k worth of 3k-5k? + 2 workouts of 3x1 miles. Total volume isn't increasing at all. I think you should back down that 3k work to 1-2k and start the 5k work at just 1.-5 to 2 miles. Then you can actually increase and progress over the training plan. Do some 10k pace repeats instead of all the 3k and 5k stuff.

                     

                    I also don't think long runs are that important for what you're trying to do. Like I said, in my opinion it'd be better for you to run 4 miles on Sunday and Monday then 8 on Sunday and nothing on Monday.

                     

                    But anyway, just my take on speedwork. I've learned that no one single workout means a thing. It's the cumulative effect of multiple workouts over long periods of time that really get you where you want to be going. So with that in mind it makes much more sense to slowly build so that the hardest workouts are done when you're in the best shape, right before your peak races. And then you only do them once or twice because they're so hard.

                      I still think your speedwork is way too hard and fast.

                       

                      To give you an idea, I run 65-75 mpw and have so for the last 5-6 months. My two hardest workouts that I was just able to do were 3x2k (which I didn't quite manage) and 6x1k at 10k pace. 10k pace! I tried 5x1k at 5k pace a few weeks ago and bombed it. Those are HARD workouts.

                       

                      So when I see things like 5x1k at 3k pace, then I just scratch my head. I don't think that's even possible to do, frankly. You also have the rest for that workout at 90s while the rest at your 5k paces is two minutes, which really doesn't make sense.

                       

                      If you like the longer intervals then I'd suggest slowing them down and doing them at 10k-half marathon pace. Not only will that be a great help your 5k, but it's also sustainable, repeatable work that can be done throughout the year. The problem with doing a bunch of 3k-5k work is that your body can only handle a fairly limited amount of it. And the lower your base/overall mileage, generally the smaller amount you can handle over 5-6 weeks time before stagnating or even regressing.

                       

                      I disagree that you should just run easy with some strides. That's not really very time efficient. Workouts can be done but progressing them from easier-harder is generally the better way to do it. Your third week has the hardest, most impossible workout on the schedule.

                       

                      You mention on your workout days that the distance increases and the intervals slow, but how? 5k worth of 3k pace + 4,8k worth of 3k-5k? + 2 workouts of 3x1 miles. Total volume isn't increasing at all. I think you should back down that 3k work to 1-2k and start the 5k work at just 1.-5 to 2 miles. Then you can actually increase and progress over the training plan. Do some 10k pace repeats instead of all the 3k and 5k stuff.

                       

                      I also don't think long runs are that important for what you're trying to do. Like I said, in my opinion it'd be better for you to run 4 miles on Sunday and Monday then 8 on Sunday and nothing on Monday.

                       

                      But anyway, just my take on speedwork. I've learned that no one single workout means a thing. It's the cumulative effect of multiple workouts over long periods of time that really get you where you want to be going. So with that in mind it makes much more sense to slowly build so that the hardest workouts are done when you're in the best shape, right before your peak races. And then you only do them once or twice because they're so hard.

                      I wasn't really going to comment at all at this thread but then I saw this.  This is one of the most "thinking" comments I've seen for a while.  Good on you, JLC.  On the other hand, I'm sorry to say, OP's idea is very "somewhat logical-sounding" but totally illogical approach to training.  Unfortunately, at a very low level of fitness, workout like "5 X 1k at 3k race pace" can be done though it would certainly thrash their condition, instead of building up.  And this is the VERY reason why beginners fail to improve.  They think, if the workout nearly kills me, then it must be doing tons of good!!  The truth of the fact is, they are leaving all the good condition on that workout.  Invariably they have nothing left on the race day.  Most people have NO clue what potential they may possess.  They never see a glimpse of it because they never get the training part right.  It's a typical thinking of; oh, you don't need to prepare much for "only" 5k.  All you need is 3-4 miles of easy runs and some race-pace speed work...  Pile up those "speed work" so, right before your race, you do the race-distance worth of race-pace intervals (lift up a baby calf everyday and you'll lift up a full-grown bull...).  Surely, you can "survive" a 5k with such an approach.  But they'll never gonna get near their "potential".  But that's fine.  Most people think "I'm not fast..." and settle for very slow performance because "everybody is a winner".  Aim low and train crappy and you stay there and you can always justify that.  But I can assure you; you can do better.

                      Gustav1


                      Fear is a Liar

                        Thanks for all the input and making some really good points. I'm going to scrap this plan - but don't know exactly what speed work to do. From what I understand here I should decrease both the distance and speed of the intervals - this way I don't "race" thru training and when race day comes I"ll have nothing left. So last night instead of the 6x800 I did 5x400 but when I looked for what the pace should be the McMillan calculator had them at what looked like mile pace. Anyway, I am also going to run more easy miles and split the LR and add it to Monday.

                         

                        I did think that a plan was supposed to be aggressive in speed work - but only because the plan is a few weeks in length that preps you for a race and not something you would do every week of the year. But then again,I guess it can be too aggressive.

                         

                        Basically my goal is to get the best 5K time I can this spring and then base build over the summer.

                        I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!


                        Obligatory runner.

                          Why don't you look at some of the free 5k training programs out there? Hal Higdon has some, as do Runner's World and Running Times. I can't tell you if those programs are "good" or the right programs for you, but it would be a start. Why reinvent the wheel (or, indeed, use original language when a cliché will do...?)

                           

                          You could also check out Running Wizard for a more personalized plan; it gives you paces and mileage goals based on your current fitness.

                            I am a big believer in benefits of a "long run" even for 5K racing. Remember, 90% + of your aerobic fitness determines you 5K fitness. I would not take out this run which contributes more to aerobic improvements and capillary development than any other type of work out.  I think it will not be wise to take that out of the schedule. 9 miles gives you benefits that two 4-5 milers won't. I say run 9 miles and an easy 2-3 the next day.

                            Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                            JML


                              I am a big believer in benefits of a "long run" even for 5K racing. Remember, 90% + of your aerobic fitness determines you 5K fitness. I would not take out this run which contributes more to aerobic improvements and capillary development than any other type of work out.  I think it will not be wise to take that out of the schedule. 9 miles gives you benefits that two 4-5 milers won't. I say run 9 miles and an easy 2-3 the next day.

                               

                              +1 on this.  I am currently training for a 5K using Running Wizard and have been running a 12-16 mile long run every week as the part of the plan.  The aerobic development that I am gaining from this approach is phenomenal.

                               2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

                                Why don't you look at some of the free 5k training programs out there? Hal Higdon has some, as do Runner's World and Running Times. I can't tell you if those programs are "good" or the right programs for you, but it would be a start. Why reinvent the wheel (or, indeed, use original language when a cliché will do...?)

                                 

                                You could also check out Running Wizard for a more personalized plan; it gives you paces and mileage goals based on your current fitness.

                                 

                                +1  on this.  I'm having to learn to trust a plan and stick with it - was too tempted to "screw around with it", and am still learning...If you check out Running Wizard make sure to use the daily health check function.

                                "I can do 440 in 220"    Half Fanatic #846    "90% of running is half mental"    If I collapse, please pause my Garmin

                                 

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