I have a work in progress workout/training plan. I signed up for a 5k at the end of September and I want to run it way better than the 5ks I've ran in the past. This is the first race where I am aiming to PR. I want to finish the race in 25 minutes or less. (this would be huge for me!)
In short this is my plan:
Monday: Run/walk for X amount of time*
Wednesday: Run/walk for X amount of time* and every other week cross train.
Friday: Speed work - running sprints and other things like that (open for suggestions)
Saturday: Run based on miles - very little breaks.
(* X amount of time - I start with 30 minutes and after a few workouts go to 45 minutes then 60mins)
I know this is very vague, but I didn't think a list of everyday would be productive.
Any suggestions would be great? How do you train to PR in a race?
What I've found has really been helping with my 5K time is running a shorter distance one day a week. So every Wednesday for a month I ran 1 mile as fast as I could (a few minutes less than goal time). Once I felt comfortable with that I increased it to 1.5 miles. Soon I will up that to 2.
I enjoy having one day a week with lower mileage where I don't have to worry about saving energy, I can just run all out. It's been fun going a lot faster than I usually do.
There are two schools on this. One says to build a base aerobic level to improve the efficiency of your body and lungs, then add speed work to improve time. The second is to build through short speed work fewer days and slowly add distance. I follow the first method since I like to run longer distances and I simply enjoy running, so it's often hard for me to take more than one or two days off each week.
On speed work, I've used three methods. All seem to work reasonably well
1) Intervals - Go to a track or field and after warming up run a short, set distance all out and walk or slow job back (or the next lap). Repeat several times until you have the millage you want for the day.
2) Run a shorter than normal training run distance at race pace. For me this is in the range of 2 miles to a 5k.
3) Fartlek - Basically an unstructured version of intervals. Pick a route and start running at warm-up pace. Once your warmed up, pick a point you can see and run full speed to it. Then walk to recover. Pick a new point and run to it. Repeat until the run is finished. Let your body tell you when your ready for each run, but don't get lazy.
I've been doing fewer intervals lately, primarily because I don't enjoy them as much as race pace or Fartlek runs. Pick what you enjoy, you're body will benefit more and you'll stick with it.
For what it's worth, the key three workouts each week according to most plans and the area of greatest benefit:
1) A long, slower run to build endurance
2) A short fast run to build speed
3) A run at desired pace to improve race efficiency
Additional runs, when done are always recommended to be at a slower pace.
I'd add, I don't run on a strict plan. Some people need one or they don't get the running in. If you get out and run at least those 3 key runs every week, you may be fine without a strict plan. Just figure out what it takes to keep you going. Most of all, have fun running.
When I was training alot more serious I did 3 favorite workouts when I was training for a PR. I always ran 6/days back then with Sundays off, but that's only because I like running so much.
1) Long Run - at an easy pace, but always picking up the pace a bit in the last few miles to finish strong.
2) Intervals/Mile Repeats - on a track or measured mile on a not so busy road. I would do a warm up of 2 or 3/miles. Then 3-5/mile repeats witha recovery job at half the time it took me to run the mile. A cool down afterwards to cool the ole legs down after running hard.
3) Hills - Either a hilly course and puch the hills a bit, or I would run hill repeats on a longer hill. I would start out with 3-4, and usually work my way up to 8-10 over a period of time.
...I'm by far no expert when it comes to running, but thats what I always liked to do. Plus it's a sport that even though I'm not running a ton of miles right now or fast, I still love every stride. God Bless All Your Efforts - Good Luck with the PR..+ Jimmy. ( =
Lots of good responses, all slightly different. So I think the message is that there is more than one "right way' but you need to find the one that works for you. Make sure that while you are working towards your PR that you schedule in some light weeks, which helps both physically and mentally (like the old "1 step back, 2 steps forward" saying). Last time I was super-focused on a race, I burnt myself out 3 weeks prior. Good luck!