Coach Jeff

Written by Coach Jeff


How to Use an Elite 5k Training Plan to Run Your Best 5k Ever


Whether you are looking for a 5k training schedule for your first 5k ever or you are looking for 5k training as an advanced runner, elite runner training logs are always insightful into what you need to follow in your running training plan to get ready for your next race.

Elite runners are the best our sport has to offer after all.

In todays edition of a look into elite runners training, I’m doing something a little different.

Rather then look at a couple of weeks of an elite runner training schedule, I have pulled out a progressive set of specific 5k training workouts that take place over 8 weeks of training.


If you want to race your best, you need to do workouts that work together in a sensible progression to build your goal race.

How to Use an Elite 5k Training Plan to Run Your Best 5k Ever

Why you should NOT try to get faster every run (or even every week)

Often we do a workout, repeat it, and then we try to run it faster.

I understand this temptation—and it has its place—BUT it is not how you build a race.

Here’s what you do instead:

The idea is to run your goal race pace and steadily increase the length of time that you are running at race pace while reducing the rest.

The idea is to reduce the difference between what you can already do.


Each person is different, but experience has shown me that I need only to be able to complete a session of 6×800 with a quick 200 jog rest, and I’m ready to run that pace in a competitive track 5k.


For most people I have found 5x1k with the same 200 rest is a better predictor of 5k performance.

I have worked with some athletes who are able to get near race-like efforts out of themselves in workouts who need to do 3×1600/mile at race pace with a 200 quick jog rest to be sure they will hit the time on race day, but these individuals are very rare.

What Does an Elite 5k Training Plan Look Like?

First, some background:

These workouts were done as the main, or most important session each week, but they were not the only workouts I was doing at the time.

Most weeks there would be a lighter tempo session and an under distance race (i.e., shorter then 5k).

On the weeks where the Tuesday session wasn’t 5k–specific, I would do a session of faster than race pace intervals.

This specific phase was the last cycle of a full training that started with a long base and fundamental phase during which I focused on my aerobic and muscular fitness and did only a small bit of training at 3k to 5k pace and almost no anaerobic work.

Instead the focus was high mileage, a lot of tempos, and a lot of short, explosive muscular work, like short hills, strides, diagonals, and the like.

Normally I caution you not to copy these sessions directly, but this week is an exception to that rule.

Here’s the deal:

This can be a 5k training plan for an intermediate runner as well as advanced runners as long as you adjust the paces to fit your current fitness.

Knowing what pace is achievable yet aggressive enough is a bit of an art and a science—and that can often be a big part of where a coach comes in—but the workouts themselves are very solid and doable for most runners.

Elite Runner Training Schedule

Tuesday December 29, 2010

3.5 miles warm up (23:58) + Strides

 11 x 400m, 1 x 600m (100m jog rest)

67, 67, 68, 67, 67, 66, 67, 67, 66, 67, 68, 1:40

6100m total (5000m of hard workout)

3.5 miles cool down

11 miles total

Tuesday January 12, 2011

At Tufts indoor track

3 mile warm up + strides,

8 x 600m at goal 5k pace (sub 1:42) with 200m jog rest

1:39, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:41, 1:40

6200m including rest (5:23 mile pace)

3 mile cool down

10.5 miles total

Tuesday January 19, 2011

At Tufts indoor track

3 miles warm up + strides

6 x 800m at 5k pace with 200m jog rest

2:15, 2:14, 2:14, 2:13, 2:15, 2:15

5800m total (5000m hard)

200m hard in 29.5

3 mile cool down

10 miles total

Tuesday January 26, 2011 PM

At Reggie Lewis Center

23:57 warm up + strides,

12 x 400m and 1 x 200m with 100m jog rest

1:07, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:06, 1:07, 1:08, 1:06, 32.4

6200m total (5000m of work)

3 miles cool down

11 miles total

Saturday January 30, 2011

3 miles warm up

Race BU terrier 5000m, 4th place 13:56.74- PB

Splits 67.38,

800m- 2:12.84

1600m- 4:26.44



4k- 11:10.84

Last 800m-2:11.35

Last 400m-63.98

6 mile cool down

12 miles total

How Can I Use Elite Runner Training Plans to Help Me Run a Faster 5k?

Learn your 5k race pace

I don’t care what your goal race is.

One thing I think is key to properly preparing yourself for your best performance at that distance is to do so much running at your goal pace that it becomes ingrained in your head.

If you are not sure what your race pace is, you can work it out here.

Early on in the base phase it should be done in small doses, with lots of rest, and with a focus on feeling relaxed at the pace and being as smooth and efficient as possible at that speed and rhythm.

As you get closer to the specific phase, you should mix in some sessions where you run the pace when you are very tired, such as a fast last 400m or a tempo run, or a couple of reps at the end of a long run.

Here’s why:

This will teach your body that it can run that pace even when it feels like crap.

As you enter into the specific phase, you want to get your body used to the muscular demands of running the full volume of the race at your goal pace.

You can’t go out and run a 5k at goal pace right away by yourself.

If you could, then it wouldn’t be goal pace. So you need to put some rest in.

Whatever rest you need is fine; this is your starting point.

Workouts to get you ready to race a fast 5k

If you want to get ready for a race, you need to get ready for the demands that race is going to put on you.

When I was in high school I really wanted to break nine minutes in the two mile.

Keep in mind:

I was a long way from the type of runner capable of accomplishing such a feat, but that didn’t change the fact that my goal was to break nine minutes.

Over the course of the spring of my Senior year, I repeatedly did a workout of 8 x 400m with either a 400 jog rest or a two minute standing rest.

At the end of the winter season in which I had run a two mile best of 9:57, I could average just about 68 seconds for this workout.

By the end of the spring I ran this 8 x 400 session at an average of 60.0.

A massive session considering my middling 400m pb of 58 seconds.

But, get this:

I only ran 9:47 for two miles.

I improved for sure, but only by a bit over one second a lap while I improved 8 seconds a lap in my workout.

What happened?

I trained myself to run a great 8 x 400 workout instead of running a great two mile race.

I’m not saying if I had started reducing the rest on my 8 x 400 at 68 instead that I would have run 9:00 to 9:10 by the end of the season.

Again, there was a big gap there, but I think 9:20s was possible.

See how you can apply this same theory to your training?

In this cycle of workouts, I started with 400s at goal 5k pace with 100 jog. I did a 600 for the last rep on this one, but sometimes I will do all 400s and another 100 jog followed by a 200 hard, kicking in to simulate finishing my race, but I was feeling strong on this day and finished with a 600.


Some runners like to do a bit more then the full race distance, to make your workout volume 6k instead of 5k.

I’m totally okay with that, but my body has trouble handling track work so I stick to the minimum for myself.

If you start with this session and you can’t do it with 100 rests and have to mix in a few 200 or a 400 or whatever, that is fine.

The point is to cover the volume of work at the set pace.

The rest is what it is; this is your starting point.

How to progress the Workout

You have done your first session.

You know where you are, and now you need to start getting to where you want to be.

This is important:

You should not go back to another specific session for at least a week.

Ideally I like 12 to 14 days so you can fully absorb the last session.

Even on one week if you try a similar workout, you often do poorly because you are still tired in the specific systems that you need for that session from the last session; you haven’t absorbed enough of the training effect from the first session yet to overcome that fatigue and produce an improved workout.

Remember this:

A poorer workout doesn’t do much for your training and is very disheartening.

A week out is a great place for a 3k or 10k workout, something close to specific but not quite there.

While I follow a marathon training schedule, I often do a specific workout each week, but I change the type so that direct comparisons aren’t as easy and the exact fatigue is a bit different.

How much rest do I need between intervals?

If you learn nothing else from this article:

The single most important variable of any interval workout is the rest.

This is what defines the workout more then any other thing.

On a specific workout for 3k to 10k racing, the rest MUST be jogging or running.

Not standing.

Yes, it is tempting sometimes, but:

We tend to adapt to standing rest way too well and become able to make great gains in our interval performance while seeing little gain in our race performance.

This is the complete opposite of what we want to see.

I worked with a runner who could do 12 x 400m including 30-45 second standing rests in 75 seconds total.

That is a 15:30 5k pace but her best 5k was right around 18 minutes.

The disconnect was huge.

How to complete the “rests” correctly

For these workouts specifically, the jog was at what I would call a slow training pace.

Not a shuffle jog but a slow training pace.

This should be your recovery day pace but not as fast as your steady day training pace.

At times, I like to do longer rests but run them at a light tempo pace or even as fast as marathon pace, but that is mostly a compromise for younger runners who I want to keep aerobically focused year round for the best long term development for athletes trying to run a series of faster 5ks leading up to a goal half marathon.


You’ll notice I did jump up to 200m rests after the 400s, then kept the rests at 200 after that.

Here’s the deal:

There is a huge difference at 5k pace between 400s and 600s so that is a very big jump.

In a 400 rep only the last 100m or so is really tough; in the 600 the last 300 is pretty tough—that is three times as long.

Compare this to jumping up from 600 to 800, where you go from 300 being tough to 500 being tough.

You can also do a cycle where you do, say, 1ks all the way from the start and simply reduce the rest.

Start with 5-6 x 1k at goal pace with 3 minutess standing rest in the late base and the go to 3 minute jog rest, 2:30 jog rest, working down to a one-minute jog rest or a bit less, and you should be ready to rock and roll.

This is a great option for someone who has a decent amount of speed and finds they are pretty comfortable at their 5k goal pace but they just can’t seem to hold it to the finish.

Your final workout before the race

You’ll notice a few days before the goal race I went back to the 12 x 400 with the 100 jog.

I didn’t run the reps any faster.

My rests were still 100m, but I was able, without really trying, to run them at a noticeably quicker pace.

Now the couple of seconds quicker per 100 didn’t feel all that much different in terms of the rhythm of the workout, but it makes a huge difference in terms of the aerobic requirements of the session.

Consider this:

In my first 12 x 400 session I averaged 5:30 mile pace with the recovery jogs included; during this session, I averaged 5:07 pace!

The focus of this workout is a little pace rehearsal and to focus on staying comfortable at pace.

It isn’t nearly as hard as the other sessions, which often are all out by the last couple of reps.

This session you tend to feel at the end like you’re just getting to the point where it is becoming a workout, as though you are 3/4 of the way through a hard session or something like that.

It isn’t easy, but it isn’t a killer either

One more thing:

If you push the rest pace so much that it becomes very hard that is okay.

The volume is low enough, and at four days out, it is far enough from your race that it shouldn’t leave you flat for race day.

What it does do is put a nice little polish on your comfort at speed and prime your body and mind for the rhythm you need to find on race day.

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6 Race specific workouts that will help up you crush your next race

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30 Responses on “How to Use an Elite 5k Training Plan to Run Your Best 5k Ever

  1. I realize there’s probably no hard and fast rule, but how *CAN* I gauge if a target pace is pie-in-the-sky? I only started running at the beginning of last year. I ran a 24 minute local 5K back in February, but then started building up my mileage to prep for a fall marathon and haven’t really raced anything short. My best recent PR was a 1:47 half marathon a few months ago. I would LOVE to be able to run a 5K in under 20 minutes. Is that even possible? I did a set of 7x 400m at the track yesterday, and tried your “hammer” method. I averaged a 6:10-6:25 pace, with one of my hammer intervals at a 5:56. I did 200m walking rests. Is there a formula to figure out from a track workout or a recent PR to see what’s even feasible to hope for? THANK YOU!

  2. Sam- GREAT QUESTION! I’m sure a whole article or more could be written on trying to set a good solid goal pace for yourself. One that is both achievable but also hard enough that you get the most out of yourself. With more experienced runners I am a big fan of using a current race fitness test and a look at how their workouts have been going to assess a goal time. This is of course a very individual process. With new runners it is much harder because they tend to be improving so fast as they wake up all these systems in their bodies that have just lay dormant previously and they tend to improve in leaps and bounds.
    With all runners it is important to pay attention to how the workouts are progression and make changes and adjustments to goals based on that feedback, but this is very much more key for new runners who may make huge jumps in fitness in the short couple months during which they are doing specific workouts.
    Now all that said. I start with the 12×400 with 100m rest. I pick a likely time range and see if I can do the session. If I can get through it on pace without changing the rest or with perhaps only having to mix in one longer 400m rest in the middle of the workout then I know I have a good starting point. For a beginner using this method I would schedule two sessions like this in my plan because it is likely on the first one your range will be way off in one ore the other direction. So you go out trying to run 90’s and fall apart after a few. I would encourage you to finish this session even though you finish running 2:00 or slower. Then take the average of the 12 and use that as your starting point for the next session, this will likely be a bit too slow and so from there you can inch down the pace as you go through the workout. Then you can take the average from that session and figure you have about your goal 5k pace.
    Now that is a lot of work. I know. Finding a goal pace isn’t always easy and unfortunately the biggest help tends to be experience. This is an area where a coach can be a huge help. But I encourage you to remember that if you do the jog rests at a good steady pace- looking at your info I would say no slower then 10:00 mile pace on the jog rests- you will FIND your goal pace through the repeat sessions themselves as they progress. These workouts should be HARD and you should be pretty much maxing out. So what you can force yourself to run for 5x1k or 4×1200 with a 200 jog at or under 10min mile pace will be damn close to what you can race in a 5k over similar terrain. IE if you run the workout on the track and race at the local billy goat hilly road 5k your going to go slower over the hilly course, but over similar terrain you will run very close.
    That ends our teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime segment of the answer. But since I always thought, hey your still leaving the guy hungry on the side of the road how is he supposed to go fishing if he is hungry? Here is what I would suggest for your specific 5k goal pace right now.
    20:00 is 6:26 per mile. 7×400 with 200 walking break would be more indicative of mile goal pace at this point. Your half best is worth about a 23 flat for 5k. That said most new runners, and most low mileage men do much better over 5k then the half in comparison to the charts. I would start with a goal pace around 7min mile pace. which gives you right around a 22min 5k. 7min pace is 1:45 per 400m and 4:22-3 for kilometers. This would be aggressive but probably attainable.
    You asked if a sub 20 5k is possible. YES! But it would be surprising, not impossible, for you to improve that much in a short single cycle. The great Australian distance coach, Percy Cerutty, said “Hard things take time.” If you keep up your work on your general fitness you can certainly get into sub 20 shape and I wouldn’t think it would take too long.

  3. Holy crap… Awesome response! Thank you so much. Now I have a game plan, and I think I just found the inspiration I’ve been sorely lacking since completing my marathon at Thanksgiving. THANK YOU!

  4. Sam- Glad it was what you were looking for! Also keep in mind that a spring/summer 5k cycle is a great break from marathon training that can lead to huge marathon improvements down the line. I think too often people get caught up in a cycle of marathon cycle after marathon cycle, two or even three a year and if they could just do marathons once cycle a year and do a 5k or 10k cycle or two over the other parts of the year they would run much better in the marathon.

  5. On Monday I would do track work 12×400 (77) [45sec rec], Tuesday I do 8 mile easy about 7.30 min per mile, Wednesday I do 4×1 mile (5:45) [1.30 rec], Thursday’s and Friday 7 mile at easy pace, Saturday 20min tempo at 6 min mile. And sunday long run 12 mile Easy 7.30.
    My personal best is 16.46, I have only ran under 17 once, what could I do to improve this?

  6. Declan- Well I think if your looking for profound improvements the base phase and aerobic muscular work is where you are going to get that. But in terms of your regular workouts there you should switch to a jogging rest. If you do 12×400 at 77 with 100 jog in 35 seconds you will be running 6k of volume instead of 4800m in the same time as your workout with standing rest. Same thing with the miles, jog rests. Then work to build your race from the 12×400. The difference between 12×400 in 77 and 16:00 for a 5k race isn’t the pace its the rest, so you work to improve the workout by increasing the time at pace and reducing the rest. So first 8×600 at 77 pace with a 200 jog recovery in 1:00 to 1:10. Then 6×800 at 2:34 with the same 200 jog rest, then 5x1k at 3:12 with the same 200 rest. By this point you should be pretty race ready, but if you are a real good workout guy you may need to go to 4×1200 with the 200rest. Now if you keep working like this you eventually would increase the workout into 5k at goal pace, ie a 16min 5k. So as long as you keep increasing the workout- if you do 3×1600 with 200 jog rest and don’t run the 5k time you want then try it with 100 jog rest- you will get to your goal race, unless your overall fitness isn’t enough to get there. If that is the case then it is back to the base, a lot of muscular and aerobic work. Doing a base right is a more involved thing. More then I can really do in a response and more then I would guess you are looking for here as well.
    keep your head up and I promise jog rests will help!

  7. Hey Coach Nate,

    I just stumbled on your site yesterday as I was surfing for some 5K specific training for my son and I’m hoping you can give me some advice. My son is 15, ran CC for first time last year as a freshman and placed 45th out of 180 at the Florida State Meet with a PR of 17:31. Next closest runner on his team is 19+ so he does a lot of pace specific running on his own. He didn’t run much during basketball last year (had already committed to play last year, but is now giving it up to train), so he came in a little late and a little stale for track; He was training and running well up through mid-season when a girl accidently kicked him in the foot at the beach and broke his foot 2 weeks before districts. Even with his shortened season, he was training at a Vdot level of 63 when he was injured and had PRs of 4:43 in the 1600 and 10:10 in the 3200. He was in a boot for 12 weeks and wasn’t allowed to ride a bike or do any cross training that used his leg so he lost quite a bit of fitness.

    We were finally able to start training again on June 4th and progressed quite slowly to start. He had various aches and pains, but we were able to modify our training, rest, strengthening, stretching and icing and he is feeling really good now. We spent the bulk of our time with easy runs with increasing mileage for the first 2 months. Over the last 3 weeks, we added in some hill work and started some short tempo runs, strides and surges during his easy runs. We haven’t done any time trials to check his fitness, but he’s training at about Vdot level 58 based on heart rate and ran an easy 8 mile long run comfortably @ 7:34 2 day ago. He’s running about 40 miles / week right now and we plan to cap him at about 50 miles later in the season. He usually responds quite quickly to speed work, so we feel that by adding some speed work back in, we can have him back to his previous fitness level by his first big meet on September 22nd. He also runs a lot tougher now than he did during his first year and I anticipate that he’ll have a big breakout run sometime this season. I forgot to mention; in addition to not really having anyone to run with, we don’t have a track and really don’t have access to a track, so he has always done all his running either on the road, on our home cross country course which is a mulch trail, or on soccer fields. We use a big draw bridge for our hill work and are using a Garmin for pace and distance. (gotta do what ya gotta do)

    That’s the background info. I really like your interval workout and plan to incorporate it into our training every 7 – 9 days for the next 5 weeks with goal of 16:30 on the road (translates to about a 17:00 on our non-hilly courses here in Florida). I pretty much duplicated your workout, but adjusted the paces some. He’s only running 1.5 mile warm up and cool down and will total a little over 7 miles for the entire workout. For the intervals, he will be running the 400s in 1:20 (5:20/mile) and his 100 m jog will be about 37 seconds (10:00/mile) to start with and we’ll adjust depending on how that first workout goes (would rather be a little slow than a little fast on his first try). The plan now is to gradually decrease his jog pace down to 9:00 by the time of his race in 5 weeks. Does this seem like a good plan for him?

    Once we hit our goal on September 22nd, we plan to reset our workouts to hit our ultimate goal for the season which is quite aggressive since his injury set him back. His goal is 15:59 (15:30 on the road – 5:00 / mile) by the State Meet on November 17th. We’ll have 8 weeks to shave another 1:00 off his time and States are 450 miles north of us, so the temp will be over 20 degrees cooler (75 instead of 95) by then which should account for at least 20 second improvement just from the temp decrease. If he breaks 16 this year, I told him I’d let him run Footlocker this year as a reward.

    Do you see any major problems with our plan or have any suggestions? We have never missed a season goal since he started running track in 8th grade and he’s even more focused and determined now.

    Looking forward to your response and thank you in advance.


  8. Just ran 600×9 with rest @ 5:10/k. I must admit I really found it miles better as a workout then the standing rest ones. There’s a 2:25 female marathoner who was doing something very similar. Are there any benefits for marathon training?

    • Glad you enjoyed the workout, Robert! For marathon training, running the rest at MP can be a good workout. We’ll have you do a long run where you surge at HM pace for 60-90 seconds and run 3-4 mins at MP as “rest”. Same principle, just more specific to the marathon.

  9. Im training for my XC season, and I am wanting to run a 16:00 in a 5k. Do you know any great tips and workouts for this. Thank you

  10. I am training for the Masters 1500m 50 years old next Summer.
    Do you have any examples of 1500m training which is similar to the 5k? I notice you mention about not standing around when doing intervals for the 3k – 10k race. Does that mean that for 1500m that standing rest is OK?

  11. Hello coach,
    is it okay to train in the afternoon schedules where the sun is too hot?
    my personal best time is 16:52 in 5k oval track race. now I stopped running for 4 months already. how can get back to my original condition in the fastest way or where should I start?
    Thank you.

  12. Hi Nate. Great article and a great time at the end of it. What sort of taper do you advocate? You seem to have Wed thru Friday as total rest, which is sensible on the whole IMHO. Yet others swear by quite a bit of fast stuff the day before the race and others who are older, say vet runners, might need even more time to taper.

  13. Great article. I am in a quandary. I am 51 years old and want to go sub 19 for a 10K. My current PR is 19:20. Can you offer me any advice on how to get there?

    This is my garmin stats:

    As you can see, I shoot out too fast then suffer.

    I have been doing 8 x 400m in 1:25 with 60 seconds recovery.
    Plus I also run tempos and 16-20 mile training runs @ 7:35 pace.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  14. Coach Nate,
    I have a daughter who recently found running in high school that shows some promise. She is a junior and being looked at by a few schools. The question I have for her is given that it is her first season running track she is struggling to figure out how to run a 3000 m and 1500 m. Winning is not the problem but the decrease of time is the issue. Her times are coming down but she has so much she doesn’t leave on the track. She is struggling to figure out when to pour it on and when to reserve. Any advice you could give would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  15. Hello Coach,

    You article is great.
    I am running for 9 months, I’m 30 years old,
    I did my personal best of 5k last month: 20.02,
    tomorrow I have a race of 5k and I would like to break the 20 minutes,
    My personal bests are:
    400 meter: 56 seconds
    1k: 3:10
    1 mile: 5:38
    2k- 7:24
    3K – 11:28
    5k – 20:02 (splits: 3:55, 3:57, 4:00, 4:11, 4:00)

    I do a lot of intervals (400 with 2 minutes jogging, 800 with 3 minutes jogging), I don’t run at all long runs (the longest distance I did was 8k).
    I train 3 times a week.

    would you think I should try to run at 3:55 per km or at 4:00 and just at the end kick as fast as possible.

    I have the ability to kick hard()

    • Hi Coach Nate, I coach high school boys cross country. I like the idea of the interval sessions in the articles above cutting setting a 5K goal pace and then cutting down on the rest in between intervals. These boys have a race every Wednesday and then three additional Invitationals on Saturdays. The final races are the championships: conference, state class and then state open all in a two month period. My question is with a heavy race load, when do I fit in the in intervals, long runs, day off, hills,strides,easy days, tempo, etc. These boys have been training during the summer in different amounts. Training season starts now and 5K racing is: Wednesday-9/16 race, Sat-9/19 Invitational, Thur 9/24 race, Sat 9/26 Invite, Wed 9/30 race, Wed 10/07 race, Sat 10/10 Invite, Wed 10/14 race, Thur 10/22 Conference, Sat 10/31 Class Champs, Fri 11/6 State Open. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks

      • Hi Luke, thanks for reaching out. Coach Nate is actually no longer working for runners connect, so we cannot ask him your questions, but as your team are racing so much, they will get a lot of the benefits of those workouts throughout their races. If you have them do strides following their easy runs, and use some of the races as tempos. The remainder of the workouts should be intervals and long runs, and make sure they have plenty of easy days in between! Hope this helps!

  16. Hi, I was just enquiring, I got my 5k time down from 18. Mins to 16.04.
    I got this off 50 miles base 40 miles Specific phase. My problem
    Is I I’ve only been running 3-4years. This year I tried to up my base mileage to 60-65 miles. But I’ve just felt flat all year round, my times have gone backwards. I am an engineer and work on my feet all day. Should I just stick to 50 as my times were coming down anyway?
    This is one of my weekley schedule specific phase.
    Monday 3 mile easy
    Tuesday light Tempo
    Wednesday 45 min easy
    Thursday track 6×800 with 200 jog recovery
    Friday 3 mile easy
    Saturday track rolling 200’s or short hills
    Sunday 10-13 miles.
    I just feel like my legs are fresher when I do less mileage.

    • Carl, I agree that you should stick to your weekly mileage from before. I’m a huge believer is running more and progressing your weekly mileage, to a certain extent. Everybody is different and has their own “sweet spot” where they run and train best at. One of that factors that establishes that is what you do outside your training. If you are on your feet all day as you are you have to take that into consideration as well. An example would be, when I was in college I was running between 90-100mpw training for 5k on track and my roommate was doing the same but only running 50mpw tops. He was still consistently beating me by 20-30s each 5k throughout our careers together in school. Again, although I believe more is better, it’s only to a certain extent and different for each individual.

  17. I have a current PR of 18:20 for 5K on the track (even though it was 90 degrees that day.) I am 37 years old and have been running since I’m 29. Do you think sub 18 is feasible in the near future?

  18. My PR for a 5k is just under 22 minutes, although i have not been a runner for very long, and I have improved a lot. I am looking to break 20 minutes for a 5k. I have been doing 6×800 at the track at 3:10-3:15, with a minute standing rest. What is the best way to break 20 minutes by March?

  19. I realize this is an old post but with any hopes of you answering this …do you think it would’ve possible to jump from a 4:55 mile to a 4:20 in 2 years ?or a an 18:30 to 16:10 in 2 years with the right training? If so what kind of training ,would it have to be different than the kind I’ve been doing for my high school team ?

    • Hi Samuel, unfortunately that is much too much of a big ask as there are so many things that go into improving to that kind of level. With the right kind of training, absolutely, but we would have to have you join us as a Runners Connect athlete to help you with workouts as that is what we offer for the runners we have. It would really depend what you do as a high school runner, but this would be a topic to discuss with your coach. Best of luck!

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