Experienced runners can improve 5K race times with the prudent use of long reps at 100 percent of their VO2 maximum...running at 2 mile race pace, about 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace.
Only run long reps at or faster than 2 mile pace if you’ve already done reps of 600 meters as described in Phase 4. Support each session of long reps with two other speed sessions. The first session would be short reps at 2 mile to 5K pace. Run them as hill reps once every three weeks for knee lift and to maintain strength...and to get you away from the track. The other session will be at 15K pace. Make Three Attempts at each session before progressing further. According to Harry Wilson, the British Amateur Athletic Board Coach who guided Olympic contenders at 10,000 meters, plus Steve Ovett to Gold medals at 800 to 5,000 meters, and the world best at two miles. “Athletes usually need three attempts at a session before they can progress further. The first is an introduction--the second time is coming to terms--the third time is being in charge of the session...that’s the time to move forward. “During the last few sessions as you approach big races, you are not trying to run faster than before--you are trying to match your previous time...but in a more relaxed way. At the end of the session you should feel, Hey, if I’d wanted to, I could run that session faster.” Practice running the second and third session of miles with good form--keep the running as effortless as possible. You’ll know that you can run the session because you’ve done it before; think about completing the session in comfort. As Harry Wilson suggests, run three sessions of miles and thousands to peak for your 5K race. Note: you run the last session of miles and 1,000s at a slower pace as you approach your race. This makes it still easier for you to relax rather than strain your way toward the race. Pay attention to your body. Top runners associate with the discomforts of fast running. Feel like slowing because it’s hard work to keep your pace? Think about form and relaxation of all your muscles; think about your position in relation to the ground. Relax your way through the second half of the (mile, or the 5K) run. Fresh Legs. You should run these long reps with fresh legs, after an easy run or rest day. Wear lightweight shoes to put you in the mood to go fast. Two mile pace training increases your maximum oxygen assimilation ability. You’ll race faster.
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