Run your fastest 5K in 10 weeks.

For those of you who have a few years experience under your belt and have maintained a solid base so that 45 minutes a day, 30–40 miles per week is normal, here’s a tried and true training plan that will put you on track to your fastest 5K in just 10 weeks.

Download a PDF version of The Advanced 5K Training Plan

Training Terms Defined

Easy Run
Aim to comfortably cover the distance at a conversational pace. Adding 90-seconds to two minutes per mile to your goal 5K race pace should do the trick.
Strides
This set of six short accelerations should be performed after an easy run and as part of your warmup for key workouts as a way to maintain turnover and improve efficiency. Accelerate for 5 seconds, run at your fastest sustainable speed for 10 seconds, and then decelerate for the final 5 seconds. Take a minute between strides to get your breath back.
Warmups & Cooldowns
Precede each of your key hill workouts, fartlek sessions, tempo runs and track workouts with 15–20 minutes of easy running and a set of 4–6 x 20-second strides to warm up. Follow the workout with 15–20 minutes of easy running to cool down.
Hills
These sessions will build strength and stamina without tearing your legs apart. Find a moderate incline that forces you to get up on your toes. A 4–6% grade on a treadmill will suffice, too. Walk or jog down the hill between repeats for recovery.
X-Training
Alternative aerobic exercise in the form of cycling, water running, swimming or the elliptical machine. These are scheduled before or after your key workouts for the week and cross training for 30 to 60 minutes on your non-running days is a good way to get in extra volume without beating up your body.
Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Long Run: 60:00 Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Hill Workout: 10 x 1:00 @ 5K effort w/jog down recovery Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 45:00 + strides Tempo Run Run: 20:00 @ goal 5K pace + 30 seconds/mile Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
2 Long Run: 65:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Fartlek: 5-6 x 3:00 @ goal 5K pace w/2:00 recovery Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 50:00 + strides Progression Run + Hill Repeats: 50:00 (First 30:00 easy, next 15:00 steady, last 5:00 @ goal 5K pace); 4 x 30-second hill repeats @ 5K effort afterward Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
3 Easy Run: 45:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Track Workout: 10 x 400m @ goal 5K pace – 5 seconds per mile w/200m jog recovery Easy Run: 35:00 Easy Run: 35:00 + strides Hill Workout: 3 x 2:00-1:00-30 second hill repeats w/jog down recovery. Start at 5K effort and increase progressively Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
4 Long Run: 70:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Tempo Run: 4 miles @ goal 5K pace + 15-20 seconds/mile Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 45:00 + strides Track Workout: 8 x 200m @ 3K pace w/200m jog recovery Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
5 5K RACE Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Easy Run: 60:00 + strides Easy Run: 45:00 Track Workout: 4-5 x 1 mile @ 5K race pace w/1:00 recoveries Easy Run: 50:00 Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
6 Long Progression Run: 75:00 + strides (First 50 minutes easy, last 25:00 @ marathon/half marathon pace [5K pace + ~40 sec/mile]) Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Hill Repeats: 12 x 30-seconds @ 3K effort (5K pace – 15 seconds/mile) w/jog down recoveries Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 50:00 + strides Track Workout: 4 x 1,200m @ 5K pace – 5 seconds/mile with 2:00 recoveries Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
7 Long Run: 75:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Tempo Run: 6 miles @ 5K pace + 30 seconds/mile Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 45:00 + strides 10 x 300m @ 3K pace w/100m jog recoveries Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
8 Long Run: 60:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Hill Repeats: 3 x 2:00 @ 5K effort; 4 x 1:00 @ 5K effort; 4 x 30 seconds @ 3K effort. Recovery: jog down the hill after each repeat. Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 35:00 + strides Track Workout: 1 mile @ 5K pace; 2 x 800m @ 5K pace – 10 sec/mile; 4 x 400m @ 3K pace (Recovery: half the distance of the preceding interval.) Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
9 Long Run: 80:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Intervals: 2 x 1.5 miles w/3:00 recovery between intervals. First 1.5-mi interval at 5K pace (no faster!), second at 5K pace – 5-10 sec/mile. Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 45:00 + strides Track Workout: 6 x 800m @ 3K pace w/2:00 jog recovery between intervals Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
10 Long Run: 60:00 + strides Easy Run (30:00) or X-Training (45:00) Tempo Run + Fartlek: 10:00 @ 5K pace + 30 sec/mile, 3:00 recovery, 6 x 30 seconds @ 3K effort w/90 sec recoveries Easy Run: 45:00 Easy Run: 30:00 + strides Track Workout: 6 x 200m @ 3K pace w/200m jog recovery between intervals Easy Run: (30:00) or X-Training (45:00)
5K RACE!

Plan originally published Jun 29, 2011