Sharpening for a 5K

Folks, we are in the last stretch of training for the “The Hot Run in the Summertime 5K.” The Course yields excellent grade conditions allowing for a strong pace. This moment in time should be dedicated to the sharpening phase of the training process. Training plans pertaining to the sharpening phase and race sign-up can be found here. Let’s take a moment to narrow down three work-outs that focuses on squeezing that extra speed.

Coach Jason Kilderry states “the closer you get to your race, the more specific your workouts should be to mimic the paces/intensities you will be running/racing on race day” (Kilderry, Jason, 2013). This statement is very wise and true to the fact that if one wants their best, there is a need to study the correct answers for the test. In other words, if we want to win a 5K then we should not train specifically for a 50 mile ultra. Let’s journey into three workouts that reveal the answers to achieving great results for a 5000 meter race.

Let me start by saying that normally one speed work session is needed per week. If you are up for a challenge lets increase to two days per week to get some high intensity volume in our system. Just remember to get two days of easy recovery work in between the speed sessions. One of my running buddies mentioned that a 5K is time to Grip and Rip, so let’s Grip and Rip to get ready for the Hot Run In the Summertime!


Run a 10-20 minute warm-up at a slow pace. Then perform six to twelve 40 second intervals at 5k pace or faster with a two minute slow jog recovery in-between. After the intervals run a 10-minute slow jog recovery. This work-out actually mimics a 200 meter speed session.

High Intensity Strides

This is a fancy name for sprints, man! Go to the track and run a 10-20 minute slow jog warm-up. Do your regular stretching routine. Line up for 100 meter sprints. Run these sprints at full throttle or 95 percent of potential. Two-three minute recovery jog or walk in-between then repeat 5-7 times. Perform a 10-minute recovery slow jog after the session.

One Mile Repeats

As you know this is my staple, which is responsible for turning in great results. They are also the toughest and should only be done if you are advanced in your training. This is no mystery, it is what it states “one-mile repeats.” Measure out a flat and straight one-mile distance (or on the track). Perform your 10-20 minute slow jog warm-up. Run the one-mile distance at your 5K pace or faster, two minute slow jog or walk recovery in between, repeat four times. Run a 10 minute slow jog recovery at the end then find a couch or bed to collapse.

As always folks get yourself a one gallon jug of pure water every day and drink it till it is gone, and perform lots of stretching after the workout. Keep shoveling in the fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. IF YOU FEEL ANY INJURY lurking please stop and consult a professional, this is a hard training plan and we want to stay healthy.

“Speed” Let’s get it!


Happy Running,

Coach John



Kilderry, Jason. August, 2013. Your Training Physiology is a Continuum.

Source:, resources.

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