Advanced 5K Training Plan [For Those Searching For Peak Performance]

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This Advanced 5K Training Plan is designed for runners who have multiple races under their belts.

It is perfect for runners who are searching for peak performance and maximum speed. 

This training plan offers interval training days, speed work, short runs, timed duration runs and longer runs to help you build stamina. 

This training plan was developed to help you hit a target time goal in most cases below 20 minutes. 

TRAINING PLAN TERMS

Easy: The “easy” run on the schedule above should be at a comfortable level. Don’t focus on how fast you are running, just make sure you get the miles in.

An “easy pace” should be run at a level that allows you to chat with a running partner without being out of breath. 

Tempo Runs: Tempo Runs are a continuous run with a warm-up, build up to a race pace and then cool down to finish.

The warm-up should be about 5-10 minutes of easy running and then 10-15 at the faster pace and finish with a 5-10 minute cool down.

Be sure to listen to your body when you run tempo runs as they are very useful for developing anaerobic threshold which is extremely essential for a very fast 5k race. 

Fast: As part of this training plan there are a few "fast" runs. So what is exactly is "fast"? That depends on how comfortable you feel.

Go a little faster than the "easy" run days; specifically, fast enough that you would not be able to hold a conversation with your running partner.

Expect to be out of breath. 

Rest: The training plan includes "rest" days. These help you recover from your runs and make sure you taper your training the final week so you are ready to rock your race.

Interval Training: To improve your speed interval training is imperative.

What happens when you run interval runs is that you train faster than your race pace for the 5K.

Be sure to run a specific amount of time hard, then recover by jogging or walking for shorter time to catch your breath. 

Make sure you are warmed up before the intervals.

Doing sprints of 100 meters beforehand and stretching would be ideal. 

ADVANCED 5K TRAINING PLAN WEEK BY WEEK

Week 1

MONDAY

01

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

01

2 MILE WARM-UP

5 x 400(5 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

01

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

01

30 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

01

REST

SATURDAY

01

5 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

01

45 MIN RUN

WEEK 1:

  • 28.25 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 5 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast

 Week One Comments:

This plan has 28.25 total miles in the first week. You will notice that most Tuesday's have the interval runs throughout. 

Coupled with the fast runs, the strategy is to have two days during the week that you are focusing on increasing your speed.

Be cautious on the easy run days so that you have stamina to power through the interval Tuesday. 

It's worth mentioning that warming up and cooling down help your body get prepared for the stress of interval work and recover when you are slowing down your heart rate.

The interval runs work best to run fast. 

For the 400 or 1/4 mile, once you hit the the specific distance STOP to catch your breath and then go at it again.

How ever long it took you to run the 400 or 1/4 mile is normally a good rule of thumb.

So if it took you two minutes to run the 1/4 interval, you rest for two minutes and then go continue to the next interval run. 

Don't be surprised, normally the first interval run will be your fastest and then the time will go down each time. 

The Tempo Runs will help you work on a consistent pace throughout your race. 


Week 2

MONDAY

02

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

02

2 MILE WARM-UP

6 x 400(6 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

02

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

02

30 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

02

REST

SATURDAY

02

5 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

02

60 MIN RUN

  • 29.50 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 6 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast

Week Two Comments: 

This week begins with an easy three mile run to get you started. The increase of one more interval will push you on Tuesday. 

The mid-week rest days are beneficial to refresh your legs and prepare you for the busy weekend.

The fast run on Saturday will be a great stamina test for you. 

It will give you a really good idea of where you are and where you want to be. 

Remember that it's an eight week training plan, not two. So if the results are not there just yet you have plenty of time for improvement.  

On Sunday, the 60 min run should be at aN easy pace, even a little brisk.

Try to get eight miles in that 60 minute run, which is the equivalent to a 7:30 pace. 


Week 3

MONDAY

03

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

03

2 MILE WARM-UP

9 x 200(9 X 1/8 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

03

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

03

30 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

03

REST

SATURDAY

03

5 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

03

75 MIN RUN

WEEK 3:

  • 31.50 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 6 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast

Week Three Comments:

The interval runs have switched to 200's or 1/8 mile. 

These really force you to dig down deep, especially when you progress from 5 to 6 and 6 to 7. Keep working hard and they will feel really good as you cool down.

This specific interval run will be hard on your legs so you have a few easy run days in to make sure you get solid miles in.

On Sunday the timed run is up to 75 minutes or about 10 miles, keeping at the 7:30 pace you locked in on during your second week of training. 

Be sure to focus on your breathing pattern during your tempo run.

That way you will be preparing your body for the race along with your legs. 


Week 4

MONDAY

04

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

04

2 MILE WARM-UP

7 x 400(6 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

04

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

04

35 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

04

4 MILES EASY

SATURDAY

04

REST

SUNDAY

04

5K TEST RUN

WEEK 4:

  • 25.00 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 7 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 5K Test Run

Week Four Comments:

You are halfway into the eight week training plan, you should have noticed a slight increase in your strength and speed endurance.

Week four also features the 5K test run on Sunday. 

This test run will give you great idea of where you are and how close you are to reach your goal time for the race.  

The 5K Test Run should be run at a pace a little slower than what your ultimate goal race pace would be.

For example if your goal is to run each mile at 6:15, this run should be at 6:30-:35 range. 

After the test run be sure to do a two mile cool down as your legs will build up lactic acid which will make running next week especially tough. 


Week 5

MONDAY

05

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

05

2 MILE WARM-UP

10 x 200(10 X 1/8 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

05

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

05

45 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

05

REST

SATURDAY

05

5 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

05

80 MIN RUN

WEEK 5:

  • 31.50 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 10 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast Run

Week Five Comments:

This week will be the second stage of your training. You are back in the 30+ mile per week range and have a TON of interval runs these week.

Ten to be exact.

Following Tuesday's interval runs, the easy run on Wednesday will be tough to get going but once you are warmed up you should feel pretty good.

Saturday's five mile fast day will give you a pretty good indication if you over did it on your tempo run on Thursday.

So try not to push yourself too hard on Thursday.  

Take Sunday easy, it's a lot of miles to run after a hard day on Saturday so be cautious and don't over do it.

If you get over 10 miles in over 80 minutes consider it a very impressive performance. 

If you don't reach 10 miles, during the 80 minutes of running, don't beat yourself up.

Your legs are telling you to rest. 


Week 6

MONDAY

06

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

06

2 MILE WARM-UP

8x 400(8 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

06

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

06

45 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

06

REST

SATURDAY

06

6.5 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

06

90 MIN RUN

WEEK 6:

  • 37.50 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 8 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast Run

Week Six Comments:

This week has a heavy run load on the weekend.

The 6.5 miles that you will run on Saturday will be a challenge but helps your endurance, form and breathing.

The 90-minute run on Sunday should be about 12 miles or slightly above it.

The Tempo Run on Wednesday added a few more minutes since last week (longer duration of time).

The speed work on Tuesday will push you to see how much gas you have in your tank.


Week 7

MONDAY

07

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

07

2 MILE WARM-UP

10 x 200(10 X 1/8 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

07

3 MILE EASY

THURSDAY

07

45 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

07

REST

SATURDAY

07

7 MILES FAST

SUNDAY

07

90 MIN RUN

WEEK 7:

  • 36.25 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 10 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & 1 Fast Run

Week Seven Comments:

The countdown to race day is on. You are two weeks away from your race, week seven provides one more challenging week before the race.

With 10 intervals on Tuesday, you should plan on leaving everything out there on those runs.

Saturday's seven mile fast day should really give you an idea of your comfort level.  

The 90- minute run on Sunday further cements the training that you have worked so hard on. 


Week 8

MONDAY

08

3 MILE EASY

TUESDAY

08

2 MILE WARM-UP

6 x 400(6 X 1/4 MILES)

2 MILE COOL DOWN

WEDNESDAY

08

REST

THURSDAY

08

30 MIN TEMPO

FRIDAY

08

3 MILES EASY

SATURDAY

08

REST

SUNDAY

08

5K RACE DAY

WEEK 8:

  • 19.2 Total Miles
  • 2 Easy Run & 1 Interval Runs, 1 Tempo & RACE DAY!

Week Eight Comments:

It's race week.

The total number of miles decreases from what you are used to so that your legs are fresh for the races. 

On Race Day, be sure to stick to your routines (what you eat, how you stretch, etc). Try to get to your goal race pace within the first mile of the race.

If you can do that and hold it, you have a really good chance of reaching your goal.

Once you get to the last 1/2 mile or 1/4 mile, run very hard to the finish line. 

That time will make up for the time it took you to get to  to your race pace. 

Not sure if this is the right training plan for you? Take our Quiz to find out: