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How To Improve A 5 Mile Run Time: 8 Week Training Plan​

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How To Improve A 5 Mile Run Time: 8 Week Training Plan​ How To Improve A 5 Mile Run Time: 8 Week Training Plan​ www.runnerclick.com

The 5-mile race distance, also known as an 8k race, is a challenging distance that is perfect for beginner runners, as well as advanced runners. Running five miles also sets the foundation for runners to train for longer distances such as a 10k, half-marathon, and even a marathon.

So how to run 5 miles? You must train your body to go the distance.

How do you run 5 miles in a specified time? Whether you want to run 5 miles in 40 minutes or 60 minutes or 20 minutes, there is no specific good 5 mile run time. Running 5 miles itself is an accomplishment! (By the way, the fastest 5 mile run time is 21:51 set in 2011. That’s 4:22 a mile!)

If you want to improve your 5-mile run time, (for example learn how to run 5 miles in 40 minutes instead of 45 minutes), then you need to be more intentional about your running and training.

Here are 7 additions to your training to improve your 5-mile run time:

1. Tempo runs: Tempo runs build your lactate threshold which is the point at which your body starts producing more lactic acid than it can clear. This is when your legs start to feel heavy and burn. Adding tempo runs will allow you to run longer and faster before that burning feeling sets in.

2. Intervals: Interval running, including at a faster pace than race pace, improves your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and increases your VO2 max

Studies show that running near your max speed improves your overall running performance.

3. Race pace workouts: Running at your race pace teaches the body to run at that pace and gets runners mentally used to what it feels like to run at that pace. It is important to not do Goal Race Pace workouts until you are ready.

You cannot force fitness until the appropriate physiological changes have occurred. Instead, run race workouts at your current fitness level. This can be determined using a race pace calculator.

4. Hills: Hill workouts are a terrific low-impact way to strengthen muscles, improve turnover and stride, and develop your cardiovascular system. Research shows that running hills improves Vo2 Max, heart rate, and race performance in just the course of 6 weeks!

5. Long runs: Even if you aren’t training for a marathon, long runs are beneficial! Running at an easy pace for a long duration of time builds your mitochondria and capillary density, making your body more efficient in using energy while running. It also improves muscle strength and activation, aerobic endurance, and fuel efficiency (tapping fat stores over carbs).

6. Strides: Strides or striders, where you run for 100 meters after an easy run cresting at max speed in the middle, are an incredible and easy way to improve neuromuscular fitness, running economy, and running form.

7. Strength: Several studies show that strength training is a game-changer when it comes to running performance with an enhancement of running economy by 2 to 8 percent and time trial performance by 2 to 5 percent.

Aim for 2-3 sessions per week in which you lift heavy doing simple moves such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts. It is best to lift on hard running days (6 or so hours after your run) to keep easy days easy.

Combine these steps with solid sleep and nutrition, and you are on your way to a faster 5-mile time!

Here is your 5-mile improvement plan

Below is an intermediate 5-mile improvement plan for runners that combines the above tips.

Do not begin this plan until you have been running up to 20 miles consistently for more than a month.

Do strides for 2 weeks after one run and then after two runs the following two weeks before beginning this plan.

Note: This plan includes a range of efforts and mileage to meet a runner’s availability and ability.

DayWEEK 1WEEK 2WEEK 3WEEK 4WEEK 5WEEK 6WEEK 7WEEK 8 race week
Monday XT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30-60 min + strength trainXT 30 minutes
Tuesday4-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides4-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides5-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides5-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides4-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides5-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides5-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides3-mile easy run + 4 100-meter strides
Wednesdaywarm-up 2 miles, run 20 to 30 min at tempo pace, cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, run 4 min at 5k pace/1-min easy x 4-6, cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, 8-10 by 200-meter hills (uphill hard/downhill easy) cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 1-2 miles, 2 by 15-20-min tempo run with 2-min interval rest, cool-down 1-2 miles for a total of 8-9 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, 6-8 by 400 at 5k pace with 1 min interval rest, cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, 8-10 by 200-meter hills (uphill hard/downhill easy) cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, 4-6 by 5 minutes at 8k pace with 1-min easy interval jog, cool-down 2 miles, strength train in the eveningwarm-up 2 miles, run 4-6 400s at 8k pace with 90 sec interval rest, cool-down 2 miles
Thursday3 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides4 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides2 miles easy + 4 50-meter hill strides
FridayXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30-60 minutes or RESTXT 30 minute EASY or walk
SaturdayLong run 4-5 milesLong run 5-6 milesLong run 6-7 milesLong run 7-8 milesLong run 5-6 milesLong run 8-9 milesLong run 9-10 milesWarm-up 2 miles, run 4 strides, race 5 miles, cool-down for 1-2 miles. Celebrate!
SundayRESTRESTRESTRESTRESTRESTRESTREST
TOTAL MILEAGE2022252720283020 miles

After the race, take at least 3 days off before resuming easy running for a week. You will be fit, so it will be time to choose your next goal!

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