The path to a sub 15:00 5km

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28/03/2013 at 22:25
Yes tempo running does improve your lactate threshold but it's the pace approximately what you could sustain for an hours racing. That is probably a fair bit quicker than 10k pace +25s. Obviously this is only an educated guess and you would have to go to a lab to find the exact pace. During a 10km you will accumulate a good portion of lactate and so is quicker than tempo pace.
02/04/2013 at 23:01

25th-31st March

Monday- 40 minutes easy

Tuesday- AM 40 minutes easy PM 4xmins @ tempo pace with 90s recovery. Average of 5:20/mile

Wednesday- 45 minutes steady

Thursday- AM 200+600+600+400+600+600+200m PM 50 mins easy

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 8x60s hills

Sunday- 75 minutes steady

Thursdays session was very poor. I think my legs were just a bit beaten up as even the first rep hurt! Saturdays session also didn't go well. Despite having a day off, ended up cutting the session in half. Was feeling better by Sunday. 

03/04/2013 at 09:52

started my 5k specific training last night. (race in 7 weeks).  some basic stats are im a v40 and my 5k pb is 15.57 set last yr.

6*800 at target pace off 400m recovery + 200m in 32secs to make up the 5k total effort.  I missed the target pace by on ave a second per rep but i was still feeling tired from a recent half marathon PB and was windy on the track (enough excuses!) plus it was the first session. In truth the recovery will be only 200m later in the training for this but im just trying to get consistancy on hitting race pace.

thursday will be 12*400m at race pace off 60sec rec + 200m in 34 secs 

10/04/2013 at 12:28

1st-7th April

Monday- 40 minutes steady

Tuesday- AM 40 minutes easy PM 2x(5mins@good pace + 5mins@tempo) with 3 mins recovery

Wednesday- 45 minutes steady

Thursday- 8 miles easy with club

Friday- Travelled to Madrid

Saturday- 40 minutes easy

Sunday- Madrid Half Marathon 71:13 (10km in 33:20)

An easy week in preparation for my first half marathon. Pretty pleased with how the race went. I won my age group and was 31st overall. Course was quite hilly and legs were pretty tired still from walking, travelling and sight seeing. I feel that on a flatter local course I could run a fair bit faster. Maybe I will do Cardiff half in September? Legs were quite beaten up afterwards. If I was purely concentrating on racing half marathons I would increase the length of my long run to 90 minutes.

They sound like well structured sessions Dean. I would definitely agree with shortening the recover to 200m. I tend to favour short recoveries most of the time as it better simulates the race environment. Maybe you could also include some sessions which work at running at 1500/3k pace too. I personally think this helps by making 5k pace seem more comfortable. And sorry for the late reply!

10/04/2013 at 14:23

nash - a strong HM race there!  a team mate of mine just finished ahead of you in madrid with a time of 70.53.  he normally runs 5ks and he agreed it wasnt a fast course and was hilly. 

my plan is to have longer recoveries and get used to the race pace and bring down the recoveries over the weeks. last night was 5*1k off 600 jog recovery.  beat target pace by a second or 2 each rep and was controlled running (not tongue out and struggling)  so found these reps easier than last week. a good sign.  

16*200m in 1500m pace tomorrow as i have a race on saturday

10/04/2013 at 17:41

Sounds sensible to me! Sebastian Duffy? I'm pretty sure I was running with him for the first 10k. Small world! 

14/04/2013 at 18:02

8th-14th April

Monday- 35 minutes easy

Tuesday- Rest (Travelled back from Mardid overnight)

Wednesday- 45 minutes steady

Thursday- AM 12x60s (45s hill+15s flat) PM easy/steady run with club

Friday- Supposedly rest but 3hrs MTB!

Saturday- XC fartlek session + 12x25 metre strides

Sunday- 75mins steady

A bit of a recover week. The half marathon last Sunday took quite a bit out of me and I felt tired all week. 45miles total.

21/04/2013 at 16:54

15th-21st April

Monday- AM Gym PM 45 minutes with 20 minutes at a good pace

Tuesday- AM 40 minutes easy PM 6x1km on grass with 80s jog. average 3:14/km

Wednesday- AM Gym PM 45 minutes steady (5:55/mile)

Thursday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:34/mile) PM 2x4x120m on the track

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 3000m race. 8:50 but fell apart over the final km. First 2km at 2:50/km (8:30 3km) pace with last km in 3:10

Sunday- 75 minutes steady (6:14/mile)

A total of 55 miles for the week but with a large proportion at high intensity. The 3km race gave me quite a lot of confidence for the British University champs in 2 weeks (where I will run the 5km), as although not quite a pb (2s off) I believe with better pacing I could have run around 8:40. As well as the race Tuesday's session was of good quality under not the fastest of conditions.

22/04/2013 at 10:24

some good work going on there Nash.

i had the national road relays a week last saturday and ave 5.24 pace over 5m+ in difficult conditions and undulating course.  so the remainder of my week away from the track was easy running.  

Tuesday did 3*1mile reps @ target 5k race pace in monster wind.  Hit the target each rep but did take long long recoveries.   my concentration was hitting the pace consistantly so took long recoveries to achieve that in very difficult conditions.

thursday was 16*200 @ 1500 pace with 200 jog recovery. as i had a 3000m race on the sunday i eased off the number of reps.

sunday 3000m race, i treated it as a pace session to hit my target 5k pace but over a shorter distance.  Meant as a temperature check to see how the training is coming along.  also the competition was 40 secs slower i ran solo as a time trial really.  splits were 3.02, 3.05, 3.04 for a 9.11.  Havent run a 3k for over 20years so happy with the consistency of splits plus i finished with lots in the tank so i know i could go faster over 3k if i raced it plus a feel good factor that i had some more for the 5k in may.

Good luck with the uni champs.

22/04/2013 at 13:54

Getting some quality sessions in there! I decided to race the 3km to get used to racing on the track again before British Universities. It's a bit different to racing a half marathon! Your splits were much more consitent than mine! Let's hope you can keep at that pace for another 2km.

28/04/2013 at 16:05

22nd-28th April

Monday- AM Gym PM 40 minutes easy (6:26/m)

Tuesday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:45/m) PM 3x(6minutes good + 6 minutes tempo) with 4 minutes recover. 5:35 and 5:15-20 pace on grass

Wednesday- AM Gym PM 45 minutes steady (5:59/m)

Thursday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:48/mile) PM 3x2x300m in 44-47s

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 2x4x400m with 45s and 5 minutes recovery. 66, 68, 68, 69, 68, 71, 73, 73. Wind really picked up as session went on.

Sunday- 60 minutes steady (6:10/m)

A good week of training with lots of faster stuff. Still managed 58 miles and I'm recovering well. The reduced long run on Sunday is the start of my taper for the 5000m at the British Universities this Saturday. 

07/05/2013 at 13:29

29th-5th May

Monday- AM 30 minutes easy PM 2x(5minutes Good + 5 minutes Tempo pace) with 3 minutes recovery. 5:28 and 5:22 average pace

Tuesday- 40 minutes easy 6:48/m 

Wednesday- 45 minutes steady 5:54/m

Thursday- Rest

Friday- 40 minutes easy 6:33 mile

Saturday- BUCS 5000m 15:12 missing out on the final by 0.4 seconds!

Sunday- 70 minutes easy 6:25/m

Pleased with my 5km. A good pace with negative splits. However got tripped at half way and had to make a bit of an effort to regain the leading group. My lack of speed cost me a place in the final as I was still in contention with 400m to go. I ended on a 70s lap which for me is quite good, but just wasn't enough. Considering it's only the very begining of May, I am confident that by the end of the season (if I can find a good race), I will break the big 15:00!! 47 miles for the week

07/05/2013 at 14:15

Well done Nash. I had a look and you missed the final by the smallest margin. But I did notice you were the fastest under 20. And if you tripped it would suggest that sub 15 is on the cards for your next race.

As for speed, you need to train those fast twitch muscles. Explosive power is what you want. Which means Olympic weight lifting and plyometrics. Seb Coe used to do lifting, He mentioned he could lift double his 55kg body weight, I assume he meant clean lift to the shoulders. I'm sure you can find coaches who can tell you more than me, not that you seem to need my advise. Pretty good for a 19 year old. Enjoying reading your progress.

07/05/2013 at 15:58

Thanks Seth. 0.4s off making the final! The focus is now shifting more to speed with the track sessions. I defintly notice the difference with going to the gym twice a week, but it's still something that needs some progression.

07/05/2013 at 19:39

Here's a quality book which gives you some idea what to do, it also gives the argument against this type of lifting, I think getting a proper Olympic lifting qualified coach would be the best thing if you think you'd benefit from it.


07/05/2013 at 23:48

nash - bad luck in missing out on the final but a good race early in the season, im sure you will find that last 15 secs or so by the end of the summer.  when you say you were tripped did you fall or was it a stumble?

my training was going perfectly, i was hitting all sessions at target pace but last monday i felt my groin and ended up limping most of the week.  i completely rested it and hope with some easy mileage upto my target race on the 17th may i can still post a PB.

08/05/2013 at 09:34

Thanks Dean. No I did a proper head over heels roll as everyone else hurdled me! You wont loose any fitness in a week. I barely did anything in the run up to BUCS compared to normal. The hard bit is resisting the temptation to rest it and then go straight back into hard training. Good luck!


12/05/2013 at 12:35

6th-12th May

Monday- 45 minutes easy

Tuesday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:40/m) PM 6x5mins tempo with 90s recovery on grass (5:22/m) + 6x100m hills. 

Wednesday- AM gym PM 45 minutes steady (6:10/m)

Thursday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:47/m) PM 8x120m. 

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 1000m, 3 minutes recovery, 6x400m with 45s recovery, 3 minutes recovery, 1000m. 2:52, 68.2, 68.7, 68.8, 70.0, 70.6, 71.4, 3:06.

Sunday- 75 minutes steady (6:00/m)

A 60 mile week. Tuesday's session was tough but went well with all reps being pretty even paced. I was going to do more on Thursday's PM session but my right calf was quite sore and didn't want to make it worse. Another good quality session on Saturday. The aim was to run everything at 68s/400m pace, which I think I would have achieved if conditions were better. The track was wet and there was a horrible wind along the home straight. The long run also went well and felt very incontrol. 

19/05/2013 at 21:11

13th-19th May

Monday- AM Gym PM 30 minutes steady + 18x25m strides + 15 minutes steady

Tuesday- AM 3x(5minutes Good + 8 minutes Tempo) with 3 minutes recovery. Tempo efforts @ 5:22/mile PM 45 minutes easy including 10x200m strides

Wednesday- AM Gym PM 45 minutes steady (6:05/m)

Thursday- AM 40 minutes easy (6:35/m) PM 2x3x500m with 45s and 5 minutes recovery. 82, 85, 86, 88, 87, 88s

Friday- Rest

Saturday- 4x(600m, 100m jog, 200m sprint) with 6 minutes recover. 1:41, 31, 1:40, 31, 1:40, 31, 1:40, 32

Sunday- 50 minutes easy

A 65 mile week, which is one of the biggest I've done. Was feeling really tired for Thursdays session which shows with the worsening times. Tuesdays and Saturdays sessions were of good quality though. Legs were in agony today (Sunday) so just took it really easy as well as cutting it short. 

19/05/2013 at 22:29

Good training Nash. Like the look off the last 2 sat track sessions.  Might have a go at them at some point.  had my 5k race this week and was targeting 15.30 in training but hit a 15.35.  Was disappointed at first as I lost some time in the 2nd km and struggled to pull it back & felt awful the whole way round, but cheered up now as i realise it has me high up on the vets rankings and was a 20+ sec PB.   another race in June but on a course that isn't PB friendly so that PB might be it for a while.

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