Half Marathon Obsession: Train to Kill a 5K First (Part 2: Training Program)

Alright kids... onto the mileage. If you missed Part 1, start here. 

You should spend the first two weeks of your training on cadence and technique drills. Don't worry about distance here. Just spend about 20-30 minutes, 3 times per week getting comfortable with the drills. This will aid in developing quality mileage when the time is right.

Once you're familiar with the technique to help you run efficiently, we can put the drills to practice on some strategic mileage. Remember, we're going for quality work here, not just mileage for the sake of getting it done.

As always, make sure you are warmed up properly before getting after your workouts. Using the cadence and Pose running drills is a great way to get warm and continue practicing your new skills. 

As I touched on in the last post, Roy Foley of Aeropro Coaching is providing the magic for your 5k training...

You will be doing 3 workouts per week. Ideally, you will have one day of rest in between. The schedule goes as follows:

  • Day 1 - Tempo paced runs.  Your tempo will be based on your 1 mile run time. You can time yourself for a mile and enter in your time for that distance in this pace calculator:  http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm  These workouts will be longer in distance but lower in intensity. Focus on running perfectly. The tempo is slower here to help maintain form.

Beginners (if your mile is over 9 mins.) will be mastering 1/4 mile repeats, 1/2 mile repeats and build to 3/4 mile repeats.

Intermediate (if your mile is between 9-7 mins.) will be doing 1 mile repeats (1 mile x 2-3 depending on how you're recovering). You will eventually build up to 1.5 mile (1.5 miles x 2) and 2 mile repeats (2 mile x 2).

***Regardless of the distance, you will be running at 70-75% (this will be determined by the calculator above) of your 1 mile pace each time. Resting and resetting for 2-3 mins in between sets. You do not want to accumulate more than 2-3 miles TOTAL on this workout in the beginning. You will eventually build to 3-5 miles total.

  • Day 2 - Intervals. The goal here is to be consistent with each interval - you want to have the same time each interval. You will be completing these intervals around 80-90% effort. This is not an all-out, max effort interval workout. You will know if you're exceeding 90% if you fail to complete the intervals at the same time, each time. You will rest 2-3 minutes between. These intervals should be short, hard and very form driven. Pay attention to how you're moving when fatigued - don't default to crappy patterns. Again you will not be exceeding more than 2-3 miles total for the workout (the distance should be less than the Tempo Paced Runs because the intensity is higher here).

Beginners:  220 meter and 440 meter repeats.  Do not exceed 1-2 miles total for this workout.

Intermediates: 1/2, 3/4 mile repeats. Do not exceed 2-3 miles total for this workout.

  • Day 3: Run Builder. This is the one were you start to put it all together. Endurance based run with a recovery walk in between. 1,2,3 mile repeats. The goal is to try to reduce that recovery walk over time. The intensity for this workout is even lower than the Tempo Paced Runs - aim for 60-65%.  Most people end up having to slow themselves down because they want to ramp up the intensity but the key is building quality endurance over time.

Beginners:  3 x 1 mile endurance pace run with 2 min recovery walk between miles.

Intermediates: 3 x 1.5 mile endurance pace run with 2 min recovery walk between miles.

 This is a progressive program that you can build off of for weeks and even months. You will continue to improve your quality of running, your recovery time and your speed all within 3 strategic and measurable training sessions.

 And remember, a strong runner is a fast and less-injury prone runner. At SPSC, we make people strong and fast. If you have a fitness and/or health goal you're working towards, we can help. Click here to sign up for your free trial now. 

 If you have any questions, feel free to email me at nicole@spscgym.com

 -Nicole, Owner/Coach at St. Pete Strength and Conditioning, home of SPSC Crossfit