The Anatomy of a 5K Race
A 5K race – if run at your very best – recruits 100% of your slow-twitch fibers, 87% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers, and 55% of your super fast-twitch fibers.
That translates to…
- 95% of your maximal aerobic capacity
- 60% of your maximal speed
- 15% anaerobic contribution
- 6.2mmol blood lactate/liter
Training for a 5K Race
Training for the 5K is in some ways similar to the 10K, half-marathon, or marathon – but it is not the same. The following 7 intensities should be used to maximize the necessary adaptations for a 5K peak performance.
General endurance: Steady to M-pace
Aerobic support: HM/lactate threshold pace
Direct endurance support: 10K pace
Race-specific: 5K pace (obviously)
Direct speed support: 3K pace
Anaerobic support: 1500m pace
General speed: 800m – 400m pace
It is not feasible, however, to train all of the above-mentioned intensities simultaneously. This would inevitably lead to overtraining, burnout, and injuries. Instead, I use a periodization model with focus blocks of 2 – 3 weeks. In each phase, no more than 2 of the 7 intensities are emphasized.
This particular method is called block periodization. It is a hybrid of linear and non-linear periodization that allows for long-term progress as well as frequent racing year-round across multiple distances since all physiological parameters – such as VO2max, lactate threshold, and stride power – are maintained at all times.
Block periodization is arguably the most advanced training method to date. It will enable you to break stagnation and set new personal records.
5K Training Plans
Train with the block periodization method to set a new personal record at your next 5K race.
✔ Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
✔ Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
✔ Increase your neuromuscular power
✔ Upgrade your fatigue resistance
✔ Improve your running economy