Best Workouts

The Best 5K Workout

I love the 5K. It’s such a great race, requiring speed and stamina plus a hefty dose of racing IQ and mental toughness to run your best. And I’ve been lucky. I’ve coached 5K runners running just over 13 minutes as well as runners for whom finishing 3.1 miles never seemed possible.  (Plus, I’ve even…
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COMBO WORKOUTS

3 multi-zone efforts to get you race-ready Most workouts focus on one training zone — endurance, stamina, speed or sprint. While these workouts make sense physiologically, many of the best coaches also incorporate “combo” workouts into their training. Combo workouts focus on more than one training zone and are often designed to mimic the demands…
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THE MARKER WORKOUT

A LAYPERSON’S TEST OF AEROBIC DEVELOPMENT Most competitive runners include a base phase once or twice each year. The purpose of the base or maintenance phase is to further develop the aerobic system and to prepare the body and the mind for future training phases that will become increasingly more race-specific as the goal race…
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STAMINA WORKOUT: MINUTES

THE SNEAKY TEMPO RUN FOR SPEEDSTERS I’m going to be honest. Tempo runs and I don’t get along. I always struggle with them and, while I know they’re good for me, I dread them. I’m more of a speedster-type runner so I naturally gravitate toward intense, track-type workouts. Tempo runs (continuous runs at lactate threshold,…
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CRUISING Ks

Learning to control effort so you don’t go out too fast in races (a common problem) is one of the keys to running success. Many athletes find this hard to do, but it’s a trick that you can practice in every workout so that it becomes natural to you. I first did the following workout…
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LIGHT AND FRESH 400s

This is the workout I use to help runners get ready for their best short race like a 5K. It can be performed anytime in the training plan and as close to 5 days before the race. It is a fitness-refining workout that helps an athlete get race ready. It’s fun to feel “light and…
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VIGIL MILES

Coach Joe Vigil is arguably the best running coach the US has ever had. He’s a blend of tough, no nonsense “get the work done” kind of coaching paired with a knowledge that while he’s pushing you to your limits, he cares deeply about your success. He demands your best and you want to give…
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DEUCES WILD

3 x 2 miles at 10K goal pace with 5 min recovery jog I use two-mile repeats frequently to gauge an athletes readiness for a 10K or half-marathon. In fact, I find that if you can run your 10K goal pace for this workout, then you have a great chance at running that time in…
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THE 5K SIMULATION WORKOUT

This is a classic Frank Horwill (a famed British coach who formulated the Five Pace Training Theory used by many great athletes such as Sebastian Coe and Said Aouita) workout which I’ve found very useful in simulating the deep gut, lactic pain of a 5K. It’s not so much the pace that makes you have…
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