THE ANATOMY OF A 5K
The 5K is the most intense event out of the 4 classical road race distances. Given the same training level, a marathon runner will not beat a 5K runner over the 5K.
5K race intensity
- 60% of your maximal speed
- 95% of your VO2max
- 6.2mmol/L of blood lactate (LT = 4mmol/L)
5K energy supply
- 92% aerobic
- 8% anaerobic
5K muscle fiber recruitment
- 100% of your slow-twitch fibers
- 87% of your intermediate fast-twitch fibers
- 55% of your super fast-twitch fibers
5K training requires a unique combination of maximal aerobic capacity (VO2max), lactate threshold/tolerance, maximal running speed, resistance to fatigue, and running economy. In order to maximize these variables, you will need to carry out your training in different training zones.
What’s more, peak performance training requires a logical sequence where one adaptation piggybacks on another. I’m an advocate of non-linear periodization (multi-pace training) where the emphasis transitions from general to 5K-specific pace.
Focus Block 1 = Twin-Base
Highly polarized training with a focus on the extreme ends of the pace spectrum.
>>> General Endurance + Maximal Speed
Focus Block 2 = Conditioning
The inclusion of middle-paces that develop your fitness to maximal levels.
>>> Lactate Threshold + VO2max
Focus Block 3 = Race-Specific
Emphasis on 5K-specific training while all other variables are maintained.
>>> 5K Race-Specific Endurance + Economy
5K Training Plans
You can choose 5K training plans from 4 levels or have one custom made for you.
✔ Elevate your aerobic capacity (VO2max)
✔ Boost your lactate threshold/tolerance
✔ Increase your neuromuscular power
✔ Upgrade your fatigue resistance
✔ Improve your running economy