5K AND 10K WORKOUTS
These targeted interval sessions will build race-specific fitness, speed and confidence
THERE’S NOTHING like racing a fast 5K or 10K – they’re rewarding distances to race and they give you a great runner’s high. But to race fast, you’ve got to run fast in training, so runners seeking to maximise their 5K or 10K potential need to do some interval training.
Running at or faster than your goal race pace will make it feel easier over time and breaking it down into shorter chunks makes it feel more manageable. The sessions collected here are designed to help you improve specific aspects of 5K and 10K fitness – improving speed and turnover, honing pace sense and discipline, boosting mental toughness and confidence, and helping you to develop a finishing kick.
Even those who are not preparing for a race can benefit from these workouts. As well as increasing anaerobic-threshold levels, interval training increases endurance and builds muscle strength. Typical steady-state distance running exercises the leg muscles in a certain range of motion, with the focus on slow-twitch fibres. By running at faster speeds, you exercise all your leg muscles and improve your flexibility during running.
After one or two months of steady distance running, do interval training once a week to reach optimal racing fitness, in addition to a weekly tempo and long run. Bookend these workouts with easy runs or cross-training on the days either side to help recovery and avoid overtaxing your body.
A running track is an ideal place to do them, as the surface is good and measuring the reps is easy. But if you don’t have one near you, any stretch of flat, traffic-free ground (measured using your GPS device or online mapping) will work just fine.
HARD AND FAST These sessions will test you but you’ll reap the rewards on race day.