If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a little teaser for this workout that I posted the other day. I came up with this as I was trying decide on a workout to do on Tuesday. I had done 400s the week before, and wanted something different. I thought about how my next race will most likely be another 5k, so figured I would focus on that.
As I explained when I posted my 5k Tune-Up workout, I tend to start out slower when I do speed work and get faster as the workout progresses. However, in my last 5k I slowed down quite bit. I thought I would work on that in this workout by gradually getting faster over each set.
I was telling Rob about this workout after I completed it and he did not like the sound of running 30 seconds faster than his goal 5k pace. His goal pace is 6:30 so he would be running the last 3 minute set at 6 minute/miles. I reminded him- it’s only 3 minutes!
Here’s how my paces turned out (with a goal 5k pace of 7 minute/miles)
During my last two sets of this workout I definitely had that end-of-a-5k feeling and had to push through that. (I hit a light during my last set and slowed down a bit- I was a little disappointed that I didn’t make my goal pace for that one!) The workout went by really quickly and I was so proud of myself that I basically ran a 5k at my goal 5k pace, although there were 1 minute recoveries between sets.
One thing about the recoveries- definitely take them easy! They are only one minute and fly by!
Here’s the thing with this workout though- the times are somewhat geared towards my own 5k goal. A realistic goal 5k pace for me is 7 minute/miles, which would mean I would be running a 5k in the 21-22 minute range. If your goal time is much faster or slower than this, the workout would need to be adjusted.
This workout basically has me running for 21 minutes with my average pace for the speed work part averaging to my goal pace. I would say that you could pretty easily adjust the workout to meet your needs, but think about your goal time/pace and what would be a challenging but practical number of set/minutes of speed work. Let me know in the comments if you need help adjusting and I’ll do my best to make a reasonable recommendation!
Do you usually run negative splits during a race?
Do you ever get that “end-of-a-5k” feeling during a speed work session?
meredith@ Cookie ChRUNicles says
I was close to that I want to throw up 5k feeling yesterday during my speed work run! But it’s good training, even though I hate running 5k races lol. I want to get better at running negative splits in races – I always start out too fast!
I think I start out too fast in shorter races, but in longer races I am much more conservative about my pace!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma says
I think this workout is pretty genius for 5k training! Tough, yes (I’m scared just imagining it) but very effective for the mental and physical sides of the 5k. I usually attempt a negative split at races but recently I don’t think that’s happened!
I am hoping that it will prepare me well for my next 5k! It was definitely a challenging workout!
Tara @ Running 'n' Reading says
Lisa, I definitely have a tendency to get faster throughout my speed workouts; this sounds like a great one! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!
I think alot of times it just takes a while to warm up and get going with the speed work!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home says
I try to run negative splits during a race! I’m always happy when that happens. Learning to hold back is a work in progress. Great job on your speedwork…yep, I get that end of a 5k feeling when I’m done. As it should be, right?
I always feel like I paced well when I can run negative splits in a race. I’m still working on pacing the 5k- I usually go out way too fast since its a shorter distance!
Susie @ SuzLyfe says
Ladders, inverse ladders, and fast finishes are so important. You’ve gotta learn to push through whatever you are dealing with at the end of your workout. I ran my last 5k of my marathon at madcap pace, and I’m not really sure what helped me do that, lol, other than pure determination and adrenaline. Probably should have practiced that.
Luckily the adrenaline usually helps us out quite a bit during a big race! But pushing through the physical and mental pain of a race is a great skill to work on.
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes says
I’m haven’t run positive splits in a race—one half there was 20 mph wind from mile 8 on and the other race I went out too fast. I really like progressive workouts like this one, because they really do help mimic the pain of the last bit of a race.
Yep, exactly. Knowing that I was able to push through the end of that workout will (hopefully) help me at the end of my next 5k!
I wish I had the pile of poo emoticon on my MacBook so that I could use it now to describe that “end of a 5K feeling.” This is one tough workout! Any type of speed work that leaves me feeling like that (insert pile of poo) is a difficult one, but those get us in fantastic shape in a hot minute.
Ha! Yep, that emoticon would describe the feeling pretty well. But we need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl says
I’m just starting to think about speedwork as I consider my first marathon, and I will definitely be trying this out – my goal pace for a 5k is about 8:30/mile whereas for a marathon it’ll be like 10/mile, but I never realized how crucial it is to have that speed ability and I wasn’t sure where to begin 🙂
I think doing some speed work can definitely help with preparing to train for a marathon. I usually do 800s earlier in my training season, and then focus more on mile repeats/tempo type workouts as my mileage builds.
Oh, this is a good one! Mile 2 is always tough for me in a 5k to keep pushing fast. A workout like this pushes you. NICE!!
Ugh mile 2 is the worst (mentally) in a 5k! But usually by the last half mile my legs are totally dead.
Ooo. This one looks like burner!! :D. This is a great one! Workouts that require a change of pace are really challenging for me, but hence the reason why I need them. I can lock into a certain pace pretty well, but those pace changes for sure get me!
It can be a challenge to change pace during a workout! But its definitely important to work on it once in a while:)
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
I was so terrible about speed work when I ran, but it really does help! Plus it’s good for the booty. 😉
Exactly! I avoided speed work for a long time, but now I consider it kind of fun. Its a great way to change things up and challenge yourself!
This workout looks killer and pretty genius! I’m really impressed that you did it outside-this almost seems more pace-manageable on a treadmill. Thanks for sharing!
It probably is more manageable on the treadmill…but I never run on the treadmill so I didnt even consider it to be an option for this:)
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment says
Speed work is so important! I have been working on drills as part of my warmup in my workouts. I feel like it’s helping. Hope you had a great 4th!
I need to start incorporating drills now into my training! I think its the one element thats missing. I hope you had a great weekend as well!
Sara @ Lake Shore Runner says
Love this workout! Definitely going to be doing it this week sometime before my 5K on Saturday.
It’s a good one! Hope you get a chance to try it.
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes says
Love the looks of this workout and definitely want to give it a shot, although I’m not sure my coach would approve at the moment as my marathon training is just starting. I’ll see what he says!
It might be a little too intense and race-specific for your purposes, but I do like to include some shorter speed intervals early in my marathon training. Its a tough one, that’s for sure!