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Training

An Excerpt from Coach Brad Hudson’s Little Black Book

Coach Brad Hudson shares some of his key workouts for 5,000m training.

When starting this book, I asked myself, “What’s the book I’d want as a new coach?” This is it.

Coach Hudson’s Little Black Book is not a training book; it’s a collection of workouts compiled over years of working with athletes of varying ability levels with information on the how and the why of each training session.

This book—which will be limited to 200 copies—is perfect for any serious coach, or self-coached athlete (especially for elites or sub-elites, but also for dedicated age-groupers), and at 5.5 x 8.5 inches, it easily fits in your track bag or big pocket. And there’s plenty of room for personalized notes within the margins.

What follows is an excerpt from the 5,000m chapter of the book, including a listing of the workouts you’ll find in this section along with examples of late-race prep workouts that can be done in the latter stages of a training cycle.

RELATED: Last Lap with Brad Hudson, The Marathon Whisperer 

5,000m Workouts

“One thing about racing is that it hurts. You better accept that from the beginning or you’re not going anywhere.” — Bob Kennedy

Workouts in this Section:

— 400m Repeats
— Bread and Butter
— Mechanical Speed
— Pace-Changers
— Cut-Down Ladders
— Race Spec + Fast Quarters
— Spec with Maximal Hills
— The Bill Dellinger
– Broken Race Simulators
— Gear Changers
— Late Race Prep
— Pre-Race

To me, the 5,000m should be the most exciting event in T&F. To be a great 5,000m runner, you not only have to have tremendous speed and tremendous endurance, but also a tremendous psychological capacity to feel pain. A lot of my Oregon coaches used to talk about callusing. That’s what I think about the 5,000m. You have to be able to run close to race pace in workouts, time after time after time, so you can have the endurance that you can maintain for your race.

So not only is the 5,000m is an event where you need great speed, great running economy, and great fatigue resistance, but you need the ability to keep that mental strength throughout the 12.5 laps on race day, and throughout the many, many more laps beforehand.

Let’s take a look at examples of late-race prep workouts:

— 3 x 2,000m, 3-4min recovery
— 2 x mile, 8 minutes recovery. First at race pace, second time-trial
— 3 x 2,000m alternating laps, 6 minutes recovery
— 3 x 1,600m alternating laps, 5 minutes recovery

• All to be done late in the season when already very fit and ready for goal races.
• 3×2,000m at RP can be race replacement; it’s very hard to run 6K at ~goal 5K pace.
• Alternating workouts are great for tactical prep especially ahead of championships.
• Start on fast lap; pace is ~3K and float is ~10K/threshold pace.
• Dathan Ritzenhein did middle two prior to 3rd at 5,000m at 2006 USA Champs.
• He hit 61-64 for the fast and 70-72 for the float in that 2,000m workout.
• For the 2 x 1-mile workout he hit 4:08 then 4:01.
• Idea is to put in some fatigue with a mile at 5,000m pace before going all-out.
• Goal was to get ready to push from a mile out, which is roughly what happened.
• 2 x mile workout can also work as a replacement for a 1,500m tune-up race.