To run a faster 5k you'll inevitably have to do some 5k paced work in training. Fortunately, this workout takes advantage of decreasing interval length alongside decreasing recovery to get your primed and ready for race day!
For a warm up, we will start with 10:00 of easy running followed by two repeats of 1:00 at your half marathon pace with 2:00 easy in between those pickups. This helps prepare your body for the faster running to come!
This workout has a fairly simple structure, but needs a bit of an explanation. First, you'll find your 5k speed and use that speed as the speed for each "on" repeat. In our example below the runner has a 5k speed of 9.5mph.
The structure of this workout follows a descending pattern for the length of the repeat and recovery, with the recoveries making up half the time of the previous on repeat. So for a 5:00 "on" repeat, the next recovery will be 2:30. 4:00 for an "on" means 2:00 for the recovery, and so on.
Your aim is to do at least one set, totaling 15:00 of solid work at 5k pace. If the workout is going well, or you're trying this one again, you can add an extra set after you take a 10:00 easy recovery in between sets.
For our example runner, their 5k speed is 9.5mph so their workout structure is as follows:
As you can see, the recoveries follow what is called a "half time" work to rest ratio. This means as the length of repeats decreases, so does the recovery! A tricky balance to manage, but it makes the workout feel like it progresses very quickly.
After finishing your last repeat you'll run an easy 10:00-15:00 as a cool down!
To customize your paces we suggest using the LEVER Pace Calculator.