How to Run Like a Pro – Week 8 – Final Week

Welcome to Week 8 of this 5k training schedule. (Previous training schedules can be found here.)  If you’re ready to start training like a pro, then this 5k training buildup is for you. This is an eight week buildup similar to one that I used to win the US 5k Road Racing Championship and, eventually, run the 3rd fastest road 5k ever by an American (13:28).

*Note: Always consult with your physician before trying a new training program.  It is important to run only what you can handle.  Stop if something does not feel right and seek professional consultation.

It is assumed that you’ll begin this training program having done some recent running with a base of about 50-65 miles per week.   If you do not have this training base, be patient and take a few weeks to build your mileage before beginning this program.

Rule #1 Always remember to celebrate the run and have some fun!

If you are unsure of any running terms used in this buildup, please reference our glossary of popular running terms.

Week 8

Day 51 Monday: Easy run 5-7 Miles 4-6 100 meter strides at mile race pace. Do your strides! Tip: At this point in your race buildup, you should be mentally visualizing your race.  Race visualization is a tool used by almost all Olympic level athlete’s, runner or otherwise.  The key to visualization is envisioning how you want your race to unfold.  Take some time to sit quietly on your own or during a recovery run to do this.  See yourself feeling stronger as the race progresses and visualize a fast finish by aiming for a specific time you know is realistic. Use key trigger words on a regular basis that you can recite during races. Common words include: smooth, fast, fresh, power, momentum, champion etc.

Day 52 Tuesday: Workout Day- Do an easy two mile warm up to a track followed by a dynamic drill set of your choice. This workout will consist of 1 x mile at 5k race pace followed by a standing 4 minute recovery, 2×800 meters at 10 seconds per mile faster than 5k race pace with a standing 2 minute recovery after each 800 meters, 2×400 meters at 5k race pace with a 1 minute recovery between each 400.  Run your standard two mile cool down to finish. Try to stay right at your suggested paces today, even if you feel good.  You’re tapering buddy!  Keep those legs fresh and be conservative with your energy. Save it for race day

Day 53 Wednesday: Easy Run 5-7 miles. Recovery run. The hay is in the barn. You’ve done all of the work, now relax and let your legs feel fresh and come to you.

Day 54 Thursday:  Easy run 5-7 miles.  Don’t run extra miles!  Do some easy strides after the run.  Make good decisions and don’t deviate from your routine.  Stick with meals you’re familiar with and don’t try any new activities. Be smart and don’t self-sabotage.  You worked hard, so make sure you’re 100% for the race.

Day 55 Friday: Easy run 5-7 miles 4×100 at race pace. Visualize the race during your strides.

Day 56 Saturday:  Race Day!  Do your standard routine two mile warm up and dynamic drills.  Visualize the race one last time during your warm up. Now it’s time to show off all of that hard work and have some fun!

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