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Training Plan to Run a Faster 5k Race

Training Plan: Run a Faster 5K in Four Weeks

If you have a few races under your belt and want to take your training to the next level for faster finish times, add speed work into your training plan. Running coach Andrew Kastor wants to help you set a personal record (PR) this Summer in your next 5K. Here is his four-week plan to get you up to speed — literally. Coach Kastor is a certified USA Track and Field coach who's been running competitively for 15 years. Plus he's married to bronze medalist Olympic long-distance runner Deena Kastor. The man knows running.

To see Coach Kastor's training plan, just keep on reading.

This plan is geared towards intermediate runners with a solid cardio base who have been running regularly for at least six months.

Week One

  • Monday: Two to four miles easy running
  • Tuesday: Off / total rest
  • Wednesday: Two to four miles easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Thursday: Cross-train 45-60 minutes, easy to moderate effort
  • Friday: Two to four miles easy running
  • Saturday: Off / total rest
  • Sunday: Three to five miles easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Notes: Be consistent with your training. Run easy three times this week. Be kind to your joints and try to run on dirt paths.

Week Two

  • Monday: Cross-train 45-60 minutes easy to moderate effort
  • Tuesday: Two-mile warmup, four 1/2-mile repeats at a moderate/hard effort with three-minute recovery jog between reps, two-mile cooldown
  • Wednesday: Three to five miles of easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Thursday: Cross-train 45-60 minutes easy to moderate effort
  • Friday: Off / total rest
  • Saturday: Two-mile warmup, three one-mile repeats at a moderate to hard effort with three-minute recovery jog between repeats, two-mile cooldown
  • Sunday: Four to six miles of easy running
  • Notes: Adding repeats to your runs will help elevate your speed and fitness level.

Week Three

  • Monday: Cross-train 45-60 minutes easy to moderate effort
  • Tuesday: Two-mile warmup, two one-mile repeats at a moderate/hard effort with two-minute recovery jog between reps, then four 1/2-mile repeats at a moderate/hard effort, two-mile cooldown
  • Wednesday: Four to five miles of easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Thursday: Off / total rest
  • Friday: Three to four miles of easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Saturday: Two-mile warmup, two 1.5-mile repeats at a moderate to hard effort with three-minute recovery jog between repeats, two-mile cooldown
  • Sunday: Five to seven miles of easy running
  • Notes: This is the biggest training week — running five times. Be sure to eat at least 60 minutes before you run.

Week Four

  • Monday: Cross-train 45-60 minutes easy to moderate effort
  • Tuesday: Three to five miles of easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Wednesday: Two-mile warmup, six 1/2 mile repeats at a moderate/hard effort with two-minute recovery jog between reps, two-mile cooldown
  • Thursday: Three to four miles of easy running, plus four to six 80-meter sprints
  • Friday: Off / total rest
  • Saturday: Race day!
  • Sunday: Off / total rest
  • Notes: It's important to "taper" this week; you have a fun race weekend ahead!

Here's an image-free version of the schedule for printing. Have fun training and racing!

Image Source: Getty
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