Improve Your 5km Personal Best – Week 2

Improve Your 5km Personal Best

Week 2

– By Zander Prinsloo

Stretching before and after your run is important

Welcome to week 2 of the 5km Personal Best Challenge! Running a 5km is often a benchmark in running or fitness, but improving your time can be quite difficult. Whether you’ve hit a plateau or you’re struggling with motivation, a well-structured training programme and some support can go a long way in helping you beat your best.
This week we are building on last week’s training by increasing speed, and running at the goal race pace. Additionally, we are incorporating a tempo run on Monday that will boost your stamina. These sessions are aimed at improving your VO2 Max (a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilise during exercise) and increasing your anaerobic threshold for long, difficult runs. Remember to warm up properly before these sessions as to avoid injury. Also ensure that you use your rest/recovery days effectively. Your body needs it! The bulk of the time is still going to be spent on runs at an easier pace. These runs are vital for recovery and to build your aerobic base.
Keep your eye on the blog and the Instagram stories. @zan_prinsloo will be doing the advanced programme and @zahn_ekkerd will be doing the intermediate programme, so check in with us every day! (although everything will also be posted on the @lk.fitness_ page). 
Tag us in your stories to keep us updated on your progress. We will be doing it with you, and we all need to share the motivation!
Let’s get running!

Monday – Tempo Run

Advanced: 40 minutes tempo run

Intermediate: 40 minutes tempo run

The purpose of this workout is to build stamina and increase your anaerobic base. The tempo run is crucial for running harder for longer, and it will help your body get used to running at faster paces for a prolonged period. 
This pace should be somewhat slower than your 5km Race Pace, but faster than the easy pace used for your recovery runs. At this point, it should be difficult to sustain a conversation. For those training with heart rate monitors (which is highly recommended), this is around 85%-90% of your maximum heart rate.

Tuesday – Easy Run

Advanced: 25 minutes Easy Run 

Intermediate: 15 minutes Easy Run

This run is aimed at recovering after your tempo run on Monday. It will allow your body to be ready for the rest of the week’s training. The easy run pace will be used frequently. It should be substantially slower than your tempo run, and you should be able to sustain a conversation at this pace. 

Wednesday – Speed Intervals

Advanced: 6 x 800m (or 200 seconds) at slightly above goal Race Pace, with 120s walk/rest in between.

Intermediate: 8 x 400m (or 120 seconds) at slightly above race Pace, 120s recovery walks in between 

This is a high intensity interval session (HIIT), aimed at improving your speed and VO2 Max. Interval training is typically more effective at bringing about VO2 Max improvements. You should aim at running at near your max heart rate. It is going to get intense, so make sure you are properly warmed up! 

Thursday – Easy Run/Recovery

Advanced: 25 minutes Easy Run

Intermediate: 25 minutes Brisk Walk 

After yesterday’s high intensity session, it is important to recover with an easier day. Fitness is built up in rest days where your body responds to the exercise from the previous day, and this process of alternating rest and stress (known as “super compensation”) is very effective at building fitness. So, resist the urge to run hard on your easy run/walk!

Friday – Long Run

Advanced: 50 minutes Longer Run

Intermediate: 40 minutes Longer Run

This is a slightly longer run aimed at building your aerobic base. The long run should again be slower than your pace from Monday’s tempo run.

Saturday – Race Pace

Advanced: 4 x 1.6km at Goal Race Pace, 150s Walk in between

Intermediate: 3 x 1.6km at Goal Race Pace, 150s Walk in between

This session is to get used to running at your goal race pace so that you are ready for race day. Each repeat is slightly longer than last week, and we will continue to inch these distances up over time. When race day comes we want to be comfortable and confident in our ability to sustain the goal race pace.

Sunday – Recovery

Another week down! As emphasised last week, recovery is a crucial component of any training plan. Not only does it help you to avoid burning out, but it is actually in the recovery phase that your body becomes fitter as a response to the stress from the week’s training. Take today easy, and do some stretching or go for a walk with your family or dog in preparation for the next week’s training. Don’t forget to let us know on Facebook or Instagram (@lk.fitness_ @zan_prinsloo, and @zahn_ekkerd) how you week went. We did it all with you, and would love to hear how you found it! 

Download the LK Fitness App to get your weekly meal plan.

You can switch between Keto/Banting, Low GI & Mediterranean. Also get your daily exercise programs for men and women.

Your first 7 days are FREE! Click here to find out more and download: LK Fitness App