Using race pace, cross training, tempo run, and interval sessions to run a 5k in 25 minutes
25 minutes for a 5k is a good time. Okay, it’s not exceptional, but it’s certainly an amicable starting point. The more you run, the quicker you get, and the less tired you get – we all know that, but what you may notice is that in trying to reach a considerable time increase, you need to put considerable work in too.
The right training plan can be the difference between your success and your failure. It doesn’t have to be a dense plan with a 5-page index, but it does have to be the right plan for you. With approaches like race pace training, speed work, target race pace increases and running form development, there’s a lot you could cram into your plan…
So let’s run through a few of them today.
First, let’s recognise the average time it takes to run a 5k. Given that you follow your training plan or your target pace is race time driven, you can expect to complete the stage in quicker regions of 20-15 minutes. However, running this time, even with speed training, can take a little longer, depending on who you are.
You could think about what to include in your plan too. Whether it’s for goal race pace, training or tempo runs, having a schedule and data tracking aspect to your plan is pretty important.
Apart from running regularly, you should look to include 1-2 easy runs, a long run, interval training and tempo running (about once a week) and one strength training or cross-training session too.
If you want a really fast pace, then your 5k training plan best be suited to you, yet covering all the basics that are suited to everyone.
So what actually is tempo running, and why does it help so much?
”Also known as threshold runs, tempo runs are extended efforts of running that should be about 30 seconds slower than your 5k race pace.
A good way to include tempo runs in your training routine is to book-end them during your easy run.” – Run With Caroline, 2022.
So, extend the time with a slower pace to acclimatise your cardio systems with ease.
Another great method for reaching that 5K distance, speed training entails you running at a pace beyond your comfort zone. These should feel comfortably hard i.e. you’re not exerting yourself so much you can’t do enough, but you’re also not taking it so easy that speed is sacrificed. Easy.
You could, for example, engage in 100m light sprints periodically over the course of 20 minutes, making sure you have plenty of rest. Speed sessions need to be done with consistency and seriousness if they’re to work.
With this being a small breakdown of what you need to do, it should help you get some ideas in place, however, you should research further into ways that could improve your endurance and speed too.
What are training zones?
Training zones relative to working out are endurance-based zones. Think of it in terms of speed, i.e. you’re training at a certain pace (1 zone), then you up that pace in the next stage (zone 2).