Improving Your 5K


Trying FIRST 3plus2 training (Read 1899 times)


    I have the book, Run Less, Run Faster and I'm going to try the training program to see if it helps my 5k times. It's a 12 wk training cycle with very specific paces that you need to maintain for 3 Key Running Workouts per week; Track Repeats; Tempo, and Long Run. These are all high intensity workouts. As an example, I'm training based on a 19:40 5k time. My workout paces for the program are: Intervals: 400's @ 5:40; 800's @ 5:48; 1200 @ 5:56; 1600 @ 6:04 Tempo: short @ 6:37 Long Tempo: 7:07 (5 to 10 mile runs) These are pretty intense workouts. I'm doing spinning for 2 other days in the week to allow my leg muscles to recover but still get an aerobic workout. This is pretty low weekly mileage, so we'll see how it goes. I'm in the first week of the training cycle and finished the workouts, but I'm putting in a 9 effort to finish them. Has anyone else tried this?

    I've got a fever...

      This sounds a lot like FIRST training to me. My biggest concern with a training program that's all quality runs and rest/ X-training is a) you don't get the overall aerobic development (this doesn't mean just lungs, it also means legs) that you would from higher, easier miles and b) there's a real injury danger running those kind of intervals. I certainly would approach any long race on a low mileage basis, but I think you'll be ok since you''re doing a 5k. When are you hoping to peak? Because 12 weeks puts you at end of Jan/ beginning of Feb -- hardly peak Spring racing season. I could see using a program like this as the final 12 weeks leading up to a big race, but I would be sure to have a really solid base of easy miles before embarking on it. FWIW, I ran a similar 5k to you last year (19:42) and I, too, am hoping to improve on it. My main goal is to be doing 40~50 mpw by the end of the year, and then begin quality work early in 2009.

      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

      Options,Account, Forums

        I have a goal 5K in a week and a half. I've not done any speedwork since the summer (I focused entirely on increasing mileage because I had a mara I was aiming for) -- except some races -- so I may throw in some speedwork between now and then. I might even try the posted/sticky template weekly guide in this forum.

        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


          This sounds a lot like FIRST training to me. .
          Yes, it is. I'm trying the 5k/10k program. There's alot of data and results from people using this for marathon training, but I can't find any results for the shorter distances. As far as races, I'll run a 5k at the end of this training cycle to see how it worked. Of course in Feb the weather could be a major contributing factor to my race time.

          Person of Interest

            Interestingly, several years ago I discovered I was running this type of "plan" without realizing it. Intervals; I'd to mostly 400s, sometimes adding a 400-800-400 set, sometimes running a time based pyramid peaking at 5:40 mpm. I'd do 8 to 12 reps depending on how I felt. Tempo run: 4-6 miles at 6:40mpm. Long(er) run: 1hr progression, finishing at 6mpm, which equated to about 8 to 8.5 miles. You should easily drop at least 30 secs off your 5k time with such a plan. Well that's what I found when I was consistent with the intervals.
            "Only a few more laps to go and then the action will begin, unless this is the action, which it is."
              I just finished training with this kind of plan and did a PB in both HM and marathon I ran this year. Three "quality" runs a week. One long run. One tempo. I didn't do the interval the third day but did tempo or easy depending on how I felt. Most importantly, the other days I did at least three 1 hour workouts, either spinning, cycling or swimming. The x-training workouts were also quality. I found the cross-training key. I was able to push my cardio much more than when I was running alone. Next time around I think I'll add the interval training and try doing a few shorter races. You can find the programs for the different distances on this site:

                I only made it 4 wks into the training before the Holidays, crappy weather and a 4 day power outage severely interupted my training cycle. I'm abandoning the strict pace workouts for now bc the winter weather is so unpredictable it's tough to maintain the schedule, but I am going to start it up again at the beginning of March for 8 wks and see how it works out for some Spring races. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.