5 Running Workouts To Smash Your 5K PB!
As runners we thrive on improvement and nothing motivates us quite like reaching a PB, explains ASICS FrontRunner Wandisile Nongodlwana.
“When I started running, doing 5km in 30 minutes was an achievement for me but in time I reached a plateau that became my comfort zone. I wanted better results so I tweaked my training,” he says.
Nongodlwana recommends these workouts to get that 5km PB:
1. Resistance training: Add squats, planks, single-legged deadlifts and step ups to your routine once a week. These exercises force your nervous system to recruit all your muscle fibres both simultaneously and explosively, mimicking the demands of the 5K start.
2. Sprints: Run 10 x 200m or 5 x 400m repetitions at 5K pace less 15 – 20 seconds, with one minute of rest in between. This develops intermediate fast-twitch fibres, the very fibres that are key to maintaining 5K pace during a race.
3. Hill Repeats: The force required to run uphill recruits your intermediate fibres, creating an energy demand in those fibres that far exceeds what aerobic energy can provide (anaerobic energy, which doesn’t require oxygen, picks up the slack). The result is that hill repeats at 3K effort—not pace, as the grade of the hill will slow you down—lasting 30–90 seconds trigger two physical changes in these fibres: better strength and increased aerobic energy production.
The recovery interval between hill repeats is important. It should last two to three times the duration of the repetition, e.g. 60–90-second recovery for 30-second hill repetitions
4. Tempo Runs and Tempo Intervals: Just as running faster repetitions at 5K and 10K pace builds aerobic endurance for your intermediate fibres, tempo work does the same for your slow-twitch fibres. “Tempo” means to run at an effort that is roughly equivalent to your half marathon or marathon pace. Continuous tempo runs last 20–30 minutes.
5. Distance Runs: Distance runs of 30–60 minutes at an easy pace strengthen your heart, increase fuel supplies within your muscles, and fortify your muscle fibres and connective tissue (bones, tendons, and fascia). A long run every week of 90 minutes or so will also help boost your aerobic energy production.