5K Peaking: Training to peak for your 5k race

Rest & peak: 5k racing gives ample opportunities. You can peak for several races. In part 5 of his 5k training, David Holt uses a "Running Dialogue" sample to show you how to rest up.

Avoid de-training, avoid loss of strength, while maintaining or improving the ability to relax at speed.
Adapted from "Running Dialogue"

Decreasing running mileage options to peak for your 5K race

“You can reduce your mileage by 15 to 20 percent for three to four weeks, finishing with about 40 percent of your usual miles. For example, weeks of 65, 55 and 40 for an 80 mile weeker. “You can simply take a mile off each of your runs until you get down to say four miles for the last three days pre-race. If you average seven miles a day, you would need to commence the taper 6 days pre-race. A better taper would be achieved by coming down a mile every two or three days. Remember: the body takes time to make use of the rest; just like it took time to adapt to the training.” It takes 14-21 days for your body to reap the full rewards of a training increase...it can take just as long to benefit from resting up. Peaking begins with advance planning.
The person who averages ten miles a day could do eight miles for three days; then six for three days and four on the last three days prerace. Added to these nine days of resting up you’d have to consider the long run. Reduce it by 15 to 20 percent two weeks before the race...which is the day before the first eight miler. “One week prerace would have been a six miler. Allow yourself 65-70 percent of your regular long run. “The last fourteen days of our seventy weeker, would then be: 9, 12, 9, 8, 8, 8, 6, (60). 6, 10, 6, 6, 4, 4, 4 (40). Retain fast running on your usual days.”

Extend your peak for two to four races

Many runners have good success with the double peak system. They rest up while finessing their speed for a race--run the race--then take an additional easy week before racing again. “Most of the six or seven days between races will be easy runs of three to four miles...assuming it is half or less of what the athlete normally runs each day. The sub 30 mile a week person will not run on these rest days. “Two days after the race would be a long run; do 60-75 percent of your normal long run. “Four days after the race would also be three days before the next race--” “So I’d run speedwork...a half session at two mile pace to blow out the gaskets.” “Quaint expression. I think blowing your gaskets out would be a bit too strenuous. Though you will be shifting, don’t do much of it. Then race again. You can do this three or four times before going back to base training.” “While there is no golden session, no magic bullet in this sport, resting up, combined with the techniques above, should help you to race faster.

Speed running to peak for the 5K

“How you organize your speedwork is just as important. As your mileage decreases, the length of the reps should decrease. By impli¬ cation, training speed increases. The last four sessions, done at two to four day intervals according to the schedule you’ve been used to several months, might be: · miles, 1,000s, 600s, and 300s. · The pace will probably be 15 k, 5 k, 2 mile and one mile. · The total amount of your reps for these sessions might be 5, 4, 3 and 2 miles. “Another approach is the opposite.” “The opposite again,” I was smiling, “how does that work?” “It depends on which factor we change.” “I suspect we decrease the mileage,” I said. “Yes, we do. But we run long reps at fast pace early... then drop to short reps at slower pace. The last four speed sessions could be: · 3 x one mile at 2 mile pace · 4 x 1,000 meters at 5 k pace · 5 x 600 meters at 10 k pace · 6 x 400 at 15 k pace “This scheme would discourage you from burning yourself out just before a race. All runners have an innate natural speed after all; though the last two sessions are slower than 5 k pace, the legs will still be capable, indeed, well rested to race a 5,000 meters. You will be fresh because you sauntered through the last two sessions. “Note the amount of fast running comes down from three miles to only one-and-a-half at the end. Because you are running slower, you could do three miles at each pace, and it would still qualify as resting up. For psychological reasons, and to bring in those fast twitch muscle fibers, I recommend you finish the sessions with four 100s at mile pace.

10 sessions to peak for your race
40 mile per week peaking schedule

Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)


10k training: running to a peak
Running Long reps and rest when peaking.
Running efficiency practice with downhill training
Recreational runner...15-25 week training schedule for low mileage 5k running
5k training & racing: ONE...Running for distance
5k training & racing: TWO...Hill running for strength
5k training & racing: THREE...running at anaerobic threshold
5k training & racing: FOUR...VO2 Max interval training
"Running Dialogue" table of contents
Distance training links

Book Ordering Information
E-MAIL ORDER TO DAVID HOLT
David Holt's second running book: 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing.
Buy 10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing Today! ">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing, 180 pages, $17.95, by David Holt (plus 3,000 meters, 8K, 12K and 10 mile training advice and schedules for 20-100 miles per week) at Amazon.com
10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing">10K & 5K Running, Training & Racing: The Running Pyramid, at Barnesandnoble.com
Buy Running Dialogue Today! ">Running Dialogue, 280 pages, $17.95, by David Holt. Training for the 5K to the Marathon, for beginners and experienced runners, with extensive injury prevention and treatment advice, nutrition, cartoons and inspirational essays, at Amazon.com
Running Dialogue">Running Dialogue at barnesandnoble.com

Or send $17.95 per book to David Holt at PO Box 543, Goleta, CA 93116. (includes shipping and tax)

Copyright David Holt 1998. Other authors are reluctant to allow their material to be used. Any part of this 5k training material can be quoted, but please acknowledge the source...10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing: The Running Pyramid, and Running Dialogue, by David Holt, and contact information.